Day 1 LCT – Sleep, Shuttle, Sand, Seals, Rocks, and Waves

Sunset - Miller Flats Beach
Sunset – Miller Flats Beach

Don’t worry Drop n’ Roll will know what to do.
-Burly, thru-hiker

June 13, 2015
Mattole Beach to Miller Flats – 16.6 miles

The Lost Coast Trail is featured in countless guidebooks and magazines. It is also on many an adventurer’s bucket list. Located in remote northern California’s King Range National Conservation Area, a hiker really has to want to do this trail. The access is not quick and easy.

For this trip, I was living the life of luxury. Literally, all plans had been strategically plotted out by Drop n’ Roll, Wired, and Lovenote. Drop n’ Roll had the information on tides, GPS, permits and trail details, Wired had arranged the most amazing shuttle, and Lovenote had maps and shuttled my husband Dan to the trailhead. Magic I tell you!

Before heading to the Lost Coast and after finishing the Tahoe Rim Trail, Wired and I spent some time sleeping, eating, Interneting, and drooling at Why Not’s home. The drooling was over Why Not’s outdoor adventure book collection. Literally, all the outdoor books I have wanted to see and hold was displayed beautifully in her guest room. I want to come back some day and spend some serious time!

Why Not’s Book Collection

Our ambitious plan is to hike the northern and southern sections in 2 1/2 days from Mattole Beach to Usal Beach (usually the time recommended is AT LEAST 5 days). :0 We started early today with a very generous 3 1/2 hour shuttle from Usal Beach to Mattole Beach by Trail Angel, Kathleen. The whole group stuffed in her car, gear and all. She is a fellow educator and super knowledgeable. Thank you, Kathleen! You are pretty awesome.

Throughout the day the group meandered on and above white and black sand beaches with ocean wildlife calls pulling us forward. The weather was perfect with cool gentle breezes. Note: when the trail took us above the beach, poison oak often lined the trail. All of us admitted several times that we weren’t really beach people and the mountains claimed our hearts, but we were open to new experiences. No one was ready to dive in the ocean anytime soon.

Fresh water is plentiful along the way with streams conveniently pouring into the ocean. Near the streams are usually nice and sheltered campsites. It was such a treat to watch Dan hike with 4 experienced women thru-hikers. This is his first time with all the group. He always has such a great sense of humor and is very easy-going. As the day progressed my feet started aching, a lot. The aching all over my feet and stabbing pain on the bottom of my arches started on the Tahoe Rim Trail and is not getting better. The pain seems to kick in after hiking 10 miles. I am pretty sure my already long skinny feet have grown yet another size. I brought my crocs to hike in as a backup.

Our camp tonight is near a trail access point, which I don’t recommend. After seeing literally no backpackers all day, we are now surrounded by all kinds of beach people. There are special rules to hike here, which are humorous and necessary. One you have to carry a bear canister. There are bears here on the beach. I am here to see one. Second, going to the bathroomhas unique rules. Drop n’ Roll and Lovenote took advantage by scampering out to tide level just after sundown to deposit and wash away. FYI: The instructions are spelled out on the back of each backcountry permit.

Mattole Trail Head - Lovenote, Kathleen, Wired, Dan, Rockin', Drop n' Roll
Mattole Trail Head – Lovenote, Kathleen, Wired, Dan, Rockin’, Drop n’ Roll
We are off
Walking on the Beach
Cool Shoreline
Perfect Weather
The Group
Sea Lions taking a Nap
Sea Lions taking a Nap
Lunch – Like the Sea Lions
Dry Grass and Trail
Rocky Shoreline
Detour back to the shoreline
Poop Rock
Dan and Lovenote
Nice Trail
Lovin’ the Day
Love this Lighting
Sunset - Miller Flats
Sunset – Miller Flats


  1. I did that trail as a 14 yr. old with my hippie farm school (it was a boarding school near Ft. Ross) in about 1972. We ate rattlesnake.

  2. As always your fabulous pics tell a wonderful story. Beautiful.

  3. Great photos 😀

  4. Oh, the book collection. Wow. Just wow. It has me drooling too!
    Yes, when I hiked the first LCT section, I was not expecting the poison ivy! By lunch the first day, I was wishing I brought gaiters in addition to shorts. =]
    But such beautiful views!

  5. Pretty awesome. I live a few miles from it but can’t get enough.

  6. PERFECTION.. enjoyed the photos

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