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Wilderness Volunteers

Lost Coast Trail, King Range National Conservation Area, CA (May 2nd - May 8th 2021)

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A spectacular meeting of land and sea, the King Range National Conservation Area (NCA), is located just south of Eureka, California in Humboldt country. Mountains materialize straight out of the surf; a precipitous rise rarely surpassed on the continental U.S. coastline. King Peak, the highest point at 4,088 feet, is only three miles from the ocean. The King Range NCA covers 68,000 acres and extends along 35 miles of coastline between the mouth of the Mattole River and Sinkyone Wilderness State Park and is managed by the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The remote region is known as California's Lost Coast, and is only accessed by a few back roads. The recreation opportunities here are as diverse as the landscape. The Douglas fir peaks attract hikers, hunters, campers and mushroom collectors, while the coast beckons to surfers, anglers, beachcombers, and abalone divers. In 2006, Congress officially designated 42,585 acres of the King Range NCA as Wilderness.

Volunteers will get to explore the southern section of the iconic and stunning Lost Coast Trail in the King Range National Conservation Area. We'll be hiking northbound, departing from Black Sands Beach Trailhead in Shelter Cove. The team will hike north to Big Flat, collecting marine garbage and maintaining backcountry campsites along the way. Basecamp for the week will be made at Big Flat where volunteers will restore sections of the Rattlesnake Ridge Trail through trail work along the scenic Big Flat Creek during the week.

This trip offers a lot of rewards from jaw-dropping scenery, whale watching while you hike, and unforgettable sunsets, however, volunteers are advised they should only undertake this project if they feel fit and are capable of safely meeting the challenge. Volunteers should be prepared for potential rain or stormy conditions. Travel along the beach may entail uneven or slippery surfaces, cobbles, and boulders. As such hiking poles are recommended. This terrain can be challenging and hazardous, There will be creek crossings (up to knee-deep; zip-off pants and reliable water shoes are recommended). Waterproof work boots are REQUIRED.

In their downtime, volunteers will have the opportunity to hike and explore the beaches and creek, explore tidepools, and view thriving wildlife populations. If giving back to this breathtaking area isn't enough, we'll wrap up the project with a BBQ upon returning to the King Range Office & Barracks.

Please note: Due to COVID-19, Wilderness Volunteers is operating our 2021 project schedule under our Modified Project Procedures for Volunteers. These project guidelines will be revised as needed. Please check back often for the latest version.

Due to additional COVID-19 precautions, we are prohibiting mixed household volunteer carpooling (with volunteers outside of the same household traveling in the same vehicle) to projects until further notice. Exceptions to this policy (eg close friends traveling together) will need to be discussed with/pre-approved by the office and will require additional precautionary steps for the individuals involved.  Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

This project is rated as a challenging project.

Don't take our word for it— see for yourself. Check out our photos from prior service projects in the King Range National Conservation Area!


May 2nd - May 8th 2021

Service Project

Campsite maintenance, invasive removal, marine debris pick-up, trail maintenance & reconstruction

Agency logo

Free Days

Day hikes, hanging out at the beach, photography


Backpack camping

Project Difficulty

Challenging : ~9-mile backpack with full packs, group food, tools & gear.


Aidalicia Swertfeger
Mary Sanders

Equipment List