MyOutdoorBuddy.com Outdoor News Regional Directory
New Feature

Click on Columnists  to access travelogues, field reports, advice, humorous tales and answers to your Q’s! 





Products-Services


Website of the Week

                                




The Lost Coast

Phil Akers backcountry travelogues author badge for myoutdoorbuddy.com

emote enough to keep all but the adventurous away, the King Range is home to over 80 miles of trails including the Lost Coast Trail which is 52 miles in total distance. The trail is split into two sections nearly equal in length. The north section is beach hiking with very little elevation gain/loss, while the south section is a strenuous mix of up-and-down ridge, canyon, and beach hiking.

Lost Coast Trail visitors experience salivating views of the ocean, tide pools, wildflower displays, sea critters galore, deer, elk, and excellent fishing for surf perch. One of only a few wilderness beach hikes in the United States, this should be on every backpackers bucket list.

the Rock , protruding from California's Lost Coast Trail. by Phill Akers
California’s Lost Coast stretches 72 miles from the Eel River delta south to Highway 1 where the coast is once again tame enough for a highway.
Cave view of the Lost Coast Trail, photo by Phil Akers
The Bureau of Land Management are stewards of the Lost Coast Trail and maintain this area as a wilderness. Expect no facilities or signs so familiarize yourself with the trail before you begin your trek.
A shot looking out to sea at low tide looking toward Windy Point, along California's Lost Coast Trail, photo by Phil Akers
Low tide looking toward Windy Point, an area impassable at high tide

Best practice is to hike from north to south, keeping the prevailing wind at your back. The northern trail section sees the most travelers but don’t let this “beach walk” section fool you with fantasy, there are stretches of rocky shoreline and stretches of slogging black sand. Some areas are not passable during high tides, you have to time your hike through these areas, coinciding with outgoing low tides. Allow at least three days to hike the entire northern section.

 Gray and black sandstone and shale making up the King Range along California's Lost coast trail, photo by Phil Akers
The black sand beaches are not of volcanic origin, but of gray and black sandstone and shale making up the King Range.
Expansive view of the Pacific Ocean from along California's Lost Coast trail, photo by Phil Akers
Sometimes the trail climbs and follows the seaside mountains where views become expansive and overwhelming.

Beginning at Mattole Beach, the north section takes you 24 miles through the King Range National Conservation Area to Black Sands Beach near Shelter Cove. You then have a little road walking to reach the southern trailhead, this section taking you 28 miles through Sinkyone Wilderness State Park to Usual Creek Camp. Outside of trail sections along the King Crest, both trails cross many creeks and rivulets providing ample sources of water. Beach camping is permitted throughout the Lost Coast trail…a unique experience, far away from the hoopla…driftwood campfires, waves pounding the shoreline beneath star-drenched skies, and million-dollar sensations of having your own private beach.

Sunset from an excluded camp along California's Lost coast trail, photo by Phil Akers
Enjoy the sunset from a secluded beach camp.
Sea lions, necks stretch toward the sky, loudly yelping, whil a few others blankly look on. Photo by Phil Akers
You will experience massive sea lion rookeries…noisy company at times.
View of tsnumami suseptable California's Lost coast trail, photo by Phil Akers
Large earthquakes are common and can cause damaging tsunamis or tidal waves. If you experience an earthquake, move away from the beach and be vigilant for several hours.

Just ten miles offshore from Cape Mendocino -- the westernmost point of the lower 48 states -- lies the Mendocino Triple Junction which is hands down California’s most seismically active area. At nearly two miles deep, an ocean floor canyon lies at this three-way intersection where the Pacific, Gorda, and North American tectonic plates violently meet. The Gorda plate is being forced below the North American plate, and the powerful forces of constant plate motions continue to create the King Range. In 1992 a very sinister earthquake occurred here causing the entire range to uplift a staggering 3-5 feet! At 4088 feet, Kings Peak is the highest summit in the range and is only three miles from shore. To this day, the offshore canyon continues to sink and the King Range continues to rise.

The abandoned Punta Gorda lighthouse along California's Lost Coast trail, by Phil Akers
The abandoned Punta Gorda lighthouse is a unique attraction.
Lghthouse built in 1910 to warn mariners of the areas dangers, photo by Phil Akers
Early mariners dreaded the dangerous wind and reefs below the King Range promontory called Punta Gorda. In 1907, the passenger ship Columbia went down, taking 87 lives. This latest in a series of shipwrecks prompted the construction of a lighthouse in 1910 to warn mariners of the areas dangers.

A worthy highlight along the hike is the Punta Gorda lighthouse. Built out of response to many shipwrecks off the point, it featured and air siren operated by gas engines, fourth-order lens, and oil vapor lamp. It operated 40 years before being shutdown in 1951, replaced by a modern-day buoy. Known as the “Alcatraz of Lighthouses”, it was extremely remote, a challenge to re-supply, and was considered a form of punishment for lighthouse keepers and “wickies” to be stationed here. Generally, they had screwed up somewhere else.

Lighthouse spiral staircase with a very tight squeeze at the top, photo by Phil Akers
Access to the lighthouse tower is via a spiral staircase with a very tight squeeze at the top.

Weather. Pack the rain gear if you plan on hiking the Lost Coast trail. Average rainfall in the area is 100 inches per year, and that number can double in wet years. May thru September is the ideal time to dodge the rain systems but you still must pay attention to the forecast. It can be drizzly cold fog one day and 80 degrees the next. Strong winds carry both sea spray and sand long distances, pelting whatever is in the path.

Tides. Higher than normal tides occur during both full and new moon phases, and tides are less dramatic during the first and last quarter phases. Basically, there are two high tides and two low tides every 24 hours and the timing of these tides occur roughly 50 minutes later each day. Carry a current tide table as some of the beach sections -- up to a few miles in length -- are impassable at high tide. Hike these sections during outgoing tides to give you plenty of time.

Waves. The ocean is very unpredictable throughout this hike. There are strong undertow and rip currents so do not swim or enter the water. Sleeper or rogue waves can reach far up the beach and sweep you to sea if not attentive. While hiking the beach sections, be mindful and watchful of the ocean at all times.

Bears. Please don’t think a hike of this nature is without bears, in fact they are a serious problem. Bears WILL rip open your tent or backpack and steal any forgotten food or scented items. Bears are especially aggressive at Miller Flat and Big Flat. If backpacking, bear-proof canisters are required throughout the entire Lost Coast Trail and can be rented for a five dollar fee at many locations including the Petrolia General Store. You will be checked and fined if not in accordance.

To reach the trailhead. Prepare to drive a rough and sinuous road to reach Mattole Beach trailhead. The best approach is from Ferndale. From Main Street, turn right on Ocean Road then immediately left on Fifth Street which will turn into Mattole Road. Continue 27 miles to the small town of Petrolia where the very first oil well in California was drilled in 1865. One mile past Petrolia, just as you cross a bridge, turn right on Lighthouse Road and proceed five miles to the trailhead parking area. Also at the trailhead is a campground with 14 sites…no hookups, picnic table, fire rings, bear-proof trash containers, vault toilet, and potable water. The use fee is eight dollars per night camping.

Permits. A wilderness permit is required for overnight stays. It is free, contains rules and instructions, and can be self-issued at the trailhead. A valid campfire permit is required for use of campfires and stoves and always check for any current fire restrictions.

Fishing. With exception to part of the Mattole River, all fresh water streams within the King Range NCA are closed to fishing to protect native steelhead and salmon. You can fish the ocean but the take of all living marine resources is prohibited within Sea Lion Gulch. The surf perch fishing is superb with Redtail being the predominant species caught. Try fishing with sand crabs, grubs, or clams. We fried fish with hushpuppies two of our nights out.

Dogs. Pooch is permitted and expected to be either on a leash or under voice control.

Wear sturdy footwear. You will traverse some boulder fields of 1-2 foot diameter rocks. Consider gaiters for the slogging sand stretches. Walking closer to the tide in the wetter sand helps, but not much, and it doesn‘t last long anyway. If you spot a trail on coastal terrace, use it! The trail sections provide a respite from the laboring sand and tricky rocks.

What to watch out for. Please realize the dangers of tides, waves, and wind. Some areas are rife with poison oak. Ticks and rattlesnakes will also be encountered. Check yourself daily for ticks and kick that pile of driftwood before blindly reaching your hand in there.

Shuttle services. Many hikers use local shuttle services, leaving their vehicle at a destination trailhead and being shuttled to their beginning trailhead. This is not cheap! To be legal, these shuttle services have to be issued a special use permit from the BLM…I believe there are only two. The trail distance from Mattole Beach to Black Sands Beach is 24 miles but it takes over two hours to drive from one trailhead to the other.

Tide pool along the California's Lost Coast trail, photo by Phil Akers
Explore the tidal zone and tide pools during low tide.

I encourage you to get away, hike and fish the Lost Coast Trail. Reward yourself with ever-changing vistas of the magnificent meeting of mountains and sea, in a remote landscape forgotten by today’s world. Plan well, be safe, and cherish this unique location called The Lost Coast.

Phil “Flip” Akers is a diverse angler and outdoor adventurer. For over 20 years he has backpacked, packed llamas and fly-fished the Sierra Nevada and Cascade mountain ranges, venturing into the farthest reaches of our wilderness areas pursuing quality trout and solitude. He enjoys sharing his experiences including tips, techniques, outdoor cooking recipes, and storytelling. He is certified in wilderness first response and rescue including swiftwater rescue, technical rope and technical animal rescue.

More Outdoor News

Game Wardens and Ghost Towns

All that’s left of the ghost town of Newville are the remains of this service station. I remember the old hand-pump gas tank still being out front during the 1960s; it’s gone now. Photo by Steven T. Callan
On Patrol by Steven T. Callan
12/02/16 -- Out of beer and three sheets to the wind, the three deer poachers turned west on Newville Road and headed northeast toward Paskenta. Rounding the first bend, they passed the ghost town of Newville. Newville had thrived...Full Story

The Most Beautiful Duck in North America

The drake mallard, with its iridescent green head., by Steven T. Callan
On Patrol by Steven T. Callan 
11/05/16 -- Ask any waterfowl enthusiast to name the most beautiful duck in North America, and he or she will most likely point to the brilliant, multicolored, drake wood duck (Aix sponsa). Others might claim that the iridescent green head of...Full Story

ODFW Weekly Recreation Report

09/29/16 -- Oregon’s most popular hunting season opens statewide Oct. 1. Don’t forget to pick up your tag by Sept. 30. Forecast rain could make it a good opener in some areas; see the reports below for more information. Don’t forget to...Full Story

An Island of Our Own

Western Toad, by kathy callan
On Patrol, by Steven T. Callan
09/23/16 -- Over the years, Kathy and I have often dreamed of escaping today’s fast-paced, hectic world and moving to an island of our own—an island of trees, flowers, and abundant wildlife, where we could experience the joys of...Full Story

Rafting and Reflecting on the American

Rafting on the American River, by Steven T. Callan
By Steven T. Callan
06/12/16 -- When I looked at the list of outdoor activities for this year’s Outdoor Writers Association of California (OWAC) spring conference, a rafting trip down the American River practically jumped off the page...Full Story

​In Search of the Elegant Trogon

Male hooded oriole in pomegranate tree, photo by Steven T. Callan
By Steven T. Callan
05/18/16 -- I’ve always been fascinated with birds, but I really became hooked on bird-watching, or birding, as it’s often called, during the mid-seventies when I was a rookie Fish and Game warden down on the Colorado...Full Story

The Mudhen King

Don Webster, author badge, myoutdoorbuddy.com
04/22/16 -- There has been a time or two during my life when having some knowledge and experience with the outdoor world has come in handy. Especially job handy. As in monetarily handy. I remember one such occasion...Full Story

Hite Cove

hand holding fish, by phil akers
Article and photos by Phil “Flip” Akers
03/21/16 -- Revered by the Ahwahneechee, later congressionally designated as a Wild and Scenic River, the South Fork Merced originates on the southern slope of Triple Divide Peak in Yosemite National Park. Part of the Clark ...Full Story

​A Letter to Ted Trueblood

Ted Trueblood, photo courtesy of Don Webster
By Don Webster
01/28/16 -- Although you probably know what’s on my mind, I think you understand that it’s important for me to tell you anyway. You, Corey Ford, Nash Buckingham, Robert Ruark, and Ernest Hemingway were writers who wrote... Full Story

Flat tires! Are They Undetectable?

Example of what happens to a flat tire driven at freeway speed and possibly ten miles distance, photo by Don Stec
By Don Stec
11/02/15 -- Modern vehicles handle very well. So it is understandable when some people tell us they did not notice one tire was flat and drove several miles on the flat, destroying the tire. The first time I had heard this... Full Story

Poaching in the Parks

A stately bull elk in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. Photo by Kathy Callan
By Steven T. Callan
08/29/15 -- The recent killing of Hwange National Park’s beloved icon, Cecil the Lion, has brought to mind a number of outrageous poaching incidents that occurred right here in California -- all of them inside national parks, state parks... Full Story

Those Wonderful Wildlife Caregivers

Steven T. Callen with one of three orphaned black bear cubs, circa 1981. Photo courtesy of Steven T. Callan
By Steven T. Callan
07/18/15 -- One of the more disheartening, sometimes discouraging aspects of a wildlife officer’s job is dealing with injured, orphaned, or imprinted wildlife that cannot be released back into the wild. Wildlife rehabilitation facilities, most of... Full Story

Caribou Wilderness

Susan Lake, photo by Phil Akers
Article and photos by Phil “Flip” Akers
06/01/15 -- Adjacent to the eastern border of Lassen Volcanic National Park is a remote volcanic plateau on the eastern slopes of what was once Mt. Tehama. Cinder cones, crater peaks, old-growth forest, and azure lakes make up... Full Story

A Jewel in the Desert

Once coveted by the pet trade, native reptiles, like this chuckwalla, may no longer be sold in California. Photo by Steven T. Callan
By Steven T. Callan
05/25/15 -- In late April, before summer set in, Kathy and I decided to spend a few days in the land of blistering sands and sharp thorns. I had worked in the California desert during my early years with the California Department of Fish... Full Story

Don’t kill them all! Some snakes are good!

Indigo snake
By Captain William E. Simpson
04/27/15 -- Most survivalists and Preppers spend a good deal of time outdoors as do many other Americans. Many people have a healthy fear of snakes, and given the fact that there are several species of venomous snakes that are...Full Story

Marijuana Wars and the California DFW

ish and Wildlife Warden Jerry Karnow with suspected poisoned bear at an illegal marijuana grow site. Photo courtesy of California Department of Fish and Wildlife Warden Jerry Karnow
By Steven T. Callan
04/16/15 -- Just after daylight in September 2014, four California Department of Fish and Wildlife officers and four Nevada County Sheriff’s deputies quietly locked their vehicles and began what was to be an arduous hike... Full Story

‘Preppers’ & Disaster Preparedness Myths

Life is hard... it's even harder if you're stupid, John Wayne
By Capt. William E. Simpson
04/14/15 -- We live in a world where civilization, reason and logic are said to be at historic heights, yet so many people today, especially our youth, are making new lows in relevant intelligence and labor under a host of myths and illusions...Full Story

A Happy Dog is a Panting Dog

Pup, Phil Akers, A Happy Dog is a Panting Dog
Article and photos by Phil "Flip" Akers
04/07/15 -- Bigfoot’s number one pet is the wolverine but for us humans it’s the canine. Americans are projected to spend $60 billion this year on pets! A large portion of this goes to dogs. We all love our dogs and generally...Full Story

Show Respect and Pass Through Quietly

Butte Valley Wildlife Area with Mount Shasta in background, photo by Kathy and Steven Callan
By Steven T. Callan 
03/05/15 -- “Quick, roll up the windows!” said Kathy. We had just entered the ten-mile auto tour route at Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge, when four cars roared by us like we were standing still. Pulling to the side of the road...Full Story

Tactical Survival Axe, AKA: ‘The Bruiser’

USMC Tactical Survival Axe, AKA: ‘The Bruiser’, photo by William E. Simpson
Article and photos by Capt. William E. Simpson
02/24/15 -- I am not an expert with edged weapons, even though I have a trunk-load of them, including the old Buck hunting knife that my Dad gave me when I was a teenager many moons ago. So with that said, I wanted to share...Full Story

Hot Stove

blue lake surrounded by gray snow peaked mountains with green grass meadow in the foreground. Photo by Phil Flip Akers
Article and photos by Phil “Flip” Akers
02/24/15 -- Much like fantasy baseball, winter is the “hot stove” season for high elevation wilderness adventures. It is time to study and plan for the upcoming summer. But instead of preparing to draft players, we find...Full Story

A Problem Requiring a Different Approach

A humungous crowd of people.
By Captain William E. Simpson, USMM
02/08/15 -- Most survival strategies and related tactics used today draw upon the methods that were used or which worked in past small-scale localized and regional disasters, and will likely work again to some extent in similar...Full Story

Survival Using RVs

Silver mobile home with striped awning, parked on a grassy field alongside a river with forested hills leading up to snow capped mountains. Photo by William E. Simpson
Article and photos by William E. Simpson
12/26/14 -- Over the past year many people have reached-out to me asking the same question; ‘What can people do to survive a catastrophic event besides sailing to an island on a bug-out boat? This was of course a natural... Full Story

For the Love of Ducks

Snow geese at Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge. photo by Steven T. Callan
Article and photos by Steven T. Callan
12/23/14 -- With the north wind blowing off snow-covered Mount Shasta, it was brutally cold that December afternoon in 1960. Sitting in the back seat of our family car, I spotted an enormous flock of snow-white birds feeding in the... Full Story

Disaster Preparedness Strategies – Part II

NASA image depicting solar storm impacting earth’s geomagnetic field.
By Capt. William E. Simpson, USMM
11/25/14 -- Editor’s Note: This is the second in a series of Disaster Preparedness articles written by Capt. William E. Simpson, USMM. The first was an attempt to simplify the subject of disaster preparedness by focusing on risk...Full Story

Disaster Preparedness Strategies – Part I

Preparedness & Survival by Capt. William E. Simpson
11/12/14 -- Over the past few years, disaster preparedness (“prepping”) has become a popular topic. A very large mix of people have begun preaching prepping, all having different motives for promoting their particular... Full Story

Making Friends With The Neighbors

Wild (feral) stallions competing - copyright Laura Simpson 2014
By William E. Simpson
10/14/14 -- There are few animals in nature that match the majestic beauty of a stallion running wild and free. They rule their territory by day and by night. Recently, my wife Laura and I decided to change adventures...Full Story

Ishi

 Newspaper headline from early August 1911. Photo courtesy of the Sacramento Bee.
By Phil 'Flip' Akers
10/08/14 -- Southwest of Mt. Lassen lies a remote and largely forgotten piece of Cascade foothill region. Dark basaltic cliffs and pinnacles adorn inhospitable river canyons, carved by what is now Mill and Deer Creeks, through bad...Full Story

Tall Trees and Emerald Waters

Kathy at Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, beside one of the largest (redwood) trees on Earth., photo by Steven T. Callan
By Steven T. Callan
10/06/14 -- Kathy and I recently attended the Outdoor Writers Association of California (OWAC) fall conference on the aptly-named Wild Rivers Coast. Stretching from Port Orford, Oregon to Klamath, California, the Wild.... Full Story

Lassen National Volcanic Park

Jim Broshears, Mt. Lassen view from Brokeoff Mountain
By Jim Broshears
07/21/14 -- Lassen National Park is one of the best kept secrets in the National Park system. It may be hard to call a place that has over 400,000 visitors a year a secret but compared to Yosemite’s 2.5 million and the 9.4...Full Story

Peak Bagging in Winter

Peak Bagging in Winter, Jim Broshears, Trailhead Adventures, Paradise, CA, MyOutdoorBuddy.com By Jim Broshears
02/11/13 -- Peak bagging, according to peakbagging.com/ refers to climbing mountains. When a summit is reached, it is “bagged”. You don’t have to go to exotic locations to enjoy this sport, or even be an elite mountain climber...Full Story

The Mystery of the Middle Fork – Part III

Jim Broshears, Trailhead Tales author badge for My outdoor buddy
By Jim Broshears
04/09/14 -- Our search for Tuck’s lost meadow continued in 2013. After three previous trips and multiple days of searching, you might be wondering why we don’t just call it a day. Or possibly question why we have not... Full Story

The 'Death Wobble' -- Be Safe Not Sorry!

Death Wobble, underbody of a vehicle, Don Stec
Article and photos by Don Stec
03/31/14 -- Death Wobble is not to be confused with a front-end shimmy or a wheel balance problem. A Death Wobble (DW) is very common on vehicles with a solid front axle. It has earned its name, not from mechanics but by vehicle... Full Story

The Mystery of the Middle Fork -- Part II

Article and photos by Jim Broshears
03/10/14 -- Our return to the Middle Fork of Feather River would take place in August of 2012. Having nearly 10 months to plan the next exploration, we, of course, waited until the last minute decide our course of action... Full Story

The Mystery of the Middle Fork -- Part I

The Mystery of the Missing Valley By Jim Broshears
Article and photos by Jim Broshears
02/15/14 -- Part #1 Exploring the Middle Fork of the Feather River -- Stories about hidden valleys, waterfalls, canyons and fishing are part of outdoor folklore. Most of these tales begin with “When I was a kid we went to this place” and...Full Story

 

Your outdoor adventures have only just begun
Northern California Fishing News, Northern California Hunting Reports

Fishing News

Northern California and Southern Oregon offer superb fresh and saltwater fishing. Before you make a trip, make sure you have
up-to-date news about where the fish are biting!

Hunting News

This region is also famous for its world-class hunting opportunities. Make sure you are armed with the absolute latest news by checking
the reports being filed daily at MyOutdoorBuddy.com.

Northern California Outdoor News, Northern California Outdoor Reports Outdoor News 

If you like to explore the great outdoors your choices are essentially infinite in Northern California and Southern Oregon. Use our news pages to plan your next outing!

Northern California Destination News, Northern California Destination Reports

Destinations

So many places to visit and so little time, but if you scan
these pages you'll know in advance what lies ahead and what
not to miss in the almost-mythical State of Jefferson.
Buddy Photos

You are there! Towering mountains, vast valleys, unique shorelines. Land, water and air bursting with life. Opportunity presents itself. Llghting is right. Click! An image is captured for the ages.

Photo Galleries, MyOutdoorBuddy.com

Photo Galleries

A preview of coming attractions...if you are planning a trip to this area be forewarned: What photographers have captured will whet your appetite for what will be an outdoor journey filled with wonders.  

Product & Services Directory

Don't let anything come between you and a wonderful weekend, vacation or or auto tour in this region. The fine product and services providers listed here will have what you need to enjoy your visit.  

Come back to MyOutdoorBuddy.com for more Northern California and Southern Oregon fishing, hunting and outdoor news, reports, information, opinions and photos.

Facebook

A friend to all who love the outdoors since 2006

Website Design Photo Credits: MyOutdoorBuddy.com thanks the following individuals for contributing photographs for use on our Home and Section pages: Anders Tomlinson of Tule-Lake.com, Casey Allen of Bayside, CA; Jason Haley of Medford, OR; Steve Breth of Burney, CA; Tracy McCormack of Eureka, CA; Grant Thompson of Grand Junction, CO; Richard Bott of Shingletown, CA; Ron Loftus of Yreka, CA; Scott Caldwell of Montague, CA; Lorissa Soriano of Alturas, CA and the late Dave Menke, formerly with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge Complex.

Website Design by Anders Tomlinson

©Copyright 2005-2015 by Frank Galusha, Editor and Publisher. Articles and photos are copyright protected and are published exclusively on the Internet by the publisher and may not be copied, displayed, reproduced or published in any other form without the express written permission of same who reserves all rights. Material supplied by others is the copyrighted property of the respective authors. Re-use of any MyOutdoorBuddy content, graphics and photos without written permission by the author(s) for any purpose is strictly prohibited.