Traveling through some of the last wild coast left in California, the 53-mile Lost Coast Trail follows the edge of the Pacific Ocean past sea lion colonies, sandy beaches, and waterfalls that drop straight to the sea. The same difficult terrain that saved this stretch of land from development makes it a challenging hike, but you’ll be so busy gaping at the scenery that you’ll barely notice the exertion.
It isn’t just beaches and sea cliffs that you’ll find on the Lost Coast, though. The southern half of the trail heads to another iconic Northern California ecosystem: redwood forest. Whether you pick part of the trail to spend a weekend on or do the whole thing in one go, you’ll find something to love on this route.