NorCal Roadtrips

An Explorer's Guide to Northern California

The Lost Coast- Things To Do


Camping options are covered in the Campground link. Humboldt Redwoods State Park has numerous options, including the typical park amenities like showers and firewood. Once outside the park, the options are severely limited. Fortunately, so are the number of visitors. Virtually all of the campgrounds are very small and usually lack drinking water. Remember that in this area campers must have bear-proof food canisters, one per person, with them and you must use them. You can be fined and expelled for violations. Sinkyone Wilderness State Park has a barn for rent (actually a single room in a shed with a sleeping platform) and primitive walk-in campsites on unpaved roads north & south of the Visitor Center. The only water supply is at the Visitor Center.

Fishing & Boating

This is not the area to bother dragging your boat, with the one exception that you can launch a sea-worthy boat into the ocean at Shelter Cove at a nice launch ramp.

Freshwater fishing is pretty much confined to the Mattole River. Access is from Mattole Road. So this place is perfect for seniors 'cause its easy to remember. The river is known as a steelhead stream and one of the better options for shoreline anglers without boats. The hamlet of Honeydew is ground central for the Mattole on the eastern end, as Mattole Road tracks the river from here to the coast. Private lands surround much of the river access, so get some gas and a snack at the Honeydew Store and chat the nice people up about where you can fish. Or do the same at the other end, at Petrolia. Being a steelhead stream, rules and conditions can change constantly so check with DFG (707-442-4502- recorded message) before wetting a line.

Hiking & Backpacking

Established trails are pretty much confined to Humboldt Redwoods State Park and a few in the Sinkyone Wilderness. Check at the Visitors Center for trail maps. Tides can impact some routes at Sinkyone.


The entire Sinkyone Wilderness experience can be considered to be of the off-road variety. All of the roads are unpaved, occasionally rough and narrow and traverse some lonely terrain.

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