King Peak Via Lightning Trail in California’s King Range

Trail to King Peak

Elk near Bear Harbor

Trail to King Peak

View from King Peak

Sandwiched between the Mendocino Coast on the South and Lost Coast to the North, King Peak, via the Lightning Trail, in California’s King Mountain Range is a worthy goal for a hike. The trail is 5.2 miles roundtrip with an elevation gain of 1800 feet.

We camped out near the trailhead with the peak our goal for a top-of-the-world lunch.

After our return to camp, we took my friend’s SUV down a very rugged road to Bear Harbor where we spotted a group of elk walking on the road. We ended up at a small visitor center on the beach.

What to take: the usual backcountry supplies (tent, sleeping bag, pad, fire), plus a daypack (stuffed with lunch), water, hat, sunglasses, a camera, and binoculars.

The Lost Coast Trail, to the north, is a buck list backpack. Some 2 miles long, from the mouth of the Mattole River to Black Sand Beach in Shelter Cove, you can complete it in one overnight (a real butt-kicker) or a more related two night trip with overnight stays in Big Flat and Spanish Flat, wide open spaces with fresh waters, wood and great beach campsites.

Be light. Be safe. Be one with the pack.