Shipman Creek to Shelter Cove/Hidden Valley Trailhead

June 20: Humboldt County
Shipman Creek to Shelter Cove/Hidden Valley Trailhead. 6.2 miles to Shelter Cove, 10.4 miles total to Hidden Valley

We had a fairly discreet skunk visit us in the night. After breakfast we begin again our backpack accompanied by bear tracks in the sands. A mile or so out of camp, we come across a fairly recent landslide obscuring most of the beach. Trees carried down by the slide lie buried and pointing seaward like bowsprits.

We are walking at a fairly low tide so we are able to take advantage of what areas of hard sand that there are. Often the way is flanked by rocky tide pools, and at these spots the beach is made up of gravels and cobbles. As a result it is hard going. It is amazing how the composition of the beach affects our walking. Going from gravel or soft sand to hard-packed sand is like going into overdrive; for the same amount of effort, the ease and speed of walking increases.

We arrive at Shelter Cove, a small, isolated town at the midpoint of the Lost Coast. Most of the group decided to stop at the BLM parking lot. While they are being carried in the Melmobile to the fish and chips place, four of us — Richard and Brenda Nichols (who have joined us for the backpack), J Nichols (no relation) and myself — walk the 4.2 miles (with a 2,000 foot elevation gain!) to the Hidden Valley Trailhead. Those of us who walked on are taken back to Shelter Cove later in the evening for a shower and dinner. (Jon Breyfogle; photos, Linda Hanes)
Left: North of Shelter Cove.  Right: Richard Nichols (Coastwalk Executive Director) racing to the finish.

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