Humboldt County harbors about 12 percent of the California Coastal Trail, the largest chunk among the state's fifteen coastal counties. Humboldt not only has the longest coastline of California's counties, it also holds many of the state's most spectacular and remote sections of coast. From the rugged shoreline of southern Redwood National Park in the north, along the rocky convoluted coast around Trinidad, through the sandy beaches surrounding Humboldt Bay, on down to the wild, isolated shores of the Lost Coast, Humboldt's Coastal Trail requires about two weeks to walk, even longer to fully explore.
Just as in Del Norte County, you'll find both some of the easiest and most strenuous sections of CCT in Humboldt. Also like Del Norte, you'll have abundant opportunities to commune with virgin forests and see wildlife. If you traverse the entire Coastal Trail through Humboldt County, you'll visit three state parks, two state beaches, seven county parks, two wildlife refuges, and an immense national conservation area on the Lost Coast as well as Redwood National Park. You'll want to arrange boat crossings of two major rivers, the Eel and the Mattole, and Humboldt Bay, California's second largest. You'll need to ford one lesser river and 28 creeks.
Of Humboldt's 143 miles on the Coastal Trail, 43 miles follow roads. Although that's 30 percent of the total, almost 20 of those road miles are on the remote and spectacular Mattole Road, where an impassably rugged coast forces hikers inland over high ridges. CCT hikers are forced onto a highway for only 1¼ miles in Humboldt County.
Our hats are off to the people in California's northernmost two coastal counties for their remarkable success in creating their parts of the California Coastal Trail.
Twenty of the creek fords occur along the Lost Coast from Cape Mendocino south to the county line, where CCT hikers will benefit from carrying a backpack to make their way through that remote, isolated country. The Lost Coast continues south about 30 miles into Mendocino County as well, where you'll have plenty more creeks to ford. While Humboldt's King Range Lost Coast is not yet a designated wilderness, we hope that soon it will finally be granted the official wilderness designation it has long deserved.
Explore the Trail
Click a section to discover more detailed information on pieces of the trail that can be explored within a day. Find highlights of what each area has to offer as well as other resources.