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Location: Access at King Range Nat. Conservation Area trailheads.
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The trail is 24.8 miles, mostly level. Hikers can view sea lions, tidepools, and spectacular spring wildflowers. Solitude can be difficult to find on holiday weekends, so try to plan your hike during weekdays, or the less crowded spring/fall months. Never turn your back on the ocean; large "sleeper" waves can occur at any time, sweeping unsuspecting hikers into the ocean.
Allow at least three days for the entire hike. Much of the trail is beach hiking with several stretches of 1-2 ft. rounded boulders. Stream crossings may be impassable during/after heavy winter rains (no bridges).The area near Punta Gorda from Sea Lion Gulch to Randall Creek; and from Miller Flat to Gitchell Creek may be impassable during high tide. Carry a tide table, and when in doubt, hike these stretches during an outgoing tide to avoid being trapped.
Permits are required for overnight use in the King Range Wilderness. Visitors can book their permit reservations on www.recreation.gov. Permits are not required for day-use or in designated campgrounds. King Range Wilderness Permits for the 2018 are available and the max permit size is reduced from 15 people to 5. The max group size will remain at 15, so a max group of 15 people would need to reserve 3 permits.
An additional Special Recreation Permit is required for commercial and organized groups. Examples of organized groups are scout troops, social media groups, schools, and universities. Permits must be submitted at least 30 days before your trip. The minimum fee for any commercial or organized group is $110, plus any fees due in excess of the minimum fee. Please contact the King Range Project Office to request a Special Recreation Permit application.
No Special Recreation Permits for commercial or organized groups will be issued for Memorial Day, Independence Day or Labor Day weekends. Although overnight camping permits are available year-round, weekends (especially holiday weekends) are busy times to visit the area. Please check availability for opportunities to visit this summer. Visitors are also encouraged to day hike, which does not require a permit.
Primary Surface: Not Available
Secondary Surface: None
Elevation Low Point: Not Available
Elevation High Point: Not Available
Elevation Gain (cumulative): Not Available
Year Designated: 1995
Supporting Webpages and DocumentsWebsite: Trail Information
Website: American Trails Featured NRT
For more information and current conditions, contact the trail manager (listed below). For questions, suggestions, and corrections to information listed on the website, contact American Trails.
King Range Conservation Area
768 Shelter Cove Road
Whitethorn, CA 95589
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