Project Description

Northern California: The Lost Coast – Backpacking Expedition

(Summer 2023)

Lost Coast of Northern California

Strikingly beautiful and accessible only by foot, the Lost Coast of Northern California is a rugged mountain chain spanning 60 miles of spectacular Pacific coastline. Home to an elk herd, majestic redwoods, oaks and Douglas fir, an array of wild flowers and abundant sea life, it is truly a magical place. The narrow trail leads along ridges, across clear mountain streams, and down to hidden sandy coves framed by rugged cliffs. The crash of the waves, cries of the seals, and spectacular vistas make for an unforgettable experience in nature. We will practice challenging hiking and navigation, carve redwood spoons, and at the end of the day are rewarded by a refreshing bath in the stream, running barefoot on the beach and, if we are lucky, close encounters with the elk.

Our journey begins at our basecamp located in the pristine headwaters of the Russian River at Frey Ranch and Vineyard, known for being California’s first organic and biodynamic winery. In 2017, the fall wildfires raged through the property, burning much of the farm infrastructure and personal homes. Along with this devastation however has come incredible resilience and new growth within the community and landscape alike. Here, we will do service work and prepare for our expedition, after which we will drive northwest through scenic country to the Eel River. From here we embark on a scenic two-hour drive to the Lost Coast.