Explore the most popular forest trails in King Range Wilderness with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

I tried to follow the Rattle Snake trail to go up the King Crest on June 16, 2018. But I could not find the trail after I crossed the creek!

Very good hike. Moderate difficulty seems an appropriate rating. Not particularly strenuous, but does have some decent elevation gain. Shortly after the vista point sign we continued to the left to make it a bit of a loop. The trails are obvious. This meets back up with what is shown on the map here. We did this so there was less back tracking and more unique scenery. Great views inland toward the coastal range and great views of the coast as well. Beautiful forest with diverse wildlife. Also meets up with hidden valley trail.

I just completed this loop as a dayhike, and I should note that the route drawn on here and the distance do not correspond exactly to what I found. The drawn route seems to cut off a large portion of Rattlesnake Ridge, including most of the switchbacks. My Garmin had the distance at about 18.8 miles total.

That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed this hike. It was quite diverse - from walking along the ocean to going through ferns to being high above it all on the ridge - and extremely beautiful. The first four miles and the last ~2 are on the "road", so they aren't particularly exciting and generally lack views. Rattlesnake Ridge was quite overgrown with ferns and other plants, and higher up, there were a lot of overhanging branches that dumped tons of pollen at the slightest movement. That portion of the trail was definitely the hardest (having basically all of the elevation gain).

I don't know what the water level is typically like in the streams, but crossing wasn't terribly difficult. I had to do some searching for the right rocks to hop across (so as not to take my boots off multiple times in a short span), but that didn't take too long.

I got quite warm on the ascent. Not all of it is shaded, and it's strenuous. The views at the top are absolutely worth it, though! Plus, there was a nice breeze up there.

Overall, I thought this was a great loop, fitting exactly what I was looking for in terms of difficulty and distance. I was back to my car in 7 hours, so it's definitely a manageable hike for a day. If you'd rather enjoy the scenery a bit more and not push the pace, I could see this being a nice place for an overnight stay, too.

on Paradise Royale

mountain biking
3 months ago

Great trail! 14 mile loop with some awesome ocean views!

hiking
4 months ago

Beautiful and remote! This is the closest trail on AllTrails that matches what we did (and the maps on here don't show the trails accurately, so make sure to use the official BLM maps, or something similar. For example, those found here: https://www.blm.gov/programs/national-conservation-lands/california/king-range-national-conservation-area).

We spent a couple nights here in Feb 2017. Took just about the hardest way possible for a day at the beach. Started in the late afternoon from the Lightning Trailhead and spent the night at Maple Camp. Next morning, hiked to King Peak via the King Crest Trail, then headed south and set up our tent at Bear Hollow. Afterward, we hiked to the beach via the Rattlesnake Ridge Trail, then hiked back up the ~2500 feet to Bear Hollow for the night. Headed out the next morning.

Many of the trails are very steep and arduous (lots of elevation gain and loss, but many switchbacks). Overall, trails are in good condition. Some areas where the trails run along steep slopes have eroded and there's a bit of sketchy side-hilling. Due to the steep topography, the two camping areas we used had very limited space. Just enough for a few tents. No problem for us because no one else was camped at either spot.

The views were spectacular, there are many beautiful little creeks flowing in winter, and the beach was great. After a tough hike, during which we only saw one other person, we were surprised to see a house on an inholding of private land at the beach (must be accessed only by boat or aircraft).

Some sections of the trail along Big Flat Creek were hard to find due to erosion from last year's big winter. However, we figured out that the trail crosses the creek several times while making its way to the ocean. At most crossings, there were large cairns on the shoreline to indicate crossing points.

The roads to get to the trailhead were in decent shape (and would be no problem at all for a 4x4 vehicle with some clearance). We took a little Honda Fit and *barely* made it though in a few areas due to road erosion. However, we noticed that the road was in the process of being graded on King Peak Rd closer to Shelter Cove.

Overall, a great experience. It was hugely helpful to have loaded geo referenced PDF maps onto my phone prior to the trip (I recommend Avenza or Gaia GPS). Those maps helped guide us when traditional navigation apps failed. With good map reading skills or good digital maps, a vehicle with some clearance, and patience, no problem. Expect road erosion and a long, slow drive to get to some of the trailheads once you're off the pavement!

Awesome MTB ride in the forest, flowy fun!

on King Peak Trail

hiking
8 months ago

hiking
Friday, April 22, 2016

This trail is awesome! It climbs up to breath taking 360 degree views over looking the Lost Coast Redwoods and the wild Pacific Ocean.

off road driving
Friday, October 09, 2015

My 2nd Home @ heart. King mountain range is a slice of heaven. From the Deer to the bears and ocean views. You can't think of a better place to find peace.

hiking
Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Hiked this trail as part of a longer Lost Coast trip in the King Range wilderness area. It's a strenuous climb, especially with a full pack, but the ocean and mountain vistas are worth it. It was very cold and windy at the peak even though the weather going up most of the ridge was very pleasant.

mountain biking
4 months ago

Monday, August 15, 2016