Petrolia (6 miles; round-trip) - Punta Gorda Lighthouse

King Range National Convervation Area
Petrolia, California 95558
Southwest Humboldt

This 6 mile round-trip hike is absolutely incredible and will give hikers a good idea of why this area is referred to as the Lost Coast. 
Starting at the trailhead at the Punta Gorda Recreation Area, you're treated to a gorgeous 3 mile hike to the south toward the lighthouse.  The beach is beautiful, there is wildlife abound and during the spring, wildflowers add a variety of color to the eastern side of the trail and up along the mountain.
This hike is not easy because even though it's a farily short hike, most of it is on sand which can be pretty exhausting.  In addition, later in the day, when most people would be returning, the wind picks up and can throw sand in your face as you hike.  We suggest starting your hike in the morning. 
We've done this hike a few times and each time have had a great experience, saw an extraordinary amount of wildlife and had a fantastic time.
We've provided some pictures of one our trips below but this is one of those times where as beautiful as the pictures are, they don't do justice to how incredible and peaceful this hike is.
Distance:  6 miles; round-trip.  However, with all the beachcombing and exploring you'll want to do, it's closer to 8-9 overall. 
Degree of Difficulty:  Moderate to Difficult
Dogs:  No
Camping:  You can camp at the Lighthouse.  There is also camping at the Mattole Campground which is located very near the trailhead.

How to get there:
From Honeydew, take Mattole Road west until you reach Lighthouse Road (you'll reach it before you cross Mill Creek into Petrolia) and take a left.  Lighthouse Road will take you to the Mattole Campground which is very near the trailhead.  Follow the signs for a breathtaking 3-mile hike to the lighthouse.
From Petrolia, take Mattole Road through town.  After you cross Mill Creek, take Lighthouse Road to the right. Lighthouse Road will take you to the Mattole Campground which is very near the trailhead.  Follow the signs for a breathtaking 3-mile hike to the lighthouse.
More info:
Bring water and snacks as well as comfortable shoes/boots.
  If you have hiking poles, bring those as well.  There is almost no shade at all so bring sunblock and a good hat.  Don't forget your camera.

*Click on the photos below to enlarge them

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