The Lost Coast Trail, California I have lived in California for more than half of my life and explored nearly all of the nooks and crannies that the state has to offer. Just five hours north of San Francisco sits one of the gems of the backpacking world, The Lost Coast. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I could find such a remote and spectacular coastal destination, in the most populous state in the union. For five days we experienced mile after mile of pristine black sand beaches, old growth redwoods, herds of elk, barking sea lions and the sound of ocean waves soothing us to sleep at night. We had the sense that we travelled to the far reaches of the earth, but somehow, no one stamped our passports.