Set out for the Lost Coast, one of California’s most mystical trails
The 655 miles that make up California Highway 1—stretching from Leggett in Mendocino County down to Orange County, near Dana Point—are among the most cinematic in the world, luring adventurers and day-trippers alike. But for those in search of a less-documented path, there’s Lost Coast, a roughly 100-mile northern section of wilderness between Rockport and Ferndale (which picks up where California Highway 1 ends), whose primordial terrain is accessed by winding and rutted routes dotted with stray cattle. Cellphone reception is scarce, gas stations few and far between. It is at this bend that you’ll encounter hiking routes to the kind of black-sand beach and craggy cliffscape you thought you had to travel to Costa Rica to witness—and you might even spot a gray, humpback or killer whale. We asked photographer Manfredi Gioacchini, known both for his arresting portraits of such artists as Ed Ruscha and Mark Bradford, as well as his landscape travelogues of the American West, to set a course of Pacific views you have to go the extra mile to see. Winding his way up to Redwood National and State Parks, with a hiking stop in the King Range mountains after canoeing in Mendocino, he discovers a road trip unlike any other, ultimately heading east for Six Rivers National Forest. “Lost Coast lives in a bubble—it has this wildness about it,” he says. “It’s something else.”
Written by MELISSA GOLDSTEIN.
Photography by MANFREDI GIOACCHINI.