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If you go to the Lost Coast

November 19, 2010

THE BEST WAY TO THE LOST COAST

From LAX, United, American, Southwest, Virgin America and Delta offer nonstop service to San Francisco. Restricted round-trip fares begin at $162.

Shelter Cove is about 230 miles north of San Francisco. Take Highway 101 north, exit at Redwood Drive (near Redland/Garberville), bear left toward Redway, then take a left at Briceland Road (you'll be in central Redway); Briceland Road becomes Shelter Cove Road, winding over the coast mountains and dropping down into the Cove.

WHERE TO GO

Sinkyone Wilderness State Park, (707) 986-7711, http://www.lat.ms/cfeOrc. Most of the Lost Coast Trail is north of Shelter Cove, in the King Range Conservation Area (managed by federal Bureau of Land Management). The southern end of the trail lies within Sinkyone State Wilderness, with different rules, fees and administration. Campsite prices in Sinkyone are $25 a night for walk-in sites offering little more than a flat spot, a fire pit and an outhouse down the hill.

King Range National Conservation Area, http://www.lat.ms/cAbicl. The King Range National Conservation Area has six campgrounds with a total of 58 sites for about $8 or less a night. None of the campgrounds is along the coastal trail.

WHERE TO STAY

Beachcomber Inn, 412 Machi Road, Shelter Cove; (707) 986-7551 or (800) 718-4789, http://www.sojourner2000.com/directory/beachcomber. Rates begin at $65 a night.

WHERE TO EAT

The Cove Restaurant at the Oceanfront Inn, 10 Seal Court, Shelter Cove; (707) 986-1197, http://www.sheltercoveoceanfrontinn.com/links.html, has the best dinner in town (steaks, seafood, including lobster, vegetarian options), with floor-to-ceiling windows looking out onto the crashing surf. Entrees: $9.95-$33.95.

TO LEARN MORE

Shelter Cove, http://www.sheltercove-lostcoast.com/businessdirectory/index.html.

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