Coastal Trail Guide

Mendocino Land Trust

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Peter Douglas Trail

Parking iconRestrooms iconPicnic Tables iconInterpretive Panels iconCamping iconCamp Fire iconStairs iconNo Cell Reception iconBeach Access iconCliff Edge iconWildlife Viewing iconWetlands / Stream iconElk Viewing iconDogs on Leash iconStrenuous Trail icon

No cell phone receptionThis location has no cellular reception. Please plan accordingly. We recommend that you download the PDF trail data sheet below to your device prior to your trip to this location.

This 2.3-mile trail offers a wide variety of coastal “experiences,” including expansive views of Mendocino’s remote and wild “Lost Coast,” deep redwood and Douglas fir forests, and old-growth trees sculpted into bizarre shapes by salty winds. There is a magic and mystery present here. It is an all-day excursion to get to this trail from Fort Bragg or Mendocino, and the Usal Road is only open during the dry season. It’s well worth the trip, though it’s a rugged adventure and hike.

The Lost Coast Trail continues north of Usal for 53 miles, winding up and down through the Sinkyone Wilderness State Park in Mendocino County and along the beach in the BLM Kings Range National Conservation Area, ending at the Mattole River in Humboldt County.

Download Trail Data Sheet [PDF]

Peter Douglas Trail trail map

Click or tap to view the full-size map.

The Lost Coast Trail continues north of Usal for 53 miles, winding up and down through the Sinkyone Wilderness State Park in Mendocino County and along the beach in the BLM Kings Range National Conservation Area, ending at the Mattole River in Humboldt County

Trail Latitude (X): 39.814

Trail Longitude (Y): -123.839

Mapping: View vicinity on Google Maps (see Trail Map above or Trail Data Sheet PDF under the Information tab for a more precise map)

Highway One Mile Marker (north end): 90.91

Highway One Mile Marker (south end): 90.6

Trail Length: 2.3 miles

This wild and beautiful section of the California Coastal Trail is dedicated to the memory of Peter Douglas (1942-2012), who was the Executive Director of the California Coastal Commission for more than 25 years.  He was a fierce guardian of California's 1,100-mile-long coastline, and he battled to preserve its natural beauty and public access to its beaches. He was the main author of California's landmark coastal protection law, the Coastal Act. It only seems fitting that this trail at Shady Dell be named for him, as a way of honoring his tireless dedication to conserving and protecting for future generations the beautiful California Coast. 


Peter would be proud of the collaborative work that led to this trail being built in his name on this remote part of the California Coast.  It takes a village, and the California Coastal Conservancy, Coastal Commission, Save the Redwoods League, Mendocino Land Trust, California Conservation Corps, NCCC Americorps, Redwood Forest Foundation, Coastwalk, and many other organizations and individuals played a part in the creation of this trail. 

It’s not unusual to see Roosevelt Elk and other wildlife near Usal Beach. Also at the north end of the Peter Douglas Trail is a “candelabra redwood forest,” featuring large old trees that the salt and wind have twisted into strange shapes and designs. There are over 300 handmade steps climbing a steep hill in this part of the CCT. Portions of the trail are on old logging roads, enabling friends and family to hike side-by-side if they wish. There is also a bridge across Shady Dell Creek that was built by local craftsman John Koski, with stringers and decking made from locally milled Fort Bragg redwood.