Mattole road

Mattole Road, a Lost Coastal Scenic Drive in CA

Mattole Road is a 104km (65 miles) scenic road, located in Lost Coast, a mostly natural and development-free area of the California North Coast in Humboldt and Mendocino Counties, in USA.

The road is very scenic with incredible ocean vistas. Starting from Ferndale, a city in Humboldt County, the journey is 65 miles long. Selected by National Geographic as one of the thirty-six most scenic drives in the country, Mattole Road traces its eratic course through some of the most remote areas of the country. It is mostly two-lanes, although they're usually very narrow lanes, with plenty of curves and gravelly switchbacks. Even though it's a while before the ocean comes into view, it's still an awesome drive. 

The road is mostly paved with some unpaved (usually about a city block or less) parts. It’s rough at times but well worth the trip. Do not do this in the rain (or after a recent rain), or in the dark. After a six mile jog along the coast, you find yourself skirting what is called "The Lost Coast," the longest completely undeveloped stretch of shoreline in California. Flanked by the highest seaside mountains in the Continental U.S., the Lost Coast provides one of the most remote wilderness treks in the lower 48.

There is little to no cell phone coverage. The road has some steep grades, topping out at 742m (2,434ft) above the sea level. Expect large and innumerable potholes and even places where the road is half washed out. The area is seismically active, so be prepared, and take note of the tsunami warning signs and evacuation routes posted along.


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