Use the Lightning Trailhead described on the main King's Peak page in the Getting There section.
This loop hike is about 24 miles in length and let's you summit King's Peak, the highest peak in the coastal King Range, as well as hike along California's spectacular Lost Coast. It's probably the shortest hike that allows both a summit of this peak as well as hiking along the coast.
Part 1) Trailhead to King's Peak summit: Start at the Lightning Trail head (~2000') and follow the Lightning Trail southwest reaching King's Peak summit in 2 miles. The start of this trail is through some nice forests while near the summit you will be exposed to the sun for some nice views.
Part 2) King's Peak summit to Big Flat: Big Flat is one of the areas on the coast. To reach this area, backtrack about 0.25 miles to reach the King Crest Trail and take this northwest to the junction with the Rattlesnake Ridge Trail. Follow this trail 4.6 miles to Big Flat at the ocean. Right before you get to the ocean you will enter a flat stream bed which is a nice place to sleep if for some reason you don't want to sleep right on the beach. Just north of Big Flat is an out of the way private residence.
Part 3) Big Flat to Buck Creek Trail: This is the stretch along the gorgeous Lost Coast Trail. Hike south along the beach for 3.3 miles passing Shipman Creek about halfway. There is no trail access to Shipman Creek from the ridge so you can only reach it along the beach. Both sides of the Lost Coast Trail around Shipman Creek disappear during high tide. There is a makeshift cabin here where you can spend the night.
Part 4) Buck Creek Trail to Trailhead: Take the Buck Creek Trail back up the ridge to the King Crest Trail. There is only intermittent shade along the climb so be prepared for lots of sun if you are hiking in the afternoon. Once you are on the King Crest Trail head northwest back to King's Peak, exiting on the Lightning Trail before you get to the peak (unless you want to summit again). This leg of the hike is about 8 miles.
If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.