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King Range
Mountain Range
Country United States
State California
District Humboldt County
Coordinates 40°9′54.506″N 124°8′3.141″W / 40.16514056°N 124.13420583°W / 40.16514056; -124.13420583
Highest point
 - elevation 1,183 m (3,881 ft)
Timezone Pacific (UTC-8)
 - summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
Topo map USGS Shubrick Peak
location of King Range in California [1]

The King Range is a mountain range located on the California North Coast entirely within Humboldt County. Part of the Northern Coast Ranges, the King Range runs parallel to the coast, and its western slopes fall steeply to the Pacific Ocean. Due to its rugged terrain, the engineers assigned the task of building State Route 1 in 1936-37 were inclined to force the road inward toward the town of Leggett when they reached the King range at Westport. Subsequently, the inaccessible coastal wilderness, known as the Lost Coast, is the longest undeveloped stretch of coast in California. The King Range is adjacent to the Mendocino Triple Junction, where three tectonic plates (the Pacific Plate, the North American Plate, and the Juan de Fuca Plate) meet, and the area experiences frequent earthquakes.

The range is part of the Northern California coastal forests ecoregion, and largely forested, with important trees including Coast Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii ssp. menziesii), Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens), and Tanoak (Lithocarpus densiflorus). The rivers and streams that drain the range, including the Mattole River, have runs of Coho Salmon, Chinook Salmon, and Steelhead Trout.

Historically, the King Range was home to the Native American Mattole and Sinkyone peoples. In the 19th century, the region was opened to commercial logging, fishing, ranching, and tanning. In 1970, the US Congress designated 60,000 acres (240 km²) of the range as the King Range National Conservation Area. It is located primarily in coastal southwestern Humboldt County, but extends into the extreme northwest corner of Mendocino County. In 2006 Congress designated 42,585 acres (172.34 km2) of the area as the King Range Wilderness.[1]

Most mountains and ridges in the range are low to moderate in elevation. King Peak at 4,088 feet (1,246 meters) is the highest mountain in the range. Snow falls above 3,281 feet (1,000 m) a couple times per year.

References

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