San Simeon State Park is one of the oldest units of the California State Park System. The coastal bluffs and promontories of the scenic park offer unobstructed views of the ocean and rocky shore. The park includes the Santa Rosa Creek Natural Preserve, the San Simeon Natural Preserve and the Pa-nu Cultural Preserve which were established in 1990. Santa Rosa Creek Preserve is an area which includes valuable riparian forests and coastal wetlands, that provide habitat for endangered Tidewater Goby. San Simeon Natural Preserve consists of vast wetlands, riparian areas, and several undisturbed native plant communities including unique mima mound topography. The Preserve is also the wintering site for monarch butterfly populations. The 13.7 acre Pa-nu Cultural Preserve contains the most significant archeological site within San Simeon State Park. The site has been dated to 5850 years before the present, and it contains significant evidence documenting prehistoric technology, subsistence practices and social organization over the course of several centuries. San Simeon State Park is located 35 miles north of San Luis Obispo on Highway 1, and 5 miles south of the Hearst San Simeon State Historical Monument Visitor Center. In addition to Hearst Castle tours, the Hearst Castle Visitor Center, and the Coastal Discovery Center, park activities include camping, hiking, picnicking, beach walking, windsurfing, kayaking, fishing, surfing, viewing elephant seals and tide-pooling.
M F. on Moonstone Beach Trail
This is an easy and beautiful walk along the ocean.
Mrs D. on Moonstone Beach Trail
Suggested for active walkers. Our fur kids are always welcome (on leash) and the locals are friendly. Breath taking views of the ocean without getting sand in your shoes; although there is access points along the trail.
This trail is super easy to walk. Definitely not a challenge in the least, but it will give you lots of exploring to do. There is a staircase that leads down to a little beach with some rocks to climb on. A bit further north, there is a place where you can climb down a bit of a hill onto a really neat tide pool area with smooth, flat rocks. We saw otters, seals, starfish, anemones, some sort of baby shark looking creature, crabs, hawks, gulls, dragonflies, butterflies, squirrels, and many other birds and insects. Other parts of the boardwalk take you through more wooded areas and Moonstone Beach. Lots of interesting rocks as well, if you are into that. I will definitely be doing this trail again. Not for any sort of physical challenge, but because of all of the exploring it offers!
Paul A. on Moonstone Beach Trail
Easy trail. Several options. Very scenic with both ocean and forest segments.