Rocky promontories, panoramic views, kelp-dotted coves, and the dramatic sounds of pounding surf; open grasslands, forested hills, pristine prairies, and pygmy forests- you can experience all of these coastal wonders within the Salt Point State Park. With 20 miles of hiking trails, over six miles of rugged coastline, and an underwater park, you can enjoy a variety of picnicking, hiking, horseback riding, fishing, skin and SCUBA diving, and camping. Ever wonder where the streets of San Francisco came from? Sandstone from Salt Point was used in the construction of San Francisco's streets and buildings during the mid 1800's. If you look closely at the rocks at Gerstle Cove, you can still see eyebolts where the ships anchored while sandstone slabs were loaded onboard. Quarried rocks can still be seen scattered along the marine terrace north of Gerstle Cove. Look for the drill holes along the edges of the rocks that were used to separate the large rocks into smaller slabs. Tafoni is the Italian word for cavern. It is a natural phenomenon that is common along the sandstone near the ocean's edge at Gerstle Cove and Fisk Mill. Look for a honeycomb type network carved into the rocks forming pits, knobs, ribs, and ridges. The weather can be changeable along the rugged Northern California Coast. Even summertime can be cool as fog hugs the coastline and ocean winds chill the air. Park is open from sunrise to sunset.
Wonderful, easy hike with the bulk of the incline at the start. We did a loop that started at Woodside campground and included parts of the central trail, huckleberry trail, north trail, prairie trail, south trail and then powerline trail. Trails seemed well marked. However know this area described as "near Jenner" is about 18 miles north, with intense coastal driving. I'd come back in a heartbeat because the immediate area both inland and along the coast has enough trails and possible loops for days.
Overall good hike. Coastal trail is pretty windy. Coastal and forest trails aren't marked very well and there are a lot of side trails not shown on the map. Discovered a map at one of the campgrounds that had a more detailed way to get to the Pygmy Forest (listed the plant/tree placards placed along the trail) but only after finishing the trail.
Did this hike with my husband and 4 year old. Loved it! Its a lot of uphill, so we used the baby carrier the whole time. I loved the self-guided tour of local flora, and the stunted trees were very cool to see. Also, there was hardly anyone else on the trail. Awesome hike!