Cape Sebastian ... the very name invokes images of early Spanish explorers and long journeys. The cape was named in honor of Saint Sebastian in 1603 by the Spanish navigator Sebastian Vizcaino. The most striking features of this park are its two parking vistas. The parking lots are over 200 feet above sea level. At the south parking vista, you can see up to 43 miles to the north with Humbug Mountain filling the view. Looking south, you can see nearly 50 miles toward Crescent City, California and Point Saint George Lighthouse. A deep forest of Sitka spruce covers most of the park and a 1.5 mile walking trail takes you out to the cape. If you're lucky, the trail will give you a chance to enjoy awe-inspiring views of the gray whales on their migration.
Starting from the bottom of the trail is nice, in that is seems to me to be better finishing a hike with a down hill stretch. However, you need to park at the scenic turnout off 101 just to the south of the park, and before it turns up the mountain. It's probably just shy of a mile from there to the ropes that start the trail. At a low tide the beach is wide, at high tide there is some scrambling over a patch of rocks and landslide material always sliding out to the ocean. This, being the start of that season, means there are some small trees down across the trail, none big, and all easy to crawl over. The rope to get on the trail at the bottom is intact, even with the lower post loose. You do need the rope, it's slippery.
Nice hike. I took the left trail that heads South. Great Views, then some forest, the it opens back up for some more great ocean views. Alot of elevation drop from the top of the cape down to the bottom of the trail so if you are a beginner I would recommend starting at the beach so you can get the up hill part of done at the start of your hike. I found this hike to be easy, but some of my less experienced hiking mates found it a bit more challenging.
From the trailhead there are two choices for this hike. Go "left" towards the south. Great views, fragrant forest, and then it finally ends up above a beautiful set of rocks where you can comfortably watch the waves crash and view further south down the coastline.
I went with my nieces and there friend, thinking this was going to be a leasure moderate hike. But it turned out to be quite treacherous and almost dangerous. We are a family who hikes regularly and were just surprised that it was not what we expected.