hiking

no dogs

nature trips

walking

views

kid friendly

birding

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.

couldn't cross the first creek

*Wear long pants*

I did not spot any poison oak, but the last segment (I believe it’s called Powerline Trail) is poorly marked, and definitely overgrown. You will be fighting ferns, long grasses, and various types of sharp brush for 30 minutes give or take. I prefer to wear shorts generally and even asked a ranger at the station about it beforehand. She said she didn’t get “up there” much - so didn’t know the state of some of the trails. But nonetheless she said shorts would be fine :-| Nope!

Otherwise, it was great. Pygmy Forest seemed like our West Coast version of Narnia. The prairie was something. Most of this trail is downhill after the 2 mile mark. The sounds of the nearby ocean and wind hitting the treetops was superb.

Given the other mediocre reviews, I’d suggest Alltrails to find a different loop in Salt Point. There’s plenty of better material to choose from. At the end, choosing between walking back via the PCH, through campsites or roughing the Powerline trail in its current state was not pleasant.

mountain biking
27 days ago

10 mile loop starting at Woodside and going up the fire road. left at water tanks to North trail then merge back to central trail before hitting the prairie trail down the mountain. mostly unimproved fire roads. downed trees. fun downhills. the final leg near the coast is super scenic.
overall average... major long uphills early on diminish the initial fun but the way down is great.

hiking
1 month ago

Absolutely beautiful, great views, easy hike , lots of wild flowers, saw at least 10 sea lions, lots of birds

A very underrated or somewhat lesser known park with a handful of trails including Salt Point Trail. If you arrive at low tide you'll get access to tide pools and see lots of amazing creatures. One highlight are colonies of Purple Sea Urchins and Bat Stars. Yes, Bat Stars are a thing, apparently. They are mollusks similar to starfish, but with much shorter arms. Who knew?

As expected, since the park isn't that visited, mainly due to the secluded location on HWY-1 North, as opposed to the heavier traveled southern stretch below the Bay Area, you have a solid chance of seeing seals lazing on the rocks at a close distance.

The rocks! The rocks are fairly unique looking. Go check out dem rocks on dis trail.

Used to Ab dive and do parts of this carrying gear...

So many cool rocks! Was a stunning walk/hike! Definitely plan to go back here!

hiking
9 months ago

This trail DOES NOT have any ocean view or access. There is a trail across the street however. As for this trail...it is just ok. A pretty walk in the woods. Nothing outrageously beautiful, but not totally boring. A fair amount of bugs, so bring spray. Very easy hike with a few hills.

hiking
9 months ago

So. Many. Bugs. The good thing was the trail is well maintained. Make sure you have $8 for parking and note this trail has no views of the ocean... there is an adjoining trail that takes you to the ocean across the street.

Fantastic ocean view. You can see seals and great white waves!
Must check out!

hiking
Friday, September 02, 2016

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.

hiking
Sunday, June 26, 2016

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.

hiking
Thursday, October 15, 2015

Very nice trail, easy hike with wonderful forest smells leading to golden meadow. Never found trail marker for Huckleberry trail so had to back track. I highly recommend going across the highway for the beach walks. Spectacular!!

cross country skiing
Monday, September 28, 2015

Nice trail except the plantation part was confusing and we had to backtrack quite a ways.

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

We did the trail up on the hill overlooking the beach and ocean. Very pleasant walk with peaceful and beautiful surroundings. Interesting rocks and tidal pools to see. Saw lots of seals, sea urchins, Dr. Suess looking plants. Highly recommended!

hiking
Sunday, July 07, 2013

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!

hiking
Thursday, March 08, 2012

one of my favorites. we hiked along the beach and it was gorgeous. not too many people and it seemed untouched. watch out for ticks!

hiking
1 month ago

trail running
4 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

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