Point Sal Overlook

HARD 99 reviews

Point Sal Overlook is a 9.8 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Casmalia, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, and fishing and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

9.8 miles
1,814 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash



trail running



wild flowers




washed out

19 days ago

A long, winding trail through the hills gives way to some absolutely amazing views. Certainly a hard and difficult trail due to the elevation gain and length, but I’d say it’s on the easier side of “hard” because the climb is gradual.

As others have said, getting down to the beach is a bit tricky. When you get to the overlook point with the two signs on either side that both say “Treacherous Slope,” go to the one on the right. There’s a trail that winds down to the beach from there.

Definitely worth the 3.5-4.5 hour trek!

2 months ago

Beautiful hike! Tons and tons of wildflowers and lots of green.. now is the perfect time to do this hike. It is a solid 10 miles if you make it down to the beach. The trail ends at the point overlook and then you have to kind of figure it out yourself how to get down.. there are various little trails but they're all rather steep and iffy. We found a way to get down by turning right at the trail end. It is a bit of a scramble but worth it to have a pristine beach all to yourself. The hike starts out at a gradual incline up for two miles, levels out, and then halfway in at the Vandenberg AFB gate it's all downhill so be prepared to walk right back up...it's never too steep though. Very gradual incline the whole hike. Great way to spend an afternoon. We saw lots of lizards but no snakes, thankfully.. heard sea lions in the distance but didn't see any.. saw hummingbirds and lots of cows as well!

3 months ago

Easy 5 miles down to the beach and 5 hard miles back

4 months ago

Good warm up hike for anyone wanting to get out of Santa Maria/Guadalupe area for a bit. VERY EASY hike on a well maintained fire road. The beach is nice and not many ppl on it. The walk there can take up to 4 round trip, but I've ran it there and back and it's only under 1hr 30 min.
Be careful as ppl always get their cars broken into.
There's No shade and it can get hot & windy. Hike gets boring after you do it so many times. Good walk for families or small kids and pets. No water around bring your own.

6 months ago

Hiked the trail yesterday with my brother from Connecticut. 2/1/18. Perfect weather, endless vistas spanning 90 miles of the central coast.
Soaring hawks dominated the wildlife.
4 hours 22 minutes 10 miles on the nose.
Be prepared for the steep 2 miles from the overlook back to the apex, after that gently rolling and downhill to the parking lot.
Recommend chili rellenos at the Guadalupe cafe when dinw

6 months ago

Excellent workout and great views of coastline.

7 months ago

Just got back from hiking from the Gaud dunes to Point Sal beach. We starting on the road leading to the Guadalupe Beach parking lot. We hiked up and down across the dunes until we hit Mussel Rock. There's a steep sandy drop leading down to Paradise beach. Next day we hiked up and out of Paradise along the ridge of Point Sal. Heading south on the ridge we came across a spot that seemed washed out by water leading down to Point Sal beach. There's a steep trail next to this wash out running down the mountain side. It seems intimidating upon appearance, but definitely saves a couple hours from having to walk around the whole ridge line to get down to the beach. This route is definitely a hard one. Be very cautions if backpacking. The trail will take you down to the very North tip of Point Sal beach. I do not recommend taking this route alone.To get to the parking lot of Point Sal from the beach, we found the beach access at the south side of the beach. Once on the paved road, you can choose to take a shortcut straight up to the top, or follow the winding long road. The shortcut connects to the road you're own. Another indicator of the shortcut is a water runoff drain at the top of the shortcut. Once you've hit the paved road you're back on track to the parking lot. Bring camping gear and lots of food and water. This route is not one for the weary. I hope this helps out anyone looking to explore this area. Safe travels!

9 months ago

great views, bring lots of water and some snacks. be cautious after dark, there was a lot of broken glass in the parking lot and looked like cars had been broken into before.

9 months ago

Nice hike. Kinda ugly in October with the gray brush. But the beach weather was perfect. Paved road most of the whole way. More moderate than hard I would say.

10 months ago

does anyone know how to get done to the beach?

10 months ago

Great hike.

10 months ago

11 months ago

Absolutely loved this hike! When we reached the bottom most of our group stayed on the ridge, however we found a way down to the shore, was a bit challenging getting back up but was definitely worth the challenge. We found a few sea sponges, saw a dead baby whale sadly, and found some beautiful calcite in the fresh cliff. A very rewarding hike and I will definitely do it again.

Monday, August 07, 2017

Amazing ocean and coastal mountain views. First part is all up hill then flattens out at the top. switch backs all the way down the back end down to the ocean. Note: you must climb down some pretty crazy rocks and hillside to reach the beach but it's definitely doable. Overall I'd rate the hike as "hard" the trail itself is all dirt road and asphalt however there is some pretty serious incline.

mountain biking
Saturday, August 05, 2017

great ride. Mountain Bikes aren't really supposed to be there, so be polite to the hikers.

Monday, July 17, 2017

really good leg work out. amazing green views right now

trail running
Wednesday, July 12, 2017

a MODERATE walk or jog. This trail, minus the short 50 ft of downhill at the beach, is on a paved/dirt road.

Not much to say about it. If you've ever walked on a road and went to a beach, then picture it and you've got this trail. lolz. Lotz of shattered glass at the trailhead,,,did not look recent,,, but still be cautious about leaving possessions in your car.

Beach is secluded and nice to look at on the way down that beast of a switchbacky slope. Which reminds me...it would be vonderful if the base would allow legal use of existing dirt trail b/c it would drop the length of this walk down probably a mile and a half, and it would make things more exciting.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Parking was super easy at the trailhead. It was about two hours to get to the "treacherous cliffs" sign, then you have to scale down the cliff to get to the beach (you can tell there have been some landslides). The beach is gorgeous and pretty secluded. Somebody set up some seating with the rocks, so we had lunch. The climb back up the cliff is a little rough, you have to climb through quite a bit of plant life, but it's doable. The two hour hike back to the car isn't too bad, but there are some steep hills (down and back up), you'll definitely feel it in your calves, hamstrings, and glutes. This is not a trail for people with knee and back problems. It was quite warm when we went, bring lots of water...and if you have dogs, please stop letting them poop in the middle of the trail.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Parking was easy at the trail head. Despite the heavy fog it was a very enjoyable hike. The fog gave it a peaceful, but eerie feel-like zombies were waiting just beyond the bend! Not one I would do alone. We endured for the payoff of the coastline view peeking through the fog at the end. There are some steep hills and uneven terrain so people with knee issues beware. To the guy with the stroller with the kid in it making his way back uphill--props to you!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Love this trial. Not too hard but you'll get your workout in for the most part. Beautiful views of you stick in there. (Don't go too late - when the sun goes down it is super sketchy - you can't see anything.) I do this hike all the time! Highly recommend.

Monday, January 30, 2017

well worth the hike

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Super fun, hike really doesn't start till after the gate

Thursday, December 08, 2016

The hike had the best views that I have seen. However, I was nervous about leaving my car since so many have had their cars broken into. There was glass in two different spots from the previous break ins. The trail is a wide track and is mostly paved. The incline is slow and steady, but is more intense on the way back. The views are spectacular and you def are secluded. I couldn't get down to the beach, but if you can you would have it all to yourself. Bring a jacket because the wind causes temp fluctuations.

trail running
Thursday, November 24, 2016

Breathtaking hike! One of the most beautiful around.....BEWARE OUR CAR WAS BROKEN INTO!!!!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

This trail should be rated as MODERATE. It's a wide and often paved trail. Good views of the Pt Sal State Beach Park (!). Getting down to the beach at the end is a sketchy - we opted out and ate our lunch on the little overlook.

Friday, September 02, 2016

Great trail, I would recommend it to anyone. For anyone saying this trail is difficult or a workout is mistaken. The trail is a extreamly gradual, both up and down. Wide enough for two vehicles to pass side by side and paved on the 2nd half down to the lookout point. The only difficult part is the last .01 mile where, if you want to go to the beach, requires some scrambling due to a steep decline and loose rocks. If you want to make the hike more difficult, there some unpaved switchbacks that are much steeper than the regular trail.

I recommend bringing extra water and lunch or a snack. The trail does take a few hour to accomplish at a leisurely pace.

Disclaimer: Take out what you take in.
I had to pick up 4 water bottles on the trail and some small wrappers.

Sunday, August 07, 2016

This was a great hike to clock miles in preparation for an upcoming backpacking trip. Not much to look at other than cows and grass for the beginning but the ocean views and trip down to the beach make it well worth it. I imagine in the spring it's amazing. I give it a lower rating because I don't know that I would do it again after seeing 3-4 cars in the parking broken into and a ton of windows smashed and a ton stuff stolen. Just really sad and not something I want to worry about when I'm out hiking :(

Sunday, July 31, 2016

I have been hiking out to Point Sal beach since I was 12 years old with my father. Starts off at the end of a dirt road and curves up the mountain side on an old road. It's pretty much mellow incline half the way and then mellow decline the other half. About a 5 mile trip to the beach, the trail down to the beach used to be a bit safer but the years have taken it back and it can quite hazardous if you don't get the right footing. Definitely recommend this trail if you in the area and want to spend the day out hiking. Bring water and some grub!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Has a nice view of the ocean towards the end.

Monday, July 18, 2016

The beach at the end made it worth it!

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