Gulch Coastal Access
Sonoma County Park,
1 mile out and back hike downhill through coastal scrub to beach.
Distance, category, and difficulty:
This 1 mile out and back hike is easy, with about 200 feet in elevation change.
Almost completely exposed.
Dirt trail and beach.
Under 1 hour.
Nice year round.
From the junction of Bodega Highway and CA 1 (south of Bodega Bay) in Sonoma County, drive north on CA 1 about 3.5 miles, then turn west (left) onto South Harbor Way. At the crest of the hill, turn left on Heron Drive. Drive about 0.9 mile through a residential neighborhood, turn left onto Mockingbird, and continue a short distance to a small parking lot on the left.
Get driving or public transit directions from Transit and Trails:
GPS coordinates* for trailhead:
(* based on Google Earth data, shown as degrees, minutes, seconds)
Gas, food, and lodging:
Gas, stores, restaurants, pay phones, and motels north in Bodega Bay. No camping.
$7 fee (self register). Small paved parking lot, with drinking water and toilets. No maps at the trailhead, but you don't really need one.
Dogs are permitted, on leash only. No bikes or horses.
The Official Story:
Sonoma County's Pinnacle Gulch page
Sonoma County's Regional Park office 707-565-2041
Map choices and more information:
60 Hikes within 60 Miles: San Francisco, second edition, by Jane Huber (yup, that's me, the creator of this website) has a simple map and description of this hike (order this book from Amazon.com).
Map from Sonoma County Parks
The Hiker's hip Pocket Guide to Sonoma County, by Bob Lorentzen (order this book from Amazon.com) has a simple map and description of this hike.
Pinnacle Gulch in a nutshell -- a printable, text-only guide to this hike.
Go to Bay Area Hiker Home page
County has plenty of protected coastline
open to the public, in particular the stretch of CA 1 from Bodega Bay
to Jenner, where myriad pullouts right off the road offer immediate access
to the rugged, dramatic coastline. Pinnacle Gulch is a coastal approach
with a twist, requiring a 1/2 mile downhill hike to the beach. Since the
trail is mostly known only to locals, the beach is often a quiet place,
particularly in autumn and winter.