Salt Point State Park is not so far from some of California’s great metropolises. Once you arrive, however, you’ll feel as if you’ve been transported to a whole other world.
Above and below sea level, Salt Point offers visitors a mind-boggling array of activities. There are trails for hikers; there are trails for those on horseback, and an underwater reserve awaits divers ready to take the plunge off this extraordinary stretch of Sonoma Coast.
The landscape is dramatic and varied. Rocky promontories rise along the more than six miles of rugged shoreline while sheltered coves provide quiet retreats from the roar of the surf.
More than 20 miles of walking trails wind their way through the park’s inland areas, and mountain biking is permitted on fire roads and paved areas. The weather at Salt Point can change quickly, so it’s best to check the local forecast before heading out on a long hike.
Fortunately for fishing fans, the Lingcod, Rockfish, and Greenling stocks are all healthy. Obtain a license, and try your luck catching some from a spot on the rocks.
Gray whales may be spotted from shore, making their way down to Baja to breed and calve. Winter, Spring, and Autumn are certainly the most peaceful times to visit Salt Point. Summer is spectacular, of course, but naturally brings more people to the park. However, Visitors to Salt Point between December and April have the best chance to see whales.
Picnics at Salt Point
There are plenty of picturesque spots perfect for picnic lunches; the most popular may be Fisk Mill Cove. There is easy-access paved parking, picnic tables, barbecues, drinking water, and bathrooms on site. Beautiful Bishop Pines provide shade in the summer and a measure of shelter from the strong winds that sometimes blow through Salt Point.
Salt Point SP Campgrounds
Salt Point State Park features two campgrounds Gerstle Cove Campground and Woodside Campground Lower & Upper Loops. Gerstle has 30 campsites and is located on the ocean side of the highway. A larger Woodside campground features 79 campsites. Winter months may see guests at the park choosing to enjoy their meals around the warmth provided by a campfire. Reservations.
Equally impressive is the underwater wonder world that awaits divers. Even if you are not a certified scuba pro, you can always give free diving or snorkeling ago. Just below the surface of the waters of the Sonoma Coast are vast forests of Bull Kelp. They are home to an incredibly diverse array of life. For landlubbers, there are plenty of tide pools to explore.
Salt Point State Park Dogs
Friendly, four-legged companions are welcome in the campgrounds (on a leash), but it’s best not to let them loose on the trails or the beach. The Salt Point Park is, after all, an area dedicated to the preservation of this pristine environment and the conservation of several local species threatened by human activities.
Whether you’re a Sonoma native on a weekend getaway or a visitor from abroad, Salt Point Park deserves a few hours (or days) of your time. Salt Point State Park is 97 miles north of San Francisco along Highway 1 in Sonoma County. Travel time 2- 3 hours.