|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 6,000 acres of 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. 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. We recommend layered clothing for your visit.
Sandstone and Tafoni
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. For more information on the geology of Salt Point click on link to
When utilizing the facilities at Salt Point State Park we ask that you remain
on developed trails at all time in order to preserve the park's unspoiled qualities
and to avoid contact with ticks and poison oak. Mountain bikes must stay on paved
or fire roads, however, fire roads are closed to bicycles from October 31 to April
30. Bikes are not allowed on single-track trails as they cause a great deal of
damage to the trail surfaces. Dogs must be kept on leash at all times and are
not permitted on the trails or on the beaches. They must be kept in a tent or
vehicle at night. For additional State Park regulations please click on link to
Fisk Mill Cove is a day use area that provides picnickers with paved parking,
picnic tables, small upright barbeques, restrooms, and drinking water. Additionally,
the bishop pines in this area provide protection from the spring and summer winds.
You can take a short walk from the north lot for a dramatic view of the Pacific
Ocean from Sentinel Rock's wooden deck.
Stump Beach is another picnic area that offers one of the few sandy beaches
north of Jenner. There are a few picnic tables near the parking lot and a primitive
toilet with no running water. A 1/4 mile trail leads down to the beach.
South Gerstle Cove also has picnic tables, a primitive toilet, and a beautiful,
exposed view of the ocean.
Hiking and Horseback Riding:
There are over 20 miles of hiking and equestrian trails to explore in Salt Point
State Park. Trail maps are available at the entrance station.
The park includes one of the first underwater parks in California, Gerstle Cove
Marine Reserve, where marine life is completely protected. The cove affords shelter
for the hand launching of small boats and divers come to the cove to explore the
wonders of the undersea world.
Marine life can be experienced on land during low tide in the rocky intertidal
zone through tide pool exploration. When exploring these areas remember that many
of these organisms can be damaged or destroyed by even the simple act of turning
over a rock and exposing the animals to the sun.
Fishing is permitted throughout the area with a valid fishing license, with the
exception of Gerstle Cove Marine Reserve. The rocky coastline at Salt Point provides
many excellent ocean fishing opportunities. Using bait of squid, shrimp, mussels,
or smelt you can catch lingcod, cabezon, rockfish, and greenlings while fishing
from the rocks. Be careful to stay back from the waves reach, since the rocks
can be slippery and the ocean is rough.
All campsites, with the exception of our overflow camping, are equipped with a
fire-ring, picnic table, and food locker. The campgrounds have drinking water
and restrooms but no showers. A dump station is not available.
$25/night per campsite
$2/night for each dog
The family sites and group campground are on our reservation system from March
15 to October 31 by calling 1-800-444-PARK (7275). November 1- March 14 they are
available on a first-come, first-served basis. The walk-in sites, hiker/biker
sites, and overflow camping are on a first-come, first-served basis year round-
no reservations are available for these sites. Campgrounds consistently fill on
weekends from April 1 to the end of September. Reservations are strongly recommended.
For campground maps please see link to the left, but keep in mind that specific
sites cannot be reserved.
Two main campgrounds are available at Salt Point State Park. Gerstle Cove campground
is situated atop the coastal bluffs on the ocean side of Highway One and offers
30 family campsites. Woodside Campground, with 79 sites, is located on the east
side of Highway One.
The walk-in campground is located in the Woodside Campground and offers 20 sites
which are located 1/3 to 1/2 mile from the parking area. Dogs are prohibited in
Ten sites are available for campers on foot or bicycles. These sites are located
behind the ranger office near Woodside Campground.
This camp is located on the ocean side of Highway One and accommodates a maximum
of 40 people and ten cars. Dogs are prohibited.
A day use parking lot located below Gerstle Campground is available for self-contained
vehicles only. No tent camping or open fires are allowed. No restroom facilities
or drinking water are available.
||En Route Campsites
|| Environmental Campsites
|| Exhibits & Programs
|| Family Campsites
|| Hike or Bike Campsites
|| Hiking Trails
|| Horseback Trails
|| Campers (Max. Length) 31'
|| Picnic Areas
|| Trailers (Max. Length) 27'
|| Visitor Center
||Reservations Recommended Reservations Recommended