Highway 1 to California Street in Moss Beach, turn right if coming from the north, left if coming from the south.
Fitzgerald Marine Reserve info: https://parks.smcgov.org/fitzgerald-marine-reserve
Map with trails: https://parks.smcgov.org/fitzgerald-marine-reserve-trails
This is a pleasant little beach. Walk to the right after exiting the stairs to find a broader patch of tidepools to explore.
To return, from the top of the stairs, instead of going straight and back to the original trail, make an immediate left and follow the trail (Bluff Trail) that hugs the cliff line. There are stunning views through tree tunnels, silhouetted views of the sunset, and a magical forest on the right side of the trail that makes me think of classical music on winter themes by Russian composers for some reason.
At the viewing spot before the trail turns downward to lead back to the footbridge and visitor center, stop and look down at the beach line to your left. I have yet to not see at least a few harbor seals snuggled up for a nap there.
Note the signs about keeping a distance from the harbor seals, and also refraining from collecting items from the beach.
This can be a starting spot for a longer hike across the bluffs to Pillar Point Harbor, with cliff views toward Mavericks surf area. More on that in a future post.
(Fitzgerald Marine Reserve Hike Notes were originally paired with the “The Power of Small Steps” Insights post.)
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