Sonoma Section 7

Blind Beach Trailhead to Salmon Creek, Sonoma Coast State Beach

Sonoma Section 7

Blind Beach Trailhead to Salmon Creek, Sonoma Coast State Beach

Here the CCT offers a great combination of views, wildflowers, rocky tidal areas, and short sandy beaches. From the Blind Beach Trailhead 200 feet above the beach, you can see north to Jenner, the Russian River mouth, and Salt Point.

From the parking area, walk south 300 feet to the Kortum Trail. Follow it down through a broad swale then up to a notch between two hills at ¼ mile. The view opens out to the marine terraces with Bodega Head ten miles south and Point Reyes beyond. For even better views, take the short spur west to Peaked Hill.

The trail descends east and south to the tabletop flat marine terrace. At 5/8 mile you pass a huge rock outcrop used regularly for rock climbing. This rock was a sea stack jutting from the ocean, just like the ones offshore now, before being drylanded by the rising wave-cut terrace. The trail follows the bluff’s edge past more sea stacks both on and offshore. At one mile it cuts inland to wind through a gully. Continue across the level terrace, jogging east to cross a bridge over a creek at 1 ½ miles. Return to bluff’s edge and follow it to Shell Beach at 1 7/8 miles. A short side trail on the right dead-ends at rocky Shell Beach.

Cross the parking area to find the trail south. It crosses a bridge over a creek to traverse headlands with thick coastal scrub. During spring and summer wildflowers bloom profusely here. After following the bluff’s edge, the trail turns east and crosses a bridge over another gully. Traverse the headlands until 2 3/8 miles where the trail drops into Furlong Gulch to cross its creek. A dark sand beach lies at its mouth. CCT climbs out of the gulch to follow the bluff edge. The trail soon turns inland to a paved road end at 2 7/8 miles, one of several roads built for a subdivision halted by coastal advocates, who saved this beautiful are for public use.

Distance: 7 ½ miles (12.1 kilometers)

Open to: Hikers, bicyclists

Surface: Trail, beach, tidal rocks, highway shoulder

Access point: Blind Beach Trailhead

How to get there: From the junction of Highway 116 (River Road) and Highway 1, go south one mile to Goat Rock Road. Follow it west .5 mile to the trailhead.

Other access: Shell beach, many parking spots along Highway 1.

Difficulty: Easy

Elevation gain/loss: 280 feet +/480 feet-

Cautions: Watch for dangerous surf and highway traffic.

Further information:

Facilities: Chemical toilet at access point, Shell Beach and Salmon Creek. Restrooms, picnic area and water at Wrights Beach.

Campgrounds: Willow Creek and Pomo walk-in Campgrounds are just east. Wrights Beach Campground is on route.

Lodging: Bodega Bay has lodges, motels and B&Bs. Click the button below to visit Sonoma County's Tourism website to find more information on places to stay. More Info