Salt Point State Park


What? : Premier destination at the Sonoma County coast, camping and hiking at the woods, grassland, miles of rugged coast line, ragged rocks and tide pools and prim diving location.


Where? : Located 19 miles north of Jenner on both sides of hwy 1.

Google Map Link

Due note 1: Good place to fill up gas and re-supply is at the small Fort Ross Store, located just 2 miles north of Fort Ross on hwy 1.


Due note 2: There are two campgrounds in the park, Woodside Campground is the upper one located east of hwy 1 in the woods. Gerstle Campground is the second one, smaller and located on the west side of the road.

Due note 3: At northern California coastline even summertime can be cool as fog hugs the coastline and ocean winds chill the air.


My thoughts: We camp in this park for few nights few years back and enjoy it very much, every time we are going up on hwy 1 we stop here even for a short visit. Many things to do and see, highly recommended visit.

Additional Nearby attractions:

Russian Gulch State Park

- Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens

- Skunk Train roundtrip from Fort Bragg to inland Northspur

- MacKerricher State Park

Point Cabrillo Light Station State Historic Park.

- Little River State Park

- Van Damme Beach State Park

Point Arena Lighthouse

The visit:


Salt Point is a favorite spot for hikers, rock climbers, campers and divers.

Its 6,000 acres of rugged beauty, range of terrain and different biotic zones, from open grassland, rugged rocks on the beach, pine woods and marine preserve.


The park includes one of California’s first underwater parks in the main bay. Marine life abounds in the waters off Salt Point when driving there you can see the bull kelp forest as well as giant oysters. After storms, bull kelp can be found piled in large, greenish-yellow mounds all over the beach.


Hiking the coastline trail and you will see the unique natural sandstone formations, particularly the Tafoni (Tafoni is the Italian word for cavern, holes in the rock created by the sea water), found along the bluff trails.

On the north coast, the rocky tide pools are full of life. Sea stars, mussels, sea urchins and green sea anemone.


Interesting fact: Sandstone from Salt Point was used in the construction of San Francisco's streets and buildings during the mid-1800's.

Parking and Hiking:

You can enter through the main entrance to the park (turn right) and drive down to the parking lots near the bay.

You can also park further north on one roadside in the Salt Point Parking Area, from there you can find the trail that will take you to Stump Beach bay. From the beach there is a path that climbs the cliff and continues to go south along the coast, this section has very nice and interesting Tafoni rock formations.

If you are camping at the Woodside campground there is a 1-mile hike through the woods that will connect you to the ocean front, just south of Gerstel Cove.

When we visit here last time Reserve Entrance on the north side of the park was close.

If you are coming for short visit at the park, I recommend staying only on the coastline Salt point trail, this can be 2-3 miles hike.

A long 6-mile loop that cover most of what the park has to offer is shown as blue line in the map. You can extend this hike with the trail that is going north, Grace Rock Trail.