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.
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.
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.
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