Stump for It!

Hiking at Salt Point State Park on the Sonoma Coast

Ready to go wild, then kick back and relax? It’s so easy to do on a beach-to-bluff hike in the lightly visited Salt Point State Park on the Sonoma Coast. Most people do the 1.2-mile (one-way) Salt Point Trail to Stump Beach hike by starting out from Salt Point’s main parking area, but we like starting and ending at Stump Beach, a large crescent-shaped sandy beauty that’s rarely busy, even in summer.

Turquoise water swells and dwells in the cove here, and there’s plenty of room to grab a beach seat on some driftwood or spread a blanket and lounge awhile.

From Stump, cross Miller Creek (low at the moment) for a very brief uphill section to Salt Point Trail, a bluff stunner that passes hulking sea stacks, a large swath of sand sloping to the sea, multiple outcropping vantages (mind your footing and the mood of the sea), and ocean scenery as far as the eyes can scan. Buttercup wildflowers are currently flanking the trail.

When you reach Salt Point State Park’s visitor area you’ve reached the end. Return the way you came and take in some downtime back at Stump Beach.

BONUS: Baguettes, BLTs, calzones, beverages, and sweets: Pick up picnic provisions at Stewarts Point Store in the nearby namesake hamlet.

Salt Point State Park is 20 miles north of Jenner on Hwy. 1. The Stump Beach parking area is about 1.5 miles north of the Gerstle Cove campground. No dogs.

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