Salt Point State Park has plenty to explore.
This July trip I focused on the Pygmy Forest/Rhododendrons and the stretch of beach from Fisk Mill Cove to Horseshoe Cove. After a day in the trees I ventured down to the beach. Six miles of coast the park protects. I’d explored all but these (aprox.) two.
Parking off Hwy One I headed across the bluff top to the water’s edge. Scant trails move through the north end of the park.
This park was part of a huge Mexican Land Grant ranch that eventually split into smaller parcels. The local economy changed to lumber. Several lumber mills sprung up along the Sonoma Coast in the mid 1800’s. Tanoak, Redwoods and other hardwoods were cut, milled, and shipped out via schooners. Once the sawmills shut down (by the 1870’s) grazing livestock returned.
Found this marker (a headstone?) of Andrew Fisk, who died at age 42, and his daughter Clara Belle Fisk who died as an infant. I’ve been hunting for online info on him to no avail. Nest time I’m up there I’ll sleuth Fort Ross Park’s extensive bookstore for a book on Sonoma Coast history.
The day’s journey started down below this vantage and poked along the coastline, past the farthest point of land viewable, with a couple trips up top to avoid impassable sections of beach.
Catching low tide there were pools to scout:
Beaches yield much treasure:
Unfortunately, much trash litters them as well. I wonder how old this wheel is?
This point was impassable by beach so I found a safe scramble to the top. Of note, there’s a wee bit of climbing to be had here via bouldering and a few short, bolted routes I’ve read about. Rock’s friable. Looks scary to me.
Speaking of bolts, remnants from the lumber mills and quarrying can be spotted:
Though the water tempers hot summer temps, it’s still dry up top in July. Hardy flowers add color to the bluff tops:
I think this may be called Horseshoe Cove. Upon closer inspection, I found a group of seals hauled out on the rocks and swimming the protected water.
Just a few of many:
I watched from a distance, making sure I didn’t alarm them or change their behavior. Since then I’ve added binoculars to my hiking gear. Wish I’d had one then. Abalone shells littered the rocks. They flourish in this area and must feed many seals.
Scrambling north along the wave-worn beach’s sandstone rocks, with no coves to protect, the waves became more animated and dramatic. I made it around that point and had to exit back to the top.
Wove my way through the grassy bluff top back to the car. Surprisingly, no ticks found me through here.
I like it up here. The grass sways in the wind, rhythmical, sometimes I just sit and meld in a spell.
Winter’s in full swing and now’s the quiet time to visit this park. Weather’s more harsh, windy, rainy but that’s just a part of learning the land. I’ve a four-day off stretch coming up. Just might return and venture farther north.