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A Walk Up Half Moon Bay's Beach

An easy beach walk with shells, seabirds, and surf

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Difficulty: Easy
Length: 4.1 miles
Duration: 1-3 hours
Family Friendly

Overview:  Half Moon Bay State Beach is a gentle two-mile curve of fine, white sand backed for much of its length by coastal grasslands and in... more »

Tips:  Busy during peak season, weekends and holidays.

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Points of Interest

1. Parking and Picnic Ground

From HWY 1 take Kelly Avenue to the park entrance. The entrance is at the end of Kelly.

This parking lot also services the Visitor Center, park maintenance area, and a large picnic area. From this entrance, the primary coastal camping facilities are accessed too.

There are two trail heads down to the beach - take either one. The picnic ground... More

2. Trail Head

Trail head and beach access down the bluff.

The trail heads are marked by a large informational sign with beach information and warnings.

The bluffs in this area are low. One of the trail heads has steps (the southern one), the other is a broad sandy path.

3. Seasonal Creek

Pilarcitos Creek. A seasonal drainage creek crossing on the beach.

There are numerous gullies in the bluffs along the coastline providing drainage across the beach and out to sea. These gullies are home to some of the significant animal and vegetation habitat islands within this park.

Surprisingly, there are subdivisions up on the bluffs in... More

4. Seasonal Creek

Creek crossing and additional beach access from the bluff. The creek is Frenchman's Creek.

This stretch is called Venice State Beach. On the bluffs is Frenchman's Creek Community Park and both parking and access to the Half Moon Bay Coastal Trail.

5. Creek Outflow

An unnamed Creek outflow.

6. Creek Outflow

Naples Creek outflow and Naples Beach. Approaching the bluffs developed with subdivisions and homesites.

The trails up the bluff access a parking area for a portion of the Half Moon Bay Coastal Trail.

7. Rip Rap-Boulders

At rip rap and homes on the beach. Immediately north of the rip rap is Arroyo de en Medio. A significant Half Moon Bay creek with a coastal trail bridge crossing.

The beach at this point is called Miramar Beach.

The tide’s in with waves washing against the rocks so this will be the extent of this walk. With the tide out, the beach extends to... More

8. Beach Access

Beach access up the bluffs to a parking area servicing the Half Moon Bay Coastal trail and beach on Young Avenue.

There appears to be restrooms available.

9. Creek Crossing

Frenchman's Creek.

A well developed creek, 3feet deep after a storm right in front of concrete stairs leading up the bluffs to a well developed beach access point.

10. Frenchman's Creek

It requires crossing a creek that flows near the base of the steps.

Today, the water is flowing somewhat and not quite knee deep. The mud is very sticky but will scrape off on the concrete steps up the bluffs.

On top there is a parking area and restrooms. The road in is Venice Blvd. Also, very nearby is a trail head and path along the bluff ... More

11. Bluff Top

Inland is a dune marsh and coastal grass/shrub area.

12. Back to the Beach

Cut back down to the beach via a trail. The gully ahead has no obvious crossing.

At this location on the bluff is a parking area and beach access point accessible from Venice Blvd.

13. Return

Back to top of bluff at the State park Picnic area.