San Gregorio was established to protect an estuary at the back of a wide, driftwood-strewn sandy beach. During dry seasons the... more » estuary is landlocked but during the winter season the creek often cuts through the beach and flows directly into the ocean. The site has also been identified as a potential nesting habitat for the Western Snowy Plover.
The estuary historically was a Coho Salmon spawning site which the Department of Fish and Game has considered restocking to improve the salmon fisheries on this portion of the coast. The estuary is also home to a number of bird species and small animals. There is also the remains of California Historical Landmark 26 which commemorates the 1769 passage of Spanish Explorer Captain Gaspar de Portolá through this area.
There has been minimal trail development within this park. East of HWY 1 the lands include a portion to the watershed draining into the estuary, however no accessible trails have been established. We did try crossing under the HWY Bridge but found no trails through the thickets. The best way to visit the estuary would probably be by canoe or kayak. A quick look at Google Earth suggests one might travel about ¾ of a mile upstream.
The beach is part of the Monterey Bay National Sea Sanctuary.
The beach is located 10.5 miles south of Half Moon Bay on Highway 1 near the town of San Gregorio which at the turn of the century was a popular vacation town. less «