We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Seal Rock State Wayside

Crashing waves pound basalt cliffs, while harbor seals and sea lions hide out in a sheltered cove.
id_2584258
Difficulty: Easy
Length: 1.2 miles
Duration: Less than 1 hour
Family Friendly

Overview:  The short hike around Seal Rock State Wayside rewards you with wildlife, crashing waves, and a chance to pick around the tidepools.... more »

Tips:  Watch out for the tides, you can't reach the tidepools except at low tide.

Keep your dogs on a leash at this park, the area is a... more »

Take this guide with you!

Save to mobile
Get this guide & thousands of others on your mobile phone
EveryTrail guides are created by travelers like you.
  1. 1. Download the EveryTrail app from the App Store
  2. 2. Search for the Seal Rock State Wayside guide
  3. 3. Enjoy your self-guided tour
Get the app

Points of Interest

1. History Sign

Some area history...

2. Lots of Warnings

The coastal state parks have lots of regulations. Check out the signs first, but most of the things listed are common sense.

3. Local Wildlife Sign

There are many species of wildlife that inhabit the area. You can learn a little about them from the interpretive signs.

4. Sheltered Coves

Behind the large basalt dike offshore, these sheltered pools offer refuge for harbor seals and seabirds from the ocean waves. At times, the waves crash up over the rocks in tremendous sprays of whitewater and foam.

Watch for bald eagles on the shore, they scavenge for fish that wash up here.

5. Tide Pools Sign

In addition to the seabirds and pinnipeds, there are plenty of other tidepool inhabitants at Seal Rock.

6. Basalt Towers

These basalt towers, part of an eroding volcanic dike, protect the pools behind from direct wave attack.

7. Seal Rock Bird Area

The actual "Seal Rock" is the large grassy hill next to the basalt towers. It provides nesting sites for seabirds and is therefore closed to hiking.

8. Beach

The beach extends south from here, ending in small tide pools at the large rocks. It's a nice hike down to the pools, but make sure to watch the tide.

9. Driftwood Hazards Sign

The massive driftwood logs are deposited by the biggest winter storms. They're stacked like pickup sticks and can be balanced precariously. Be sure to watch out for shifting logs as you make your way down to the beach.

10. Tidepools

Watch out for the tide as you make your way down to the pools, but the sea stars and shellfish gripping the rocks are worth checking out.

11. Split Path

This trail forks to lead to several sheltered picnic tables in the sea pines. You can escape the wind in here, though it gets a little dark...

12. Picnic Area

These picnic tables provide a place to sit out of the winds.