Salt Point and Sonoma Coast State Parks

[Note: A more recent trip to the Sonoma Coast with more photography here]

Salt Point State Park is located about 2 hours north of the Golden Gate Bridge on the sparsely populated Sonoma Coast. The park features a rugged coastline and woodlands with an interesting mixture of redwoods, bishop pine, Douglas fir, oaks, and hardwoods . In addition, there is an expansive prairie and a pygmy forest. On the way to Salt Point is the 17-mile-long Sonoma Coast State Park which features a craggy coastline, secluded coves, sandy beaches, and natural arches. I stopped numerous times to photograph the amazing scenery on both the drive in and the drive back, especially the area around Shell Beach, Goat Rock, and the outlet of the Russian River near the town of Jenner.

Craggy Sonoma Coast

At Salt Point, I started at Stump Beach Cove and toured the Salt Point Headlands, Gerstle Cove, and South Gerstle Point. I then went up into the forested hills, stopping at a lovely small waterfall with redwoods. The stands of Bishop Pines in this area reminded me of the Lost Pines region in Eastern Texas I visited in November. I continued on up to the Pygmy forest with mature Bishop Pines and Pygmy Cypress reaching only 6-8 feet tall. At the top of the hill is a pleasant natural prairie area. I returned to Stump Beach Cove via the Stump Beach Trail, which is a nice single track descent. I also did a 2 mile loop through Kruse Rhodedendron Preserve, which is a lush environment of second growth redwoods with an understory of rhododendrons. I will have to return in the spring to see the Rhododendrons in bloom.

Arched Rock
Delicate Waterfall
Salt Point Headlands

Many more photos after the jump!

Stump Beach Cove
Arched Rock
Powerful water
Small Waterfall
Shell Beach
Bishop Pine Forest
Sonoma Coast State Beach
Goat Rock Beach
Redwoods and stream
Bishop pine on the bluff
Steep Hills plunging into the ocean
Kruse Rhododendron Preserve


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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Would you consider allowing the use of the Salt0024 image of the Sonoma Coast on an interpretive panel (sign) about Marine Protected Areas we are creating as part of the education and outreach program for Monterey Bay Sanctuary Foundation?

  2. Carlos and Kelly says:

    Thank you for the information. it was very helpful in determining where to take our young family for a day trip to the beach.

    Kindly,
    C + K
    Austin, TX

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