Trails in Northern California

Trails in Northern California

Leave No Trace!

Visit for more information about Desolation Wilderness. Visit or call 1- 877-444-6777 to make park reservations. Visit Campfire Permits to get a permit online. More about Leave No Trace principles.

August 15, 2015

Pillar Point, CA ~ Intertidal Pools of Sea Life

 Pillar Point beach has extensive tide pools where visitors view crabs, sea anemones, sea urchins, star fish, octopus, in their natural environment! 

Sea anemone in Pillar Point, CA tide pool.

Pillar Point Leather Sea Star
Help with starfish wasting and recovery research at Pillar Point and other sites. The problem is devastating, destroying the starfish limbs leading to their death along the west coast of North America.  There is concern that it may be crossing into other species as well.  Even if you do not join the research, see the images and learn more starfish wasting through iNaturalist and University of Santa Cruz websites.

Pillar Point Rose, about the size of a half dollar.  Their bright pink color is easily visible as you stroll around the tide pools.
Pillar Point crab hiding in a crevice.
Location:  Pillar Point is northeast of Half Moon Bay, and south of San Fransisco, CA.  Driving directions link.
Advisories: Check tide times here before you go.  Low tide makes the colorful pools accessible to visitors.  (For other locations check here.)
Do not pick up or touch the sea life, just take photos and leave everything where it is.
Shoes with good tread for walking across the jagged rocks are best. Watch out for waves; I know you know, but people have been swept away. You will want a hooded sweatshirt, a camera, snacks, water and plenty of time. It is great to have a change of clothes at the car. There are some porta-potties near the parking area. Many people want sunglasses and a hat or beanie.

More coastal options:
Your choice
Stay safe!
.5-2 accessible and longer for hikers
Your choice
Easy, great for taking kids!
3+ mile loop with options and benches

Happy Beachcombing!
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Added links 06-2016