Manchester State Beach is between Point Arena and the town of Manchester in Mendocino County, just north of Sonoma County. The large beach encompasses 1,400 acres with ponds, bluffs, grass-covered dunes, and five miles of dramatic sandy coastline. It is the closest point to Hawaii on North America. Alder Creek borders the state beach to the north, where the San Andreas Fault runs into the Pacific Ocean. At the mouth of the creek is a freshwater lagoon inhabited by migratory waterfowl. The Garcia River flows into the sea at the southern border. This hike begins at Alder Creek and strolls south along the isolated dune-backed beach scattered with giant driftwood logs.
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