La Purisima Mission Loop Professional Guide
Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook
"Pooches can’t miss out on hiking in a state park that actually allows them off the blacktop and on the trails. Walk in the footsteps of the Chumash, this land’s first inhabitants, and the Spanish conquerors who Christianized them. The hike takes you along the southern tip of the Pismo sand dunes covered in mixed chaparral, weaving along the Burton Mesa with views of the surrounding hills, before dropping into an oak woodland and then looping past the mission’s historic compound.
Mission Purisima State Historic Park sits on almost 2,000 acres of mixed chaparral-covered sand dunes with mesas (plateaus) surrounding oak woodlands and riparian canyons. The hike begins at the north end of the parking lot across from the visitor center at the interpretive panel next to the water fountain. From there, as you face the visitor center you will spot the trailhead for Vista de la Cruz Trail just to the left of the building. Since much of the land here sits on sand dunes covered by chaparral vegetation, many of the trails are on soft sand surface like this 0.3-mile stretch of trail to the top of the mesa viewpoint marked by a cross. Be prepared for a slower pace on the soft sand trails. The main trails and dirt roads are fairly well marked, but there are several spur trails and forks that are labeled on the park map but not necessarily at the junctions once on the trail."