James V Fitzgerald Marine Reserve The Tide Pool Loop

Moss Beach, California

James V. Fitzgerald Marine Reserve: The Tide Pool Loop Professional Review and Guide

"This hike takes some planning. You only want to walk on the beach part of this loop at low tide (1 foot or under). Awaiting you there is the longest intertidal reef in California, an unforgettable experience. But even if you arrive at high tide, you can enjoy a walk along coastal bluffs with Pacific views, passing over a creek and through a grove of old, tall cypress trees shaped by the salty winds. A short stint past the wood-framed homes and the haunted favorite haunt, Moss Beach Distillery, takes you to a trail on open space through seaside scrub and grassland along the cliffs. Over the ridge to the east is the fishing harbor of Pillar Point and a trail through a bird watcher’s paradise. Trails Surface: Single-track, dirt trail along bluffs, roadside walking, a paved trail down to the marsh; a couple of miles on sandy and rocky beach; tide pools."

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Trail Information

Moss Beach
Nearby City
Trail Type
Skill Level
2.5 hours
Open daily from dawn to dusk
James V. Fitzgerald Marine Reserve
Local Contacts
USGS Montara Mountain; Half Moon Bay
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Jun 2018