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

"The time of the low tide determines whether you walk along coastal bluffs first, with terrific Pacific views, or along sandy shores, with the longest intertidal reef in California to explore. On the high road, you pass over a creek and up through a grove of old, tall cypress trees, shaped by the salty winds. A short stint past the coastal wood-framed homes on Beach Way and Ocean Street and the haunted favorite haunt, Moss Beach Distillery, take you to a trail through seaside scrub and grassland along the cliffs. The trail is slowly moving inland as the sandstone bluffs fall away into the sea to be reformed into sand under crashing surf. Over the ridge to the east is the fishing harbor of Pillar Point and a trail through a bird watcher’s paradise. The walk on the beach through the tide pools is unforgettable. This eTrail also includes suggested nearby attractions, camping & lodging, restaurants, and local outdoor retailers."

James V. Fitzgerald Marine Reserve: The Tide Pool Loop Reviews

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Great trail, pretty easygoing except for the steep stairs running down to the beach. We went at low tide and did some tide pooling. You'll need good shoes for this, as the rocks can be extremely slippery. During the winter, be on the lookout for seals. When we went the park rangers only blocked off the public end of the beach and forgot about those of us coming up from the other side. My husband and I had to back track a goodly distance after coming up on several large seals (elephant seals?) blocking our trail. Overall a good trail, though. Fun for kids, but don't let them out on the rocks as its dangerous for them AND the creatures living in the pools. Don't forget: look but don't touch!

James V. Fitzgerald Marine Reserve: The Tide Pool Loop Photos

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Trail Information

Moss Beach
Nearby City
Trail Type
Skill Level
2 hours
Year-round, sunrise to sunset
50 feet
Trailhead Elevation
180 feet
Top Elevation
James V. Fitzgerald Marine Reserve
Local Contacts

Activity Feed

Jun 2018