Point Sal State Beach Trail

Orcutt, California

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1 Review
5 out of 5
Point Sal State Beach has been closed to vehicular traffic since 1993, and it appears that it will not be reopened any time soon. The road to Point Sal once accommodated vehicle traffic and access to the beach. The area never swarmed with people; mostly it brought out adventurers like mountain bikers and hikers. Occasionally, access is restricted due to missile launches and other military dealings. The water is cold, the riptides and undertow in the surf can be deadly, and the primitive beach is just too far out of the way for many people who prefer convenience stores and soda machines. On one hand, it is a shame that there is no easy entrance, but on the other, the lack of access has gotten rid of the partiers, the people who litter, and other undesirables, and left the place to hikers, dogs, and mountain bikers, which makes for a pretty positive environment all around. It’s about the nearest thing there is to beachside wilderness anywhere in Southern California. The lack of vehicle traffic actually makes the entire experience rather idyllic. This pristine area is now left to those who will work to get there.

Point Sal State Beach Trail Professional Review and Guide

"Point Sal State Beach has been closed to vehicular traffic since 1993, and it appears that it will not be reopened any time soon. The road to Point Sal once accommodated vehicle traffic and access to the beach. The area never swarmed with people; mostly it brought out adventurers like mountain bikers and hikers. Occasionally, access is restricted due to missile launches and other military dealings. The water is cold, the riptides and undertow in the surf can be deadly, and the primitive beach is just too far out of the way for many people who prefer convenience stores and soda machines. On one hand, it is a shame that there is no easy entrance, but on the other, the lack of access has gotten rid of the partiers, the people who litter, and other undesirables, and left the place to hikers, dogs, and mountain bikers, which makes for a pretty positive environment all around. It’s about the nearest thing there is to beachside wilderness anywhere in Southern California. The lack of vehicle traffic actually makes the entire experience rather idyllic. This pristine area is now left to those who will work to get there."

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Orcutt
Distance: 10.3
Elevation Gain: 2,000 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Difficult
Duration: 5 hours
Accessibility: Dog-friendly
Local Contacts: Point Sal State Beach
Local Maps: USGS Point Sal

Point Sal State Beach Trail Reviews

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icon1 Total
8/27/2006
Great exercise, great views, elevation gain/loss, fantastic beach this hike has it all. I've walked this trail a couple of times. It is extremely rewarding for a moderate hike down to the beach. Bring enough water to support a strenuous hike back out though. You can encounter many forms of central coast wildlife. The beach itself is beautiful and many days unoccupied. Yours could very well be the only footprints in the sand. There is a rock formation on the southern most end of the beach that gives it the feel of a mini Wai ki ki/diamond head experience. The hike has some great photo op's. I understand from a friend in Oceano that this trail and the road coming in may have been closed by homeland security. If true, I hope it is not permanent. It was one of my favorite day hikes and I've been on some good ones.
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