Blufftop Tour

San Francisco, California

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This scenic trail along the bluffs overlooking the Pacific traces the terrestrial boundary of a marine reserve famed for its tidepooling and for sightings of sea mammals such as seals and sea lions. From the bungalows of Seal Cove to the views from Pillar Point, the route is a delight. No natural interface is as dramatic as that between the land and the sea. The boundary’s dynamics add an element of danger to its exploration, for though tides are predictable, waves are not. The blufftop trail overlooking the meeting place of earth and water in the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve bears witness to how volatile the zone is. While rich tidepools and a craggy shoreline are the reserve’s main attractions, the blufftop trail that meanders south has many merits, including expansive views in all directions, fragrant and colorful coastal scrub, and the opportunity to contemplate which of the charming bungalows in Seal Cove you’d most like to buy . . . if you had a million dollars.

Blufftop Tour Professional Review and Guide

"This scenic trail along the bluffs overlooking the Pacific traces the terrestrial boundary of a marine reserve famed for its tidepooling and for sightings of sea mammals such as seals and sea lions. From the bungalows of Seal Cove to the views from Pillar Point, the route is a delight. No natural interface is as dramatic as that between the land and the sea. The boundary’s dynamics add an element of danger to its exploration, for though tides are predictable, waves are not. The blufftop trail overlooking the meeting place of earth and water in the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve bears witness to how volatile the zone is. While rich tidepools and a craggy shoreline are the reserve’s main attractions, the blufftop trail that meanders south has many merits, including expansive views in all directions, fragrant and colorful coastal scrub, and the opportunity to contemplate which of the charming bungalows in Seal Cove you’d most like to buy . . . if you had a million dollars."

Activity Type: Hiking, Mountain Biking, Trail Running
Nearby City: San Francisco
Distance: 4.5
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: 2.5 hours
Season: Best in fall
Local Contacts: James V. Fitzgerald Marine Reserve
Local Maps: USGS: Montara Mountain
Driving Directions: Directions to Blufftop Tour

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May 2018