Bodega Head Trail

Sonoma Coast State Park, California

Elevation Gain551ft
Trailhead Elevation69ft
Elevation Min/Max64/177ft
Elevation Start/End69/69ft

Bodega Head Trail

Bodega Head Trail is a hiking trail in Sonoma County, California. It is within Sonoma Coast State Park. It is 1.7 miles long and begins at 69 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 3.4 miles with a total elevation gain of 551 feet. The Fishing Culture information board is near the trailhead. There is also a beach. The Sacred Tree and the Nuclear Power at Bodega Head information board can be seen along the trail. There are also coastlines and a viewpoint along the trail.

Bodega Head Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Coastal Trails of Northern California (Falcon Guides)
Linda and David Mullally
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"The headlands braced by the Bodega Bay and harbor on one side and the Paci?c on the other make the short, dramatic Bodega Head Trail one of the most memorable coastal hikes in California. Native Americans were the first to build seasonal encampments on this coast, and they did so for over 3,000 years. But life began to change with the arrival of Russian settlers and fur trappers in the early 1800s, followed by Spanish missionaries and European pioneers lured by gold and the redwood forests’ lumber fortunes. For many it was the 1963 Hitchcock thriller The Birds that put Bodega Bay on the destination radar. The movie was filmed in Bodega Bay and the small community of Bodega 5 miles south." Read more
Hiking California's Wine Country (Falcon Guides)
Bubba Suess
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"The short hike around Bodega Head is a classic trip on one of the most interesting and historic sections of the Sonoma Coast. In addition to beautiful views and a lovely beach surrounded by craggy rock formations, the trail offers a unique look into the massive geologic forces at work along the coast. Bodega Head is one of the most dramatic features on the Sonoma County coast. Most of the coastline consists of rolling hills leveling off to a narrow bench, followed by cliffs plunging into the surf. In contrast, Bodega Head is a prominent peninsula protruding 2 miles out from the coastline." Read more
Day Hikes Around Sonoma County (Day Hike Books)
Robert Stone
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"Bodega Head is a massive granite promon tory that juts into the ocean north of Point Reyes. The promontory forms the west side of Bodega Harbor. The 800-acre harbor is almost entirely enclosed from Bodega Bay by a narrow two-mile-long sand spit known as Doran Spit. This hike explores the exposed, southern tip of Bodega Head, circling the grassy headland 200 feet above Bodega Harbor and Doran Spit. The trail loops around to the open sea, overlooking the rocky shores, hidden caves and coves, undisturbed beaches, sea stacks, natural arches, bird-nesting cliffs, coastal bluffs, a series of eroded spires, and the open ocean. The nearly treeless landscape is covered with scrub vegetation and coastal grass. Gray whale pods often migrate past the headland with their new calves from December through April, following a northerly route from Baja California to Alaska. The high cliffs offer an excellent vantage point for observation. Docents offer information about the whale migration every weekend from January through April." Read more
Best Easy Day Hikes: San Francisco's North Bay (Falcon Guides)
Tracy Salcedo-Chourré
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"On a clear day, a tour around Bodega Head presents views of whale migration routes in the Pacific, the mouth of Tomales Bay with Point Reyes beyond, the golden arc of Doran Beach, and Bodega Harbor." Read more
Hiking & Adventure Guide: Sonoma Coast & Russian River (Wilderness Press)
Stephen W. Hinch
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"This little-used trail lets you explore some of the more remote areas of Bodega Dunes. Although you never climb more than 100 feet, your entire route is on soft sand, making it a fairly strenuous hike. Westside Trail itself is simply an access route to the dunes. It connects to Upper Miwok Trail after a half mile. This hike follows Westside Trail to its end and continues on Miwok Trail over the southern portion of the Miwok Loop Trail described in Trail 3. It then makes a loop and returns back along Westside Trail. However, if you are feeling particularly energetic you can extend your hike farther along Lower Miwok Trail to as far as the Day Use Area, with several other opportunities for an earlier return." Read more
Hiking & Adventure Guide: Sonoma Coast & Russian River (Wilderness Press)
Stephen W. Hinch
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"This relatively level loop circles the southern tip of Bodega Head. It hugs the cliff edges for most of its distance, so keep young children in control. From December through April, you may be lucky enough to glimpse the spouts of California gray whales as they migrate along the coast. At several points along the way, you’ll see sheltered beaches 150 feet below you, but the faint volunteer trails down to them aren’t maintained by the State and descent is dangerous. Stay on the loop trail—if you really want to frolic in the sand, head for one of the northern beaches." Read more
Sea Kayaking in Central & Northern California (Falcon Guides)
Roger Schumann
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"Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds was filmed in nearby Bodega, and birds still flock to Bodega Bay to feed on the rich mudflats in the harbor. A boat channel bisects the harbor’s tide flats; small marinas, restaurants, and homes line the north shore; and parks, dunes, and grassy headlands complete the harbor’s circumference. Beginners and intermediates can enjoy a 4-mile flat-water loop inside the harbor, practice reentries and other skills, or play in the surf on a well-protected stretch of sandy ocean beach. Experienced paddlers can access miles of rugged open coast—especially interesting is the 13-mile stretch south from Goat Rock to Bodega Head." Read more
Hiking the Redwood Coast (Falcon Guides)
Dan Brett
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"Spectacular views of the ocean, pocket beaches, and rugged cliffs await hikers on this quick loop around Bodega Head. Wildlife lovers with binoculars can observe rare birds, blue and gray whales, and sea lions from the rocky promontory, which juts out into the Pacific." Read more

Bodega Head Trail Reviews

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Spectacular views for almost the entire trail.

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Trail Information

Sonoma Coast State Park
Nearby City
Sonoma Coast State Park
Dog-friendly, Kid-friendly
Sonoma Coast State Park, Salmon Creek, Jenner, CA 95450; (707) 8753483;
Local Contacts
U.S.G.S. Bodega Head • Sonoma Coast State Beach map
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Dec 2018