Atkinson Bluff Trail
6.2 miles     100 ft
2 Jul 2011
Summary

A gorgeous hike along bluffs near Pacific Ocean and along long sandy beaches.

Location: Año Nuevo State Reserve

Elevation Profile
Trailhead

Location: along CA-1, one mile south of main parking lot for Gazos Creek Beach . No street address. Parking area is visible in Google Maps if you zoom in sufficiently.

Directions: From CA-84 West, turn left onto CA-1 (Cabrillo Highway) and drive for 13.3 miles. There is a pullout for Franklin Point Trail along CA-1.

Google Maps:

Parking Fees: None (last visited: Jan 2012)

Capacity: More than 5 cars may be parked here.

Latitude: 37.155964     Longitude: -122.354372

Trip Planning

Trail Maps

» Official Trail Map: Good map showing various trails. Mileage information is missing.

» Official Map for Ano Nuevo: Good map showing some of the trails in Gazos Creek Beach.

Route

To Table Rock:

  1. 0.6 miles to Franklin Point — Walk along the sandy Franklin Point Trail to reach Franklin Point, which is a promontory with well-maintained trails, mostly on sand. A large L-shaped bench lies at the very end where you may sit down and relax.
  2. 1.3 miles along Atkinson Bluff Trail to Whitehouse Creek — From Franklin Point, walk along a well-marked sandy trail southwards. There are no trail signs marking this as the Atkinson Bluff Trail. The trail offers gorgeous views of the beaches and the coastline. It goes fairly close to cliff edges. In 1.3 miles, the trail reaches Whitehouse Creek, where the trail climbs down a beach. In July 2011, the creek had to be crossed by stepping over stones. Right across the creek, there is a choice: either climb up along a staircase to reach cliff edges or walk along the beach. The beach walk is more pleasant because most of the bluff trail is far away from the cliffs, unmaintained and in flat terrain.
  3. 1.2 miles along beach to Table Rock — From Whitehouse Creek, walk along a long sandy beach, passing Cascade Creek on the way, to reach Table Rock. A prominent sign at Table Rock marks the boundary of Año Nuevo that is inaccessible to visitors.
Return to parking lot:
  1. 1.5 miles along beach and Atkinson Bluff Trail to Whitehouse Creek — From Table Rock, start walking back along the beach, looking for Cascade Creek that flows into the beach. To the immediate north of the creek lies a trail that parallels the cliff edges (see Trail Map). In July 2011, it was visually difficult to locate this trail — a little bit of scrambling was required to climb up the cliff. If you cannot locate the trail, you can walk along the beach for 1.2 miles to reach Whitehouse Creek, where you can climb up to be on Atkinson Bluff Trail. Walking along the beach is more pleasant because the bluff trail is far away from the cliffs, unmaintained and in flat terrain.
  2. 1.0 miles along Atkinson Bluff Trail to Franklin Point — Walk along Atkinson Bluff Trail, which meanders along the cliff edges, to reach Franklin Point. Instead of exploring the promontory, you may walk straight ahead.
  3. 0.6 miles to parking lot — Walk along the sandy Franklin Point Trail back to the parking lot on Highway 1.

Creek crossings: (a) Whitehouse Creek - little bit of water, (b) Cascade Creek - hardly any water - it seeped into the sand before meeting the ocean.

Franklin Point

Franklin Point is a small promontory with sandy trails marked by side rails.

Full photo album — 2 July 2011

Photos are from a different hike with similar landscape: Gazos Creek Beach to Table Rock.
Atkinson Bluff Trail

Full photo album — 2 July 2011

Photos are from a different hike with similar landscape: Gazos Creek Beach to Table Rock.
Beach Walk to Table Rock

Full photo album — 2 July 2011

Photos are from a different hike with similar landscape: Gazos Creek Beach to Table Rock.
Table Rock

Full photo album — 2 July 2011

Photos are from a different hike with similar landscape: Gazos Creek Beach to Table Rock.
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