Gazos Creek Beach to Table Rock
9.0 miles     100 ft
2 Jul 2011
Summary

A fantastic hike through a long sandy beach followed by a bluff trail with great views of the Pacific.

Location: Gazos Creek BeachAño Nuevo State Reserve

Elevation Profile
Trailhead

Location: near the intersection of Highway 1 and Gazos Creek Road, Pescadero, CA 94060 . 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 12.4 miles. There is a large parking lot for Gazos Creek Beach on the right.

Google Maps:

Parking Fees: None (last visited: Jan 2012)

Capacity: About 15 cars may be parked here.

Latitude: 37.167687     Longitude: -122.361689

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

Northern section of Gazos Creek Beach:

  1. 1.7 miles along northern section of the beach — Walk 0.1 miles down to the beach, staying away from poison oak, which is plentiful here. Once you reach the beach, at low tide, you may walk as much as 0.8 miles north before reaching a rocky outcrop which cannot be crossed. Turn back and walk 0.8 miles back to the starting point. The northern section has tidepools when the tide is sufficiently low. Intermittently, there are large sized rocks sprouting up from the beach.

To Table Rock:

  1. 1.3 miles along beach to Franklin Point — Walk along the sandy beach to 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. 1.2 miles round-trip along Franklin Point Trail — This is a side-trip along the Franklin Point Trail all the way to Highway 1 (see Trail Map). Return by the same route to reach the beach again.
  4. 1.1 miles along beach to parking lot — Walk along Gazos Creek Beach back to the parking lot.

Creek crossings: (a) Right next to parking lot, there was a wide creek with lots of water, (b) Whitehouse Creek - little bit of water, (c) Cascade Creek - hardly any water - it seeped into the sand before meeting the ocean.

Northern Section of Beach

The northern section is accessible only in low tide conditions.

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