One of the best coastal hikes in the bay area from Sharp Park Beach to Pacifica State Beach. Meandering through bluff trails and beach walks, this hike offers great views of the Pacific coastline and rock formations near the coast.
Trailhead: Intersection of Paloma Ave and Beach Blvd, Pacifica, CA 94044.
To Chit Chat Cafe (0.2 miles) Chit Chat Cafe is a nice little cafe next to the fishing pier. They serve coffee, sandwiches, bagels and salads (see menu). There is also a public restroom behind the cafe.
To Mori Point (1.6 miles) Walk along the sea wall next to Beach Blvd to reach the fishing pier (0.2 miles). There is a cafe and public restrooms next to the fishing pier. Turn right onto the fishing pier for great views of Mori Point and Sharp Park Beach (0.3 miles round-trip). Upon returning, turn right to continue along the sea wall. Then either hop onto the sandy beach or walk along a hiking trail next to the beach to reach the southern end of the beach (0.9 miles). Continue further to reach Bootlegger's Steps, a series of steps taking you atop Mori Point, a great spot for taking pictures of Sharp Park Beach (0.2 miles). Turn right and walk along Headlands Trail to reach an overlook point (0.2 miles).
To Rockaway Beach (1.9 miles) See Trail Map. A criss-cross of trails, mostly without signs, makes several routes possible. For example, you may go east (by following Headlands Trail → Coastal Trail → Lishumsha Trail → Upper Mori Trail or by following Headlands Trail → Coastal Trail → Tmigtac Trail) to reach Highway 1. Then walk along Highway 1 for a short distance. Then turn right across Reina Del Mar Avenue to hop onto a paved bike trail that reaches Rockaway Beach. Alternately, from Mori Point overlook, you could follow Headlands Trail → Bluff Trail all the way to reach Rockaway Beach. This route is much more scenic as it stays next to the Pacific all through. However, it requires some scrambling for about 0.5 miles along steep trails going through "private property". In June 2011, there were no signs demarcating the "private property" or asking hikers to stay away.
To Rockaway Point (0.3 miles) Rockaway Point is the western tip of the hill that lies to the south of Rockaway Beach. In June 2011, trails on this hill were unnamed with no signs to guide hikers. To reach the base of the hill from the north, walk through the beach or along a hiking trail next to the beach for 0.2 miles. At the southern end of the beach, a paved bike trail with many switchbacks goes across the hill to Pacifica State Beach. Just after the first switchback along the bike trail, there is a narrow hiking trail climbing the hill to the west. The top of this hill is called Rockaway Point. It offers excellent views of the Pacific, Mori Point and Rockaway Beach.
To Pacifica State Beach (1.2 miles) From Rockaway Point, there are two ways to reach Pacifica State Beach. Both routes are about 0.3 to 0.4 miles long. The easiest route is to follow a hiking trail downhill. An alternate route is via an unsigned steep trail going westwards, down to a rocky beach which requires scrambling over large boulders, then a short walk along a hiking trail to reach Pacifica State Beach. This route should be attempted only by experienced hikers with sure footing who want some adventure. Don't go alone. And if you're unable to find the trail going west, please don't attempt a cross-country hike downhill because the gradient is very steep. Pacifica State Beach is about 0.9 miles long. You may cover this section using a combination of beach walking, paved bike trail or hiking trails adjoining the beach.
The total distance along the above route is 5.1 miles. On the way back, by skipping Headlands Trail at Mori Point and the walk along the fishing pier at Sharp Park Beach, the return journey is shorter by almost a mile.
From I-280 North, take exit 47 to merge onto CA-1 South toward Pacifica and drive 3.7 miles. Take exit 506 toward Paloma Ave / Francisco Blvd and drive 0.2 miles. Turn right onto Paloma Ave and drive for 0.2 miles to reach the intersection with Beach Blvd. Plenty of street parking near the intersection.
Parking Fees: None (last visited: May 2011)
Capacity: Plenty of street parking in residential areas near the intersection of Beach Blvd and Paloma Ave.