Año Nuevo Point Trail

Año Nuevo State Park

San Francisco Peninsula + Santa Cruz, California

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Año Nuevo Point Trail


  • The start of Año Nuevo Trail.- Año Nuevo Point Trail
  • Looking back at the visitor center.- Año Nuevo Point Trail
  • A distant view looking back toward the visitor center.- Año Nuevo Point Trail
  • Much of the trail is flat and accessible.- Año Nuevo Point Trail
  • Cove Beach from the trail.- Año Nuevo Point Trail
  • Ruins of the old light station can be seen on the island.- Año Nuevo Point Trail
  • Approaching the dunes.- Año Nuevo Point Trail
  • Heading back along the trail.- Año Nuevo Point Trail
  • Small pond along the trail.- Año Nuevo Point Trail
  • Año Nuevo Point Trail.- Año Nuevo Point Trail
  • Informative displays teach about the wetlands.- Año Nuevo Point Trail
Overview + Weather
Flat, easy trail. Great ocean views. Seasonal elephant seals.
San Francisco Peninsula + Santa Cruz, CA
Pets allowed: 
Net Elevation Gain: 
30.00 ft (9.14 m)
Parking Pass: 
State Park Fee
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring
Total Distance: 
3.50 mi (5.63 km)
Trail type: 
Trailhead Elevation: 
100.00 ft (30.48 m)
Current Local Weather:
Hike Description

Hike Description

Pro Contributor

During the active elephant seal season that extends from December through March, the only access to the Año Nuevo Coast Natural Preserve is via a ranger-led guided walk, and this walk follows the Año Nuevo Point Trail all the way out to the point. Any other time of year this trail is open for visitors to walk unaccompanied. Even though there are fewer seals during this time, there are still seals to be seen, and the walk also offers great scenery and a chance to experience a piece of the California Coast as it was over 150 years ago.

Starting at the Marin Education Center inside the Año Nuevo State Park entrance, the trail is wide and flat for about a mile to the gated entrance of the restricted area. Past this gate the trail alternates between firm gravel and soft sand until it nears the point, where there are numerous and changing paths through the dunes between South Point and North Point along Bight Beach.

Side trails from Año Nuevo Point Trail include the New Years Creek Trail and Cove Beach Trail, both of which lead to Cove Beach.

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Field Guide

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Location + Directions

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(16 within a 30 mile radius)

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(96 within a 30 mile radius)

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