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Bodega Head

Sonoma Coast + Napa Area, California

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Bodega Head

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  • One of a few accessible coves adjacent to Bodega Head.- Bodega Head
  • Much of the southern Sonoma Coast is marked by a rugged, rocky coastline.- Bodega Head
  • Exploring the various headlands, coves, and crannies of Bodega Head.- Bodega Head
  • Bodega Head.- Bodega Head
  • Bodega Head.- Bodega Head
  • Fishing off the cliffs of Bodega Head.- Bodega Head
  • Trails wrap around the perimeter of the headland.- Bodega Head
  • Bodega Head and Bodega Bay.- Bodega Head
  • Bodega Head and Bodega Bay.- Bodega Head
  • Bodega Head.- Bodega Head
  • Coastal California's ubiquitous ice plant. - Bodega Head
  • Flowers bloom among Bodega Head's sweeping grasslands.- Bodega Head
  • The area is an excellent place to watch for migrating gray whales from fall through spring.- Bodega Head
  • View over Bodega Bay with Tomales Point in the distance.- Bodega Head
  • An osprey circles above the headland.- Bodega Head
  • Looking back toward Bodega Harbor.- Bodega Head
  • - Bodega Head
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Prominent headland. Trails with coastal views. Whale Watching.
Cons: 
Often foggy, particularly in summer.
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Region:
Sonoma Coast + Napa Area, CA
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
No
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Fall
Total Distance: 
1.70 mi (2.74 km)
Trail type: 
Loop
Trailhead Elevation: 
50.00 ft (15.24 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Team

Any visitor to Bodega Head is bound to notice the incredible views afforded by the land formation's prominence. The sea cliffs are a fantastic spot to take in views of the Pacific and the Sonoma Coast. Interestingly, the rugged rock that characterizes the cliff faces of Bodega Head has more in common with Point Reyes than the mainland to which it is attached. Over millennia, tectonic subduction along the San Andreas Fault has created a surprising situation: while the mainland region to the east mostly consists of oceanic plates, the granite that forms Bodega Head to the west (and Point Reyes) is part of inland formations that have been shaved off and have drifted hundreds of miles north. Some say the granite is part of the same block that formed the Sierra Nevada, while others find more similarities with granite in the Mojave Desert.

The precipitous cliffs are a fantastic spot to look for migrating gray whales from fall through spring, and each year crowds of visitors with their binoculars do just that. Between the adjoining Bodega Head State Marine Reserve and Bodega Head State Marine Conservation Area, just over 21 square miles of ocean is protected around Bodega Head. The sea life here is robust and diverse, and you'll find an abundance of shore birds as well. With several trails to choose from, the headland makes a great destination even when the whales are not the main feature. In the spring, an abundance of ice plants, lupine, and California poppies bloom, and the coves and beaches around the head are great to explore.

If you're in the area for a longer stay, consider a visit to North Salmon Creek Beach or a hike along the Kortum Trail, both north of Bodega Head. Convenient camping can be found at nearby Doran Beach Campground and Bodega Dunes Campground.

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Field Guide + Trail Map

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(7 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(22 within a 30 mile radius)

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