Kortum Trail

Sonoma Coast State Park

Sonoma Coast + Napa Area, California

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Kortum Trail

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  • The Kortum Trailhead near Blind Beach.- Kortum Trail
  • Goat Rock and the north Sonoma Coast from the Kortum Trailhead.- Kortum Trail
  • Vista south along the Kortum Trail. The trail can be seen running parallel to the bluff's edge.- Kortum Trail
  • Kortum Trail.- Kortum Trail
  • A herd of Sonoma deer enjoying the ocean views.- Kortum Trail
  • Sunset Boulders, a group of landlocked haystack rocks, along the Kortum Trail.- Kortum Trail
  • Sunset Boulders under a nearly full moon.- Kortum Trail
  • Bouldering on the Sunset Boulders.- Kortum Trail
  • Kortum Trail.- Kortum Trail
  • One of many beaches below the Kortum Trail bluffs.- Kortum Trail
  • Barns on this coast have seen a winter or two.- Kortum Trail
  • Golden autumn light along the  Kortum Trail.- Kortum Trail
  • - Kortum Trail
  • Arched Rock as seen from the Kortum Trail.- Kortum Trail
  • Kortum Trail Sunset.- Kortum Trail
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Ocean views. Bouldering rocks.
Cons: 
Can be windy.
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Region:
Sonoma Coast + Napa Area, CA
Congestion: 
Low
Pets allowed: 
No
Net Elevation Gain: 
270.00 ft (82.30 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
4.50 mi (7.24 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
190.00 ft (57.91 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Team

Approximately 8 miles north of Bodega Bay, a beautiful stretch of coastal bluffs is made accessible by an inconspicuous coastal path known as the Kortum Trail. Connecting Blind Beach near Goat Rock in the north to Wright's Beach in the south, the full length of the Kortum Trail traverses 3.8 miles of Sonoma Coast State Park and offers sweeping views of the great blue Pacific, offshore sea stacks, and access to a fun little climbing crag along the way. The most scenic and interesting part of the trail is the northern section, which starts near the Blind Beach parking area and continues 2.25 miles south to Shell Beach - the section featured here. 

Starting from the north, park at the Blind Beach parking area off Goat Rock Road and walk 50 yards south to the start of the Kortum Trail, which is marked by a wooden sign. Climb over a small hill that provides nice views north to Goat Rock and out to sea toward Arch Rock. Continuing down the hill, the trail leads to what looks like a misplaced set of sea stacks known as Sunset Boulders. The boulders have a handful of easy to moderate top rope routes and bouldering problems to play around on, and combining this with a Kortum Trail hike makes for a great day on the coast. The trail remains fairly flat past Sunset Boulders as it proceeds to Shell Beach. Below the bluffs, a secluded strand of sand will likely entice you to explore. Although much of the beach is inaccessible due to the steep, 70-foot bluffs, there are a couple foot paths to the south of Sunset Boulders that provide beach access. Know your tides, and be careful of larger surf. You can also reach the sand from Shell Beach. 

The roundtrip hike from the Blind Beach parking area to Shell Beach is 4.5 miles. Keep an eye out for deer along the Kortum Trail as herds frequently graze here. And as this is California grassland country, make sure to check for ticks (particularly in the spring) following your hike. 

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Field Guide + Trail Map

Field Guide + Trail Map

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(4 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(12 within a 30 mile radius)

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