Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Elevation Gain
?
Trail type
Loop
Distance
1.70 mi (2.74 km)
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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.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

Not Required

Pros

Prominent headland. Trails with coastal views. Whale Watching.

Cons

Often foggy, particularly in summer.

Trailhead Elevation

50.00 ft (15.24 m)

Features

Whale watching
Wildlife
Bird watching
Wildlife
Big vistas
Wildflowers
Fishing

Location

Field Guide + Map

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