Nice Beach/Bluff Hike + Other Hike Info

Dear X-Ray Frontiers Workshop Participants:

In talking with Maria Coombs, Monica Curry, and Jocelyn Quick about nice hikes, I can provide the following detailed information concerning what seems like a very nice beach and/or bluff hike.


Advantages: Easy to get to, plenty of parking, nice restaurant on the beach for a happy hour before/after a walk or hike, no problem with tides, no problem with tar on the beach, beautiful views.

If you look at the map (Screen_shot_2010-08-11_at_1.42.46_PM_3.png) and the photo (Screen_shot_2010-08-11_at_1.46.38_PM_3.png) provided by Maria you will see the location of the Arroyo Burro Beach County Park. Directions are given in the following link for hendrys beach:
A link on that page describes the Douglas Preserve. From the attached photo, you can see the parking lot. To the west one can walk for miles along the beach. From the top end of the parking lot one can enter the Douglas Preserve on top of the bluff with spectacular views. An hour can be spent in the preserve and as long as one wishes to walk west on the beach. Thus one can do both in the same afternoon, perhaps stopping for happy hour at the Boathouse restaurant.

Since this hike is so easy to get to, I think it best for small groups having a car to arrange it individually. It can even be done in late afternoon before a late dinner.


One of my favorite hikes is the Rattlesnake Canyon hike:

However, last year's fires burned much of it, although Maria says lots of brush has already grown back. Really one should have good hiking boots as parts of the trail are rocky. If you go to the link above, you can see that the hike halfway up the mountain up to the meadow or the beginning of the Tunnel Trail is in fine shape. However, those who hiked to the top say the trail there is dangerously slippery and has not been maintained above the meadow. I recommend therefore only hiking up to the meadow. Note that finding the trailhead and finding parking at the trailhead are not as easy as for the Arroyo Beach hike, and the fewer cars the better.


Two excellent resources are the two books on day hikes by Robert Stone and by Raymond Ford, Jr. Monica Curry has both, which can be borrowed.


Tony Starace

There are also quite nice hikes in the back country ( and in San Rafael National Forest ( I've been on the Red Rock/Gibraltar Dam and Devil's Half Acre. Both are highly recommended. You would nee sturdy shoes, but neither hike is technically challenging. Make sure to bring a lot of water (at least 2 litres/person), even if it is cool in SB!

Serguei Patchkovskii