Hike Pillar Point Bluff

San Francisco Jean Lauer Trailhead

  • Activities:

    Chillin, Photography, Running, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Year Round

  • Trail Type:

    Loop

  • RT Distance:

    1.5 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    50 Feet

Adult Beverages
Bathrooms
Beach
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Groups
Scenic

Enjoy breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean on this easy 1 ¼ hike. Pillar Point Bluff is located roughly 30 minutes driving from San Francisco.

Sitting on a 140 acre bluff top, the Pillar Point Bluffs are a simple, easy hike with breathtaking views throughout. The bluffs are 22 miles from San Francisco – a 30 minute drive depending on the traffic. There is a small 10 car or so parking lot off of Airport Blvd, but there are two additional trail head entrances in the Seal Cove neighborhood at Ocean Blvd & Bernal Ave. or Alvardo Ave & Bernal Ave.

Once on the trail, there are a myriad of different paths you can take. The trails twist and turn throughout the abundance of plants in which the trails are cut through. Overall, there is minimal elevation changes which make the hike quite easy for all ages.

Gracing you at almost every step of the hike is the Pacific Ocean to the West. To the south of the trail, and jetting into the Pacific, is the Pillar Point Air Force Tracking Station. With its domed, almost water tower-esqe looking structure amongst some large satellites, it’s nearly impossible to miss. Off from the point where the station sits , you’ll be able to see Mavericks surfing area about a ½ mile off the shore. Huge waves crest here and during the right time of the year are fascinating to behold.

The bluffs have about 1 ¼ of actual trails but foot trails off the beaten path can lead to additional length if you so choose. If you want to extend your adventure, you can either go north a ½ mile into the Cypress Tree Tunnels at Moss Beach or go just south of the bluffs a hike Maverick’s beach.

Pack List

  • Camera
  • Binoculars (if you want to view the surfers)
  • Hiking Shoes (if trail is soggy)
Read More

Reviews

Overall rating: 

Leave a Review

I first fell in love with this hike four years ago on my first trip to California. I recently returned and was afraid I over exaggerated how much I loved it. Turns out I left loving it more.

8 months ago
8 months ago

Great spot to walk the dog on a weekend morning. Great even on a cool, foggy day. Great bird watching. I've also seen rabbits, dolphins and lots of seals.

about 1 year ago
about 1 year ago

An easy hike for kids. Beautiful picture opportunities!

about 1 year ago
about 1 year ago

Michael GabbertExplorer

Minnesotan living in Seattle. Email: mjgabbert@gmail.com

Are we missing something? Suggest an edit

Nearby Adventures

Hike to Black Mountain and Stevens Creek Canyon

San Francisco / Monte Bello Open Space Preserve Parking Lot

This hike can be done during any season, but for the creek to be running and for more comfortable temperatures, it is best to go on a cool winter or spring day.

35 Saves

Hike the Steep Ravine and Bootjack Trails Loop

San Francisco / Bootjack Campground

This hike is best done in the winter and spring in order for the creeks and waterfalls to be flowing. Park at the Bootjack Campground in Mount Tamalpais State Park.

36 Saves

Hike the Arastradero Preserve Loop

San Francisco / Arastradero Preserve

Getting There: From Hwy 280, take the Page Mill Road exit and head West on Page Mill Road, away from Downtown Palo Alto (if you're taking 101, exit on Oregon Expressway).

30 Saves