This loop hike leads to 360-degree views and picture-perfect picnicking.

Park in the Shell Beach parking lot, north of Bodega Bay proper but just south of Goat Rock State Beach on Highway 1. Cross the road to pick up the Dr. David C. Joseph Memorial Trail heading up away from the ocean. Follow the trail, staying right toward Red Hill. (The trail forks off down Pomo Canyon, which is another nice day hike although it lacks the views offered by Red Hill.) The path winds up around the hillside, through a gorgeous grove of Redwoods and tops out on Red Hill. You'll be rewarded with 360-degree views of the Russian River mouth, Jenner, the Pacific ocean and Pomo Canyon.

Pull out your camera and picnic on the summit, then continue on the trail: it will take you on a loop back to the bottom where you parked. While you hike, keep your eyes open for wildflowers as well as wildlife such as White-tailed Deer, Red-tailed Hawks, badgers and more. Afterward, scamper down the stairs to Shell Beach and wade in the refreshingly cold saltwater while you try to spot some seals!

Pack List

Hiking shoes Sunscreen Sunglasses Layers Camera

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RT Distance 5.6 Miles
Activities Chillin, Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Trail Type Loop
Features
Bathrooms
Beach
Easy Parking
Picnic Area
Romantic
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Lots of Bang for your Buck

A wonderful little hike. Lots of wildlife- rabbits, hawks, deer, and other small birds. Walking through the fog was wonderful, and the hike is immediately rewarding. You can reach the top and coastal views a bit faster by taking a right about 1.3 miles in (at the end of a big patch of Queen Anne’s Lace) and going steeply up. It isn’t marked, but the trail is clear as it winds through scrub and meets up with the trail proper at the top of Red Hill. You miss the Redwood grove, however.

10 months ago

Nice Hike.

Great trail. Takes me 45 min to summit walking fast. If there's wind you'll see hawks, harriers and white tail kites... if you're lucky. Be sure to check for ticks. Lots of ticks so if your planning on lounging or pick-nicking bring a blanket and check yourself good when the hike is done.

about 2 years ago

Never Boring

This was a great hike for the ADD crowd (me.) The terrain varies, including an all-of-a-sudden redwood grove. Actually two! It wasn't a difficult hike. Well. It wouldn't have been difficult when I was still in shape. But I'm not so I was huffin'. The view from the top of the loop was beautiful, but we'd already stopped to eat our apples on the tree/bench just inside the first redwood grove, because I needed some shade! After: a couple ciders and fish n chips at The Birds Cafe.


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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