• Activities:

    Chillin, Photography, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Year Round

  • Trail Type:

    Loop

  • RT Distance:

    5.6 Miles

Bathrooms
Beach
Easy Parking
Picnic Area
Romantic
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

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

Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

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

Community Photos

+ Add Photos

Reviews

Overall rating: 

Leave a Review

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.

about 2 months ago
about 2 months ago

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.

6 months ago
6 months ago

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.

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

Great semi-loop trail with nice views!

about 2 years ago
about 2 years ago

Ali Van Houten

Freelance writer & adventurer. See more at avanhouten.com

Are we missing something? Suggest an edit

Nearby Adventures

Hike the Sugar Bowl Loop in Kings Canyon NP

Tulare County, California

First and foremost, to get to this trailhead you need to drive down a 2-mile, one lane dirt road that is quite steep.

6 Saves

Hike to Ehukai Pillbox

59178 Ke Nui Road, Hawaii

This hike starts directly across from Banzai Pipeline, the famous barreling wave at Ehukai Beach.

7 Saves

Winter Hike to Calypso Cascades

1046 County Highway 115, Colorado

While most people go snowshoeing near the Bear Lake or Glacier Gorge area in RMNP, Wild Basin is a much less trafficked option.

5 Saves