Bike the Cowell-Purisima Coastal Trail

Rate this Adventure San Francisco Cowell Ranch State Beach

Added by Jake Young

  • Scenic Coastal Trail
  • Abundant Wildlife
  • Duration: 6 miles
  • Avoid the crowds with this lesser-known secluded beach

This trail begins at the Cowell State Beach parking lot and is only open on the weekends. From the lot, take the short Cowell Ranch Access trail to a scenic overlook. There are steps down to the secluded pocket beach just above the main trail. The trail playfully meanders along the cliffside with views of the ocean on your right and the Santa Cruz Mountains on your left. You will cross three beautifully constructed pedestrian bridges as you navigate the trail. The trail is relatively flat and actually handicap accessible until the steep canyon at Purisima Creek. After about three miles, the trail ends at a beautiful bluff-top scenic overlook. This is a great place to have a picnic, but be warned that there is poison oak just off the trail. There is no loop option so you must go back the same way you came.

There is no shortage of wildlife on this hike. There are almost always Harbor Seals on the rocks just below the trail and there will be a variety of birds gliding overhead.

Pack List

  • Water
  • Snack or Lunch
  • Bike
  • Photography Gear
  • Tent for beach chilling
Read More

Share

Activities:

Chillin, Mountain Biking, Photography

Skill Level:

Beginner

Season:

Year Round

Features:

Adult Beverages
Bathrooms
Beach
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Groups
Handicap Accessible
Picnic Area
River
Romantic
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

How to Get There

Have you done this adventure? Have something to add? You could be the first to leave a review!

Added by Jake Young

Adventurer, Photographer, Impact Investor. I work with companies that want to have a positive impact on the world around them.

More Adventures Nearby

Hike the Monte Bello Open Space Preserve Loop

San Francisco / Monte Bello Open Space Parking

This hike is best done in the late fall, winter, and spring so that the creek is running and the hills are green.

Hike Montgomery Woods State Nature Reserve Loop

San Francisco / Montgomery Woods SNR

This is a great find. We saw it on the map it was on the way from Mendocino to our next stop, Napa Valley. So glad we took the time to visit.

John Maurizi
3 Saves

Bouldering at Ring Mountain

San Francisco / Ring Mountain

Itching to climb outdoors near San Francisco?  With only a quick drive from the city, Ring Mountain is a beautiful nature preserve overlooking the city of San Francisco offering two main rock for.

Chanel Varasteh
9 Saves