Coastal Park/Half Moon Bay State Beach,
City of Half Moon Bay/California State Parks,
San Mateo County
2.8 mile loop along bluffs and beach.
Distance, category, and difficulty:
This 2.8 mile loop walk is very easy.
Paved trail, dirt trail, and beach.
1 1/2 hours or less.
Nice any time.
From CA 1 in San Mateo County, about 0.8 mile south of the CA 92 junction, turn west onto Poplar. Drive west on Poplar about 0.6 mile, to the parking lot at the end of the road.
Get driving or public transit directions from Transit and Trails:
GPS Coordinates* for Trailhead:
(* based on Google Earth data, shown as degrees, minutes, seconds)
Gas, food, and lodging:
Gas, stores, restaurants, and pay phones in Half Moon Bay. Half Moon Bay State Beach has a bluff-top campground for tents and RVs (upgraded in 2004).
Parking fees are charged: $2 hour or $10 day. Parking in a paved lot. No maps or drinking water. There are portable toilets and four designated handicapped parking spots (restrooms and drinking water can be found near the campground at the state beach). A paved path is well suited to wheelchairs and strollers. There is no direct public transportation to the trailhead. Half Moon Bay State Beach is within walking distance of SamTrans bus #294. Visit 511.org for details. There are several other beach access trailheads along the coast in Half Moon Bay; look for the coastal access signs along Highway 1. If you've come to camp at Half Moon Bay State Beach, turn west onto Kelly Avenue, north of Poplar.
Half Moon Bay State Beach hours: 8 a.m. - sunset (gates may be open earlier). Blufftop Coastal Park parking lot hours: 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. (standard time)/6 a.m. to 8 p.m. (daylight time). Trails and beach at Blufftop Coastal Park are open to hikers, cyclists, and equestrians. Half Moon State Beach has paved multi-use paths, dirt multi-use trails, and hiking-only paths. Dogs are not permitted on every trail described below. They are permitted on-leash only on the blufftop trails in both parks. No dogs or horses are permitted on the beach at Half Moon State Beach.
The Official Story:
CSP's Half Moon Bay State Beach page
Half Moon Bay State Beach park office 650-726-8819
City of Half Moon Bay's Parks and Recreation Department office 650-726-8297
Use AAA's San Francisco Bay Region map to get there.
Park brochure (pdf) includes map
Trails of the Coastside and Northern Peninsula has a good map of the area, and is helpful in getting there (available from Pease Press).
Peninsula Trails, by Jean Rusmore, has a simple map and trail descriptions (order this book from Amazon.com).
Half Moon Bay beaches in a nutshell -- a printable, text-only guide to the featured walk.
View photos from this hike.
blufftop trail stretching from Half Moon Bay to Miramar
is a wonderful course for walkers who want to be close to the ocean without
getting sand in their shoes. More than 3 miles end to end, Coastside Trail
offers sweeping seaside views, good bird watching, and easy beach access.
Half Moon Bay State Park provides amenities including a campground and
restrooms, but you can start a walk from more minor trailheads at the
end of a few Half Moon Bay streets. Blufftop Coastal Park features lots
of free parking at the southern terminus of the trail.