Browsing Cities

A blog/photoblog about places I go

Coastal California Camping: Salt Point State Park September 3, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — katiesmillie @ 2:59 pm
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For my birthday in August I wanted to go camping  so we planned a weekend trip to Salt Point State Park. When looking for a campground in northern coastal California we chose Salt Point because:

1) it had one available tent campsite left at the time we made reservations in July

and

2) it had good reviews on Yelp (which were very useful when planning our activities).

….

Salt Point State Park

Salt Point State Park

Saturday morning I made a mean breakfast of scrambled eggs, oatmeal, and instant coffee on our killer Coleman camping stove. Needed to have a big breakfast for all the hiking ahead.

Start the day with a hearty breakfast

Start the day with a hearty breakfast

Our campground was just on the other side of Highway 1 opposite the ocean. To get to the beach we hopped across the highway and then hiked about a mile through some dense, but pretty vegetation.

Hike to the beach

Hike to the beach

We ended up at Gerstle Cove where the park had an information center. The park staff was super friendly and answered all our questions about the trails in the area, whale migration patterns, and tidepools. Unfortunately low tide was occurring around 2 am during the weekend we were there so we didn’t get to check out the tide pools at the prime time.

The coolest thing inside the information center was a stuffed osprey (sea hawk) hanging from the ceiling with a fish in its claws. It sounds rather disturbing but the reason it was so cool is that we learned that the osprey is the only bird that carries its prey aerodynamically;  it turns the fish so its head it facing forward when it flies through the air. Like this.

Gerstle Cove

Gerstle Cove

We hiked the Salt Point Trail from Gerstle Cove to Stump Beach Cove along the sea cliff.

Stump Beach Cove

Stump Beach Cove

After lunch we headed the other direction from our campground (east) to hike to the prairie and pygmy forest which were in the state park. After hiking over a mile up to about a 1,000 feet above sea level we came to the prairie. With the sudden change of vegetation,  there was no way we were going to to miss “the prairie”, but just in case, there was a nice sign letting us know.

The Prairie

The Prairie

Then we continued on to the pygmy forest, thus named for its miniature trees. The trees don’t grow to normal heights due to a lack of soil nutrients and a hard ground layer. Personally, the pygmy forest was a bit of a let down for me. Maybe since I’m already short the impact was less. 🙂

Pygmy Forest

Pygmy Forest

Nothing like roughing it in the wilderness with a nice bright lantern, a bottle of wine, and some card games.

Campsite fire

Camp fire

We were lucky enough not to see any fog all weekend until we started to head home on Highway 1 Sunday afternoon. On our way we also stopped at Fort Ross State Historic Park which I wrote a separate blog post about here.

Fog creeping up Highway 1

Fog creeping up Highway 1

We stopped at this taffy shop in Bodega Bay and purchased a pound of the best salt water taffy I’ve ever had. This led me to wonder why it’s called salt water taffy, clearly it’s not made with salt water right?

Wikipedia reveals that no one exactly knows why: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salt_water_taffy.

Particks Salt Water Taffy

Patrick's Salt Water Taffy

Salt water taffy

Salt water taffy

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3 Responses to “Coastal California Camping: Salt Point State Park”

  1. that’s the beauty of california parks that they offer a lot of services, not only to attract their visitors but also that they feel comfortable in their parks and its the reason that i always prefer to do california camping

  2. i am planning for the Connecticut Camping and will now surely read the yelp for related reviews and search for more reviews too before making any reservations.

  3. caitlinscott Says:

    In the United States, California is a camper’s favorite because of the wide array of beautiful national and state parks to go camping in. And the services are very remarkable, the people are so accommodation. So if you are planning for a camping trip better include California as one of you options because you will never go wrong.


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