“A loop route leading down a gulch and back up another gulch while enjoying the beautiful Bodega Bay.
— Kevin Bonner
Views · Wildlife
There are views all the way down to the beach and back up, making for an enjoyable run. Once you reach the beach, there is plenty of marine life to observe in the tide pools, as well as shells to find on the beach.
A $7 Parking Fee or Sonoma County Regional Parks Pass must be displayed on vehicle dash.
Need to Know
Be aware of when the tide is rising! Also, look both ways before you cross the street.
The parking lot for the loop is across the street from the actual trailhead. Start heading down the Pinnacle Gulch Trail
and you'll descend large steps leading through a few switchbacks. You may want to pause on your way down to let the view of the gulch and coast soak in for a while. A steep half-mile trail leads to a spectacular view of hidden coves and rock formations. Fishing is excellent but challenging. This area is the perfect place to spend an enjoyable day for picnicking, sightseeing and relaxation.
Once you've finally reached the beach, be sure you are aware of tide conditions. There are two sections of rocks to scramble through, so be prepared for that as well.
Within those rocks are lots of tide pools full of sea anemones, starfish, crabs, sea snails, and other life. Keep your eyes out for seals blending in with the rocks and sand and be sure to keep a respectful distance. Remember, it's okay to admire and appreciate, but please do not disturb or touch!
Once you've passed the second set of rocks, you'll eventually come up to the Shorttail Gulch Trail
. Shorttail is quite a bit steeper than Pinnacles. It (as well as Pinnacles) has a running stream you can hear and see at times. There are a few shaded spots that will have mushrooms growing around if the conditions are right.
Finally, you'll reach the street again. From here, you have to navigate through the neighborhood back to the parking lot. Take Osprey Drive to the west, making a right onto Mockingbird Drive, which will lead you back to the trailhead and your vehicle.