California Coastal National Monument, BLM
Click for map.
I decided I would have some small adventures on some Trinidad Coastal Land Trust properties, but first another round at Trinidad Head. My first visit was just 24 days after the addition of five mainland units including the head. I actually managed to visit the monument twice in the first month of these additions without knowing it. For the head, the monument is actually just the southern tip occupied by the lighthouse and the trail only barely enters its area at a viewing platform, so the visit is rather technical. I'll have to try to better it some first Saturday of the month when the gate is supposed to open to allow visits to the actual lighthouse. Just over four years later, I could still not know there is a national monument here. The only mention of it seems to be in the Redwood EdVentures Quest for Trinity Head. (Incidentally, there is also a Junior Ranger Program and an information brochure aimed at adults.) I parked in the large, dirt lot on the isthmus, which is actually part of Trinidad State Beach, and crossed to the green southeast corner where steps and a sign mark the start of the trail.
|Little Head overlooking the pier and harbor.|
At the top, I diverted to overlook the east side where the Little Head dramatically overlooks the harbor before starting up. I also wanted a spot out of the wind to try to get into clothing that better protects from that sort of weather. I found a sign at the junction encouraging one way travel. Fortunately, the direction matches the one desired by the quest because it might be rather hard to follow it in reverse. It quickly directs to the islands and rocks visible off the state beach. The majority of the California Coastal National Monument are the combined area of every rock that breaks the surface of the ocean at mean high tide standing within twelve nautical miles of the coast that happens to be owned and controlled by the federal government. Oh, and one of the larger ones in view, Pewetole Island, happens to have a blow hole. The tide has to be at the right level and it was not.
|Trinidad State Beach starts at the sand and goes all the way to Elk Head, the next point visible to the north. Pewetole Island is the stack (island) in the middle.|
The very green headland actually offers quite a bit of protection from the wind where the trees and shrubs haven't been cut away for a view point. There's quite a lot of pruning that must go into keeping the trail open and comfortable for walking.
|There's even a few tunnels through the shrubs to let the trail through.|
The quest said to ignore the first spur along the way, but I wandered down it to the bench at the end. People have tried to push further, but that is where it ends.
|More of the California Coastal National Monument including one stack that happens to host California's largest colony of common murres. Not even a sea gull today in the wrong season.|
The quest does encourage going out along the second spur trail, which travels up to a minor high point. It's quite a point, but the wind was making it hard to stand. There's a lot of edge to stay back from when one is feeling just a bit unsteady in the gale.