Sunrise to Sunset
Salt Point State Park
What is open now?
- Parking lots.
- Day use areas.
- Beaches and trails
- Camping is now available. Walk-ins are allowed. For more information about camping, visit www.parks.ca.gov/COVID19Camping. To make a reservation, visit www.ReserveCalifornia.com or call 800-444-7275.
- Visitor Center is open with modifications.
- Group campsite.
- Special events as directed by the guidelines in the Blueprint for a Safer Economy.
What is currently closed?
- Some park units and campground sites continue to be temporarily closed due to the pandemic, impacts from wildfires or other issues. Please visit the webpage of your local outdoor destination to find out if it is open.
- Some special events and tours continue to be canceled until further notice.
Protect yourself, family, friends and your community by following these prevention measures:
- Know Before You Go – Prior to leaving home, check the status of the park unit you want to visit to find out what restrictions and guidelines are in place. Have a back-up plan in case your destination is crowded. Stay home if you are sick
- Plan Ahead – Some restrooms will be temporarily closed to keep up with cleaning schedules. Bring soap/hand sanitizer.
- Play It Safe – Find out what precautions you should take when exploring the outdoors, especially if this is your first time visiting the State Park System. Learn more at parks.ca.gov/SafetyTips.
- Be COVID-19 Safe – State Parks continues to meet guidance from local and state public officials as COVID-19 is still present and still deadly. Effective March 1, 2022, state guidance recommends that all individuals, regardless of vaccine status, continue masking in indoor settings, such as museums and visitor centers. Universal masking remains required in specified high-risk settings. Please plan ahead as local county guidelines may differ from state guidance and visitors are urged to follow county guidelines when required. Read the latest COVID-19 guidance at COVID19.ca.gov.
- Leave No Trace – Leave areas better than how you found them by staying on designated trails and packing out all trash. Do not disturb wildlife or plants.
Effective April 21, 2018
The Walk-in campsites are closed indefinitely
No Drones Allowed in Park
- The noise and sight of drones can alter other people’s enjoyment of nature
- A drone hovering nearby can feel intrusive and threatening.
- Drones can capture photographs and video without someone’s permission
- Drones mimic the behavior of predatory birds and can frighten wildlife
For these reasons State Park units in the Sonoma-Mendocino Coat District do not allow launching, landing or the operation of drones on State Park property.
Camping, Activities and facility Information:
Woodside Campground is OPEN
When utilizing the facilities at Salt Point State Park we ask that you remain on developed trails at all times in order to preserve the park's unspoiled qualities and to avoid contact with ticks and poison oak. Mountain bikes must stay on paved or fire roads, however, fire roads are closed to bicycles from October 31 to April 30. Bikes are not allowed on single-track trails as they cause a great deal of damage to the trail surfaces. Dogs must be kept on leash at all times and are not permitted on the trails or on the beaches. They must be kept in a tent or vehicle at night. For additional State Park regulations (State Park Rule and Regulations).
Fisk Mill Cove- partially CLOSED- no restroom available
When fully open, is a day use area that provides picnickers with paved parking, picnic tables, small upright barbeques, restrooms, and drinking water. Additionally, the bishop pines in this area provide protection from the spring and summer winds. You can take a short walk from the north lot for a dramatic view of the Pacific Ocean from Sentinel Rock's wooden deck.
Stump Beach is another picnic area that offers one of the few sandy beaches north of Jenner. There are a few picnic tables near the parking lot and a primitive toilet with no running water. A 1/4 mile trail leads down to the beach.
South Gerstle Cove also has picnic tables, a primitive toilet, and a beautiful, exposed view of the ocean.
Hiking and Horseback Riding:
There are over 20 miles of hiking and equestrian trails to explore in Salt Point State Park. Trail maps are available at the entrance station.
The park includes one of the first underwater areas in California, Gerstle Cove Marine Reserve, where marine life is completely protected. The cove affords shelter for the hand launching of small boats and divers come to the cove to explore the wonders of the undersea world.
Marine life can be experienced on land during low tide in the rocky intertidal zone through tide pool exploration. When exploring these areas remember that many of these organisms can be damaged or destroyed by even the simple act of turning over a rock and exposing the animals to the sun.
Fishing is permitted throughout the area with a valid fishing license, with the exception of Gerstle Cove Marine Reserve and north of the parking lot at Fisk Mill Day Use as part of the Stewart's Point Marine Reserve. The rest of Salt Point State Park is part of the Salt Point State Marine Conservation Area and only the take of finfish is permitted. The rocky coastline at Salt Point provides many excellent ocean fishing opportunities. Using bait of squid, shrimp, mussels, or smelt you can catch lingcod, cabezon, rockfish, and greenlings while fishing from the rocks. Be careful to stay back from the waves reach, since the rocks can be slippery and the ocean is rough.
All campsites, with the exception of our overflow camping, are equipped with a fire-ring, picnic table, and food locker. The campgrounds have drinking water and restrooms but no showers. A dump station is not available.
The family sites and group campground are on our reservation system by calling 1-800-444-PARK (7275). The hiker/biker sites and overflow camping are on a first-come-first-serve basis. Campgrounds consistently fill on weekends from April 1 to the end of September. Reservations are recommended. Gerstle Cove Campground and Woodside Campground are site specific campgrounds. That means that you will pick your campsite at the time of your reservation.
Two main campgrounds are available at Salt Point State Park. Gerstle Cove Campground is situated atop the coastal bluffs on the ocean side of Highway One and offers 30 family campsites. Woodside Campground (both lower loop and upper loop ) are now open for camping, with 79 sites, is located on the east side of Highway One.
GROUP CAMPING: OPEN
This camp is located on the ocean side of Hyw 1 and accommodates a maximum of 40 people and ten cars.
HIKER/BIKER SITES by Ranger Station OPEN
Ten sites are available for campers on foot or bicycles not associated with a vehicle. These sites are located behind the ranger office near Woodside Campground.
A day use parking lot located below Gerstle Campground is available for self-contained vehicles only. No tent camping or open fires are allowed. No restroom facilities or drinking water are available.
A parent or guardian must accompany youths under 18 years of age. The Supervising Ranger may approve the stay of a juvenile that presents written consent from their parent or guardian that states the dates of the authorized stay and the park name. Additionally, a verifiable contact number for the parent or guardian must be provided as well as medical consent in the event of an emergency. If staff is unable to make contact with a parent or guardian, the juvenile will not be allowed to stay in the campground.
Fisk Mill Day Use CLOSED:
CLOSED- No Restrooms- No parking
Hazardous tree conditions
Pitch pine canker is a fungal disease caused by Fusarium circinatum and can infect multiple species of pine trees. It is currently found in 18 coastal counties in California as well as the south eastern United States, Europe, South America and parts of Asia. In Sonoma county pitch pine canker primarily infects Bishop pines (Pinus muricata) and can cause high rates of mortality. Some stands in Salt Point SP and Fort Ross SHP exhibit 100% mortality creating numerous standing dead trees which pose a hazard to park visitors, staff and facilities. A management plan is being developed to address this problem in order to protect park visitors, facilities and ensure the long-term survival of the Bishop Pine ecosystem.
Rocky promontories, panoramic views, kelp-dotted coves, and the dramatic sounds of pounding surf; open grasslands, forested hills, pristine prairies, and pygmy forests- you can experience all of these coastal wonders within the Salt Point State Park. With 20 miles of hiking trails, over six miles of rugged coastline, and an underwater park, you can enjoy a variety of picnicking, hiking, horseback riding, fishing, skin and SCUBA diving, and camping. The weather can be changeable along the rugged Northern California Coast. Even summertime can be cool as fog hugs the coastline and ocean winds chill the air. We recommend layered clothing for your visit.
Sandstone and Tafoni
Ever wonder where the streets of San Francisco came from? Sandstone from Salt Point was used in the construction of San Francisco's streets and buildings during the mid 1800's. If you look closely at the rocks at Gerstle Cove, you can still see eyebolts where the ships anchored while sandstone slabs were loaded onboard. Quarried rocks can still be seen scattered along the marine terrace north of Gerstle Cove. Look for the drill holes along the edges of the rocks that were used to separate the large rocks into smaller slabs.
Tafoni is the Italian word for cavern. It is a natural phenomenon that is common along the sandstone near the ocean's edge at Gerstle Cove and Fisk Mill. Look for a honeycomb type network carved into the rocks forming pits, knobs, ribs, and ridges.