Coast Trail Boardwalk with Rainbow Above

A Mile of Precious Coastal Access Worth Preserving!

The scenic, ocean-front Asilomar Coast Trail is a highly popular tourist destination on the Monterey Peninsula, with hundreds of visitors enjoying this coastal refuge each day. It is a popular recreational area for numerous local community members where exercising, walking dogs, observing wildlife, or simply taking in the views of the dramatic rocky shores coastline is regularly enjoyed. Tourists often visit Asilomar State Beach, known for its famed white sandy beaches and stunning coastal views, on their way to Pebble Beach’s 17 mile drive.

Since its inception in the 1990s, the Asilomar Coast Trail has successfully allowed sustainable coastal access to high-quality recreational opportunities while protecting the area’s treasured natural resources. The area is home to endangered plant species such as the Menzies’ Wallflower and the Tidestrom’s Lupine. The Asilomar Coast Trail dune habitat also contains many rare animal species, most notably, a species of concern, the Black Leggless lizard. The rugged, granodiorite shoreline hosts and affords protection for a number of nesting shorebirds such as the Black Oystercatcher. In addition to the Natural Resouces of this habitat area, the Asilomar Coast Trail has several sizable and significant archeological midden sites.

Over the years the Asilomar Coast Trail has been maintained primarily by California State Parks Asilomar Natural Resources Crew,  which has performed trail tread repair work, drain installions, fence installion and repair, and boardwalk repair. There have been several significant property additions such as the Asilomar Rocky Shores Aquisition in 1995 that added more boardwalk, a gazebo, and a bridge, which was completed with the aid of contractors, volunteers, and other Monterey district staff. All of this work has kept the mile-long Asilomar Coast Trail open to the public despite the use by thousands of annual visitors, in addtion to the geologic impact of severe winter storm cycles.

There are several sections of the coast trail that are now being threatened by increasing natural erosion, likely fueled by climate change,  which is causing projected rising ocean levels and an increased severity of winter storms. Since the 1990s, these sections of boardwalk have washed away, and many more are now compromised. The current Asilomar Coast Trail Restoration Project’s goal is to keep the coast trail safe, accessible, and sustainable, so that it can serve the visiting public for another 25 years.