Point Sal State Beach
COVID-19 Guidelines (June 21, 2021)
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 follow guidance provided by the California Department of Public Health:
- Fully Vaccinated Persons: Face coverings are not required in public outdoor settings. For indoor public settings, such as museums and visitor centers, all vaccinated individuals are to self-attest that they are in compliance prior to entry.
- Unvaccinated Persons: Face coverings are required in indoor public settings such as museums and visitor centers.
- 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.
Notice: As of May 2008, pedestrians may access Point Sal State Beach for day use via Brown Road and Point Sal Road. Motor vehicle access, bicycle access, and camping are not permitted. Access is from sunrise to sunset for recreational purposes only. Visitors should allow sufficient time to return to the trailhead on Brown Road by sunset. Vandenberg Air Force Base officials may close or limit access to Point Sal State Beach and clear the area during missile launches or for public safety or base security reasons at any time. To determine the current status of the access road to Point Sal State Beach, please use the link to the right.
Point Sal State Beach (SB) is located in the northwestern part of Santa Barbara County, near the city of Guadalupe. The park consists of approximately 80 acres and includes just over 1 1/2 miles of ocean frontage. Lands above the beach and rocky shoreline have extremely steep slopes, and numerous landslides are evident. Prime examples of coastal sage and chaparral communities occur on these slopes. Giant coreopsis is abundant in the area and dominates wildflower displays in the spring.
Views of the coastline, beach and rugged mountain slopes are exceptional. Lion Rock, located offshore, is an important bird-roosting site and is also used by sea lions and other marine mammals.
Recreational activities at Point Sal SB include fishing, beach combing, hiking, nature study, photography, picnicking and sunbathing. Because of extremely dangerous rip currents, occasional shark sightings, and the absence of Lifeguard service, swimming is not recommended. Persons found camping in the park are subject to citation, arrest, or eviction by Park Rangers. Because of security concerns at adjacent Vandenberg Air Force Base, Air Police also strictly enforce the no camping rule at Point Sal SB. The park has no picnic tables, toilets or other recreational facilities.
Prior to 1998, roadway access to Point Sal SB was from State Highway 1 to Brown Road, then to Pt. Sal Road, which wound over Pt. Sal Ridge to a dirt parking area, a distance of about 7 miles. Pt. Sal Road passed through Vandenberg AFB, and the Air Force would temporarily close the road during missile launching activities.
In 1998, heavy rains destroyed Pt. Sal Road in several places and the road was closed until May 2008, when Air Force and County officials announced they had reached an interim agreement to provide access. They are cooperating to place informational signs, fix fences and repair washed-out sections of the County road. Efforts to develop a long-term access plan to Point Sal SB are continuing.
As a result of this interim agreement, Point Sal SB, a wild and scenic part of the California coast, is once more accessible to the public.