Point Sal State Beach

EFFECTIVE (September 8, 2020) - Thank you for your patience and continued support of California State Parks as we work to limit your risk for exposure to COVID-19 in the outdoors.

As a reminder, Californians are encouraged to avoid road trips and stay close to home, maintain physical distancing, wear a face covering when a physical distance of six feet from others who are not from the immediate household members cannot be maintained, and avoid congregating. Everyone has the responsibility to slow down the spread of COVID-19.

Here are some additional guidelines for locals visiting Point Sal State Beach:

What is open now?
  • Trails and Beach are open, there are no facilities at this park.

Are there any new visitor guidelines?
Yes, please see below:

  • Stay Safer at 6 Feet: Maintain a physical distance of 6 feet or more. Gatherings, picnics and parties are not allowed. Visitors will be asked to leave if there are too many people at the park to allow for the required physical distance.
  • Stay Clean: Be prepared. Bring soap/sanitizer.
  • Stay Covered: The state now requires you to wear a face covering in most indoor settings and public outdoor spaces when you cannot maintain physical distancing of six feet or more from people outside of your immediate household. Expect that trails, boardwalks and sidewalks do not provide six feet distance, Always have your face covering at hand.
    For details, please visit CDPH’s guidance here. Visitors should also abide by their local county health orders.

Statewide, California State Parks continues to work with locals on a phased and regionally-driven approach to increase access to state park units where compliance with state and local public health ordinances can be achieved. Even though the department has increased access across the State Park System, the need for Californians to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the outdoors remains critical.

For information on statewide current closures and available services, please visit parks.ca.gov/FlattenTheCurve.

Phone Number

(805) 733-3713

Park Hours

None listed

Dogs Allowed?

Yes
Dogs allowed on trail. Dogs not allowed on beach.

Driving Directions to Point Sal SB

We are in the process of creating directions for this park.

Online reservations are not available for this park.

No online brochures available for this park.

Upcoming Park Events

No events scheduled at this moment.

DAY-USE ACTIVITIES & FACILITIES
Fishing
Beach Area

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.


ACCESS HISTORY

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.

Point Sal State Beach
The rocks that make up Point Sal State Beach represent one of the most intact and complete cross sections of oceanic crust visible on land. Oceanic crust comprises of 60% of the earth’s crust, yet we rarely have opportunities to see it and study its formation. The rocks at the park record geologic conditions that indicate submarine origin and widespread transport via plate tectonics. Oceanic crust is a produced at ocean spearding centers and consumed in subduction zones.

Point Sal SB
(Photograph by Will Harris)

The full Geo Gems report  |  Geological Gems of State Parks

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