Point Sal State Beach

Update (Dec. 7, 2020): California has issued a Regional Stay at Home Order to stop the surge of COVID-19 cases and prevent a strain on the health care system. This action will help protect critical care for patients. While the order includes the closure of campground sites in impacted regions, the state also recognizes that mental health is physical health. As such, day use outdoor areas of park units currently open to the public will remain open. Members of the same household are encouraged to stay local and recreate responsibly in the outdoors. Please take the time to read the information contained on this webpage to find out what is open and closed, and the COVID-19 guidelines for this park unit.

Here is some additional information for locals visiting Point Sal State Beach:

What is open now?
  • Trails and the beach – there ae no facilities or parking at this beach.

What is currently closed at this park and throughout the State Park System?
  • Many campgrounds across the state remain temporarily closed until further notice or will be temporarily closed in accordance with the new Regional Stay at Home Order. More information here.
  • High public-use indoor facilities, including museums and visitor centers.
  • Special events and tours continue to be canceled until further notice.

Are there any new visitor guidelines?
Yes, State Parks has implemented the following guidelines to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in the outdoors:
  • Stay LocalStay close to home to slow the spread of COVID-19. Do not travel if you or someone in your household is sick.
  • Plan Ahead The COVID-19 pandemic response continues to be dynamic and fluid. As such, information on this webpage may change. Prior to visiting us, please check this webpage again right before you visit the park to find out if new guidelines are in place.
  • Stay Safer at 6 feet – No matter the recreational activity, maintain a physical distance of 6 feet or more. Your guests should only include those within your immediate household. This means no guests or friends, and no gatherings, picnics or parties. Visitors are being asked to leave if there are too many people to allow for the required physical distance.
    • Boating: Do not raft up to other boaters or pull up onto a beach next to other recreators.
    • Off-highway Vehicle Recreation: Do not ride next to others or pull up next to someone else as it could put you in close proximity to others. Stage 10 feet or more from each other during unloading and loading.
  • Keep Clean – Be prepared. Not all restrooms are open to the public. in some cases, restrooms will be temporarily closed to keep up with cleaning schedules. Bring soap/hand sanitizer. Please pack out all trash. Park units are experiencing heavy use and you can help alleviate the impact on park facilities.
  • Stay Covered – The state requires you wear a face covering when you cannot maintain physical distancing of six feet or more. Individuals must have a face covering with them at all times.

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. However, the situation remains fluid and park operations can change at any time. 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?

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.

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.


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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