Family Weekender: San Francisco

The Kortum Trail
Go Guide: Kortum Trail
Getting there: From Bodega Bay, drive 12 miles north on California Highway 1 to Shell Beach (on the left).
Reference: Hiking the California Coastal Trail, Volume One, by Bob Lorentzen. Bored Feet Publications, (888) 336-6199
Added value: A large colony of harbor seals can usually be founding lounging on the beach at Goat Rock, at the north end of the Kortum Trail.
Contact: Sonoma Coast State Beaches, (707) 875-3483;

This slice of the Sonoma Coast north of Bodega Bay has three attractions that should satisfy all family interests: a seal colony at Goat Rock, a good chance to watch rock climbers, and a flat grade that's good for young hikers. Start the hike at Shell Beach and walk north on the Kortum Trail. The path cuts across the level grass headlands overlooking the Pacific, following the curves of the rugged coastline but remaining flat enough for a five-year-old.

Just under two miles out the trail reaches Sunset Rocks, a popular destination for local climbers (routes mostly rated 5.8 5.10). The site makes a good midway break, where kids can watch climbers scale the sheer rocks. The trail ends a quarter mile beyond the climbing area at Goat Rock Road.

Published: 28 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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