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Salt Point State Park Activities

Sonoma County

Caution: Check with rangers or lifeguards that conditions are safe for your planned activities.

Salt Point State Park Activities

Visitors to Salt Point State Park are rewarded with a spectacular 9-mile long coast. Hiking and enjoying the amazing scenery are the most popular activities at the park.

Marine Plants and Animals

Visitors in late summer find the ocean near shore thick with bull kelp that has been growing at a phenomenal 10 inches per day. The kelp provides habitat for a variety a fish and other marine animals. Clinging to the rocks below the surface are red abalone. They take about 10 years to mature to a 7-nch diameter. During the winter migration gray whales are commonly seen along the coast.

Inland Explorations

A number of trails lead inland through the park. Hikers pass from coastal grasslands and brush to dense forests of Bishop pine, madrone, and redwoods. The Pygmy Forest is a stand of trees stunted by the acidic soil and a hardpan layer just beneath the surface.

Animals hikers may encounter include squirrels, chipmunks, deer, coyotes, and raccoons. Less likely sightings might be of bobcats, badgers, and skunks.

Kruse Rhododendron State Natural Reserve

The Kruse Rhododendron State Natural Reserve adjoins Salt Point State Park. Within the reserve are second-growth redwoods, Douglas fir, and an abundance of rhodondendrons. The best time to visit is in May when the pink flowers are in full bloom. Five miles of trails wind through the Reserve. No dogs or bicycles are permitted in the Reserve.

Entry: Kruse Ranch Road off Highway 1, follow the road 1 mile to parking
Entry fees: None
Hours: Sunrise to sunset
Facilities: Parking, restrooms (may be closed due to park cutbacks), trails

Fort Ross Conservancy Events

The Fort Ross Conservancy works with the state park in preservation, restoration, and research projects at Fort Ross and Salt Point. They offer a variety of interpretive and educational activities. For the most current information visit the Events calendar page on their website.

Fort Ross Conservancy Events

The Fort Ross Conservancy works with the state park in preservation, restoration, and research projects at Fort Ross. They offer a variety of interpretive and educational activities. A sample of the events they have planned for this year are listed here. For the most current information visit the Events on their website.

Diving at Fort Ross

Sandy Cove Beach is the most popular entry point for divers at Fort Ross. The sheltered beach provides easy access into the water. The entire area around the cove is designated as an Underwater Park, open to various diving activities including spearfishing and investigating underwater sites. Divers find the visibility improves outside the immediate cove area. Kelp beds and fish are plentiful.

Free Diving for Red Abalone

A large section of the water off the coast of Fort Ross has recently (April, 2014) been designated as an area where no red abalone fishing is allowed. Areas along the northern part of Fort Ross, however, are open for red abalone fishing during season. The abalone are usually found from shallow water down to 100 feet. Using an abalone iron, free divers pry legal-size abalone from the rock. Free diving is the only legal method for diving for red abalone in California. The season is open from April to November, but there are restrictions in certain areas and divers should check California Fishing Regulations before setting out.

Fisk Mill Cove, Salt Point State Park, CA

Fisk Mill Cove

Sonoma Coast Divers

Sonoma Coast Divers offers abalone diving classes along the coast north of Jenner. In the classes they teach about the equipment needed for free diving, identifying the shellfish, free diving techniques, and how to remove the abalone from the rocks. Most of the necessary equipment can be rented from them.

Diving at the Wreckage Site of the S. S. Pomona

The wreckage of the steamship S. S. Pomona, which ran around in 1908, draws interest from divers. Among the parts of the ship visible on the sea floor are the steam engine, boilers, the drive train, cargo hatches, and the steering assembly.
For more information about the S. S. Pomona, see the S. S. Pomona Shipwreck Project conducted by Indiana University.

Fishing along the Sonoma Coast

Anglers along the Sonoma Coast are cautious of the waves as they fish for perch, salmon, smelt, steelhead, and rockfish. Check Fish and Wildlife regulations before setting out.
California Fishing Regulations

Nearby Attractions

Stillwater Cove
Regional Park

22455 Highway 1
Jenner, CA
Beach boat launch, diving and kayaking
Historic Fort Ross Schoolhouse
Open sunrise to sunset
Stillwater Cove Regional Park

Gualala Point Regional Park

42401 Highway 1
The Sea Ranch, CA
Day hiking, picnicking, coastal vistas, beaches
Open 6 AM to sunset in summer, 8 AM in winter
Gualala Point Regional Park

WaterTrek EcoTours

10438 Highway 1
Jenner, CA
Guided interpretive tours for hiking or kayaking
Kayak the Jenner Estuary
Kayak rentals
WaterTrek EcoTours

River Riders Bicycle Rentals

Guerneville based bicycle rentals
Free delivery within 15 miles
Ride along the Russian River
(707) 483-2897
River Riders Bicycle Rentals

Doran Regional Park

201 Doran Beach Rd.
Bodega Bay, CA
Beaches, birding, camping, fishing, trails, kayaking, picnicking
Open 7:00 AM to sunset
$7 per vehicle
Doran Regional Park

Westside Regional Park

2400 Westshore Drive
Bodega Bay. CA
Birding, camping, fishing, kayaking and canoeing, picnicking, boat ramp
Open 7:00 AM to sunset
$7 per vehicle
Westshore Regional Park

Books of Local Interest

Ocean Safety

California State Parks and Recreation cautions that "large surf, cold water temperatures, backwash, sudden drop-offs, pounding shorebreak, and dangerous rip currents can turn what seem like safe activities such as playing near the surf line, wading, or climbing on rock outcroppings, deadly." Learn more about ocean safety at
CA State Parks: Ocean Safety

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Every effort is made to provide accurate and up to date information, but we cannot be responsible for errors or for changes that may have occurred since publication. Always confirm information with the service provider and check for any recent changes that may have been made. Also, check with lifeguards that conditions at the beach are safe for your planned activities.

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