Moat Creek Coastal Access and Trail

Moat Creek Coastal Access and Trail

The Moat Creek Coastal Access and Trail provides free parking, a restroom, a level, 200-yard trail to a cobble beach and a 3-mile loop bluff trail. The 14 acre site is owned by the State of California and managed by the Moat Creek Managing Agency, a non-profit dedicated to maintaining public access to the ocean and the restoration and preservation of the Moat Creek Watershed and other coastal watersheds.
The Moat Creek beach and bluffs are an amazingly beautiful natural area comprising several habitat areas including coastal riparian woodland, bluffs and lagoon, rocky shore, tide pools, beach and ocean.

River Otters, three-spined sticklebacks and California Red-legged frogs may be found in Moat Creek. The red alder, willows and silk tassel along the creek provides excellent habitat for birds. The bluff trail along the edge of the 40 foot high bluff face affords an spectacular view and a good chance to see migrating whales. From the bluff trail, California Brown Pelicans float by at eye level, seemingly close enough to touch, as they ride the updraft along the bluff edge. Ospreys are often seen hunting or flying by with fish in their talons. Pelagic Cormorants, Pigeon Guillemots, Tufted Puffins and Rhinoceros Auklets nest on the bluff face. In spring the bluff top meadows include spectacular wildflowers however a portion of the trail is closed from March 1 to April 30th to protect the rare Supple Daisy (Erigeron supplex).

In addition to plants and animals the geology of the area is stunning. The bluff faces present twisted stripes of weathered mudstone that can change from horizontal to vertical in less than 40 feet, or curl and bend in crazy contorted circles.
Recreational opportunities include hiking, bird watching, fishing, surfing, kayaking and diving.

Vertical Gain or Loss: 40 feet

Trail Distance: 3-mile loop trail

ADA Accessibility Notes
The parking and restroom are ADA accessible. The trail to the cobbled beach is flat but unpaved.

Pet Friendly Notes
Dogs are welcome on leash.

For More Information, Contact:

Leslie Dahlhoff
PO Box 404,


Moat Creek Coastal Access and Trail