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Trinidad State Parks on the Beach - Guide to Trinidad State Beach

Trinidad State Beach in Trinidad, California

Trinidad State Beach in Trinidad, California (in Humboldt County County)

Trinidad State Beach is 20 miles (30 km) north of Eureka in Humboldt County, California. This scenic State Beach is accessed from a signposted side road at Trinity Street and Stagecoach Road in the seaside town of Trinidad. The parking lot at Trinidad Bay below Trinidad Head is another popular access point. The offshore rocks are part of the California Coastal National Monument. Colorful tide pools provide specimens to Humboldt State University's Fred Telonicher Marine Laboratory located in Trinidad.

Bluffs in Trinidad State Beach in Trinidad, California

Bluffs in Trinidad State Beach in Trinidad, California

Nearby Parks include Little River State Beach just south of Trinidad, and to the north, Patrick's Point State Park.

Mill Creek, Elk Head Trails in Trinidad State Beach


Pictures of Hiking trail in Trinidad State Beach in Trinidad, California

Thick forest in Mill Creek, Elk Head Trails in Trinidad State Beach

Below is the Mill Creek, Elk Head Trails Trail map. Hiking through the Trinidad's thick groves with the view of mini islands is spectacular.



Trinidad State Beach in Santa Cruz, California

Map of Mill Creek, Elk Head Trails in Trinidad State Beach in Capitola, California

Distance: From Mill Creek Access to beach is 0.5 mile round trip; to Trinidad Head is 2.5 miles. round trip with 300-foot elevation gain; to Elk Head is 2.5 miles round trip.

Two heads are better than one. That's one way of looking at Trinidad State Beach and the two dramatic heads-Elk and Trinidad--that overlook a picturesque cove, harbor and island.

Trinidad Head, a commanding, 362-foot high promontory, is the commanding backdrop of the town of Trinidad, a picturesque harbor and a historic lighthouse. Sitka spruce-spiked Elk Head, located just north of Trinidad, is more of a secret, its scenic trails used mainly by locals.

Located in the waters between the heads is tree-topped Pewetoll Island, the domain of thousands of black oyster-catchers. Farther offshore are Flatiron Rock and other surf-battered rocks that serve as resting places for seals and sea lions.

The park's 159 acres spread over a marine terrace cloaked in beach pine and Sitka spruce. And consider the lilies of the field: the Columbia lily and endangered western lily grow atop the steep bluffs.

Trinidad's beaches and bluffs offer hikers a wild and isolated experience despite their location so close to town. Actually, there's not much town to get away from: Trinidad, with a population of 350, is one of California's smallest incorporated cities.

You can begin your exploration of Trinidad Head at the main state beach access, the Elk Head Access or from Edwards Street at the edge of town.

Directions to trailhead: From Highway 101, take the Trinidad exit and drive 0.25 mile west through town to Stagecoach Road. Turn right (north) and pull into the main Trinidad State Beach parking area on the left.

Elk Head access is located another 0.75 mile up Stagecoach Road.

The hike: From the picnic area, Mill Creek Trail descends amongst sword ferns and Sitka spruce. After 0.25 mile, the path splits. A short walk left leads to a sandy beach at the mouth of Mill Creek. Saunter along the surf south 0.5 mile to the base of Trinidad Head.

At the end of the ruggedly beautiful beach you'll encounter an ugly repository of junk. Be not discouraged and join a signed spur trail that soon leads to a paved road. Go right 100 yards to the beginning of the footpath and start your counter-clockwise tour of Trinidad Head.

Numerous benches en route invite hikers to sit and contemplate the inspiring seascape. The path ascends south then west to a cross atop Trinidad Head. Descend on the gravel road to a paved one and bear left. Enjoy views of Trinidad Harbor as the road leads north then west. Close the loop and retrace your steps back to the beach via the connector trail.

Walk up the paved road away from the harbor and into town. You can't miss the Humboldt State University Marine Lab. Join signed Marine Lab Trail for the short walk across the bluffs back to the trailhead.

The right fork is an equestrian trail that extends to Elk Head. Follow the path across the Mill Creek footbridge, continuing north over the wooded headlands to the west end of the Elk Head parking area.

Join Elk Head Trail at the north end of the parking lot and walk northwest, then west across the grassy promontory of Elk Head. Soon a path and steps branching left off the main trail beckon you to descend to College Cove Beach.

College Cove 
        Beach in Trinidad State Beach in Trinidad, California

College Cove Beach in Trinidad State Beach

Elk Head Trail continues west and serves up magnificent vistas of Trinidad Head and Pewetole Island. About a half mile from the trailhead, near the tip of Elk Head, a short side trail leads to Meguil Point (superb tidepools are exposed at very low tide).

Pictures of Hiking trail in Trinidad State Beach in Trinidad, California

Hiking inside the Thick forest in Mill Creek, Elk Head Trails with view of Pewetole Island

The path bends east, looping through stands of cypress, shore pine and Sitka spruce before returning to the trailhead.

Location of Trinidad State Beach

The Trinidad State Beach is located at 41°4'0"N 124°9'0"W. The Trinidad State Beach address is 4150 Patrick's Point Drive, Trinidad, CA 95570. Trinidad State Beach can be contacted at 707-677-3570.

Here is a driving map to Trinidad State Beach.

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Here is a detailed list of other state beaches of California besides Trinidad State Beach.

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