Wednesday, August 30, 2017

San Simeon Point Trail - California Central Coast

In addition to Moonstone Beach and Cambria (my last post), there are many more amazing things to see and experience along Hwy 1 (pacific coast highway). One of those things is the San Simeon Point Trail. Despite being right across the highway from the visitor center for the William Randolph Hearst Castle, this great trail is rarely visited. 
 The trail, pier, and what is left of the little town of San Simeon, is now part of W.R. Hearst SP.

Taken from the trail, this photo shows the little state park. Hearst Castle can also be seen in the upper left hand corner. If you are ever in this area, you MUST see the castle. 


From the parking lot, you turn right at the base of the wharf. 

 At this point, the trail leaves the beach

 obligatory b&w

Sometimes the trail gets a bit close to the cliff edge

and sometimes the trail erodes down the cliff










 at the point

 around the point


Initially, I couldn't see the steer on the right, and for a very tense second or two, I totally thought the one on the left was a bear! 





  • About four miles north on hwy 1, is the Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery. Older posts here.
  • About one mile further on hwy 1, is Piedras Blancas Light House.
  • Hearst Castle is right across the road (hwy 1). I will post something on this place soon.
  • About 7 miles south on hwy 1, is Moonstone Beach/Cambria (from my last post).
  • Morro Bay/Morro Rock is about 30 miles south on hwy 1) also a must see. Old post here.
  • The 150 mile coastline from here to Monterey is gorgeous. Further, the 25.-30 mile stretch in the Big Sur area, is quite possibly the most beautiful and rugged coastline in the country (if not the world). At this moment hwy 1 is closed in the Big Sur area due to a major landslide.

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64 comments:

  1. That shadow does have a bear outline.
    Beautiful place. That's what a coast should look like.

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  2. ....Pat, thanks for sharing this piece of heaven.

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  3. I love these pictures Pat, I usually try to pick a favorite but I really like them all.

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  4. That's a very beautiful area for a hike. There's great variety.

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  5. Definitely worth a visit, Pat. I've enjoyed watching your photos.

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  6. Alex J. Cavanaugh - I agree about the coast. When I first saw that bear/steer, it really did give me scare. Not only did it look just like a bear in the shadow, it looked like a huge bear!

    Tom - My pleasure Tom! I'll be back in that area in a couple of weeks.

    Jimmy - Thanks so much Jimmy! It was a fun trail.

    Red - You are so right about that. There is so much to do and see.

    Marleen - It sure is worth it. Thanks so much Marleen!

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  7. That is suc a pretty area, no wonder the rich guy built a castle there!

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  8. Brian - I agree with you. Believe it or not, this was just one of the several extravagant homes he lived in.

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  9. I have visited Hearst Castle (many years ago) It's pretty cool.
    This trail sure provided you with some amazing views. I'd be a bit scared though of those drop-offs. - Thanks for sharing.

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  10. Ida - My pleasure Ida! To be honest, I'm a bit leery of those drop-offs also.

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  11. Hi Pat. Looks like a beautiful spot. I've been to San Simeon but wasn't aware of this trail, so thanks for the tip! I actually checked it out on Google Maps and you can more or less follow the trail out to the point. Geez, glad that wasn't a bear!!

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    1. Hi Pete! I haven't known about it for very long. I believe that if you keep on the trail, you can turn north and end up all the way down by Piedras Blancas (the elephant seal rookery). I might be wrong about it though. I'm really glad it wasn't a bear also.

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  12. It looks beautiful. I've probably missed my chance to see the castle since my daughter just moved from that area to the east coast.

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    1. That's too bad. It's worth at least a few visits. Anyway, now you have another place to visit (where you daughter moved to).

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  13. Pat, you are so right...I thought that cow on the left was a bear as well!

    STUNNING photographs! The view along the Pacific Highway is breathtaking. I remember seeing it many, many years ago while on the west coast one summer and being so impressed by its raw and rugged beauty!

    Love the black and white shot!

    Thanks so much for sharing, my friend!

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    1. Thanks so much Ron! It's one of the most dramatic roads anywhere. It's currently closed due to landslides that took place a couple of months ago.

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  14. Lovely scenes and some wonderfully secluded beaches.

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    1. Thanks Fiona! It is a gorgeous area, that is for sure.

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  15. The beaches looks so secluded, beautiful. And the animals are wonderful.

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    1. It really is a wonderful area. One of my favorites.

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  16. it is unusual seeing beaches at your place, Pat, you usually prefer dry, very dry places :)

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    1. You sure are right about that! I love the desert and go there a lot. My wife prefers going to the coast and/or mountains. So, I have to work in some trips to the places she'd rather go to, in order to keep her happy about going to the deserts with me. Don't get me wrong, I love the mountains and the coast.

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  17. Such a cool spot! And not a soul in sight. Love that.

    I love that tree shot in the middle. beautiful.
    I'd love to see old Hearst castle! Rooooowwwwssszzbbbuuuud!!!
    Very cool.

    Thanks for sharing Pat!

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    1. I'm with you! The fewer people I run into while out hiking, the better I like it. Yep! You are so right about rosebud! I'm not sure if very many people know that the main character is based on WR Hearst. Thanks Anthony!

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  18. A beautiful place for a hike, Pat. I have heard of Hearst's place out there- I'd love to see it someday.

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    1. Thanks William! I'm sure it will be there waiting for you. It is amazing. I can't imagine living like that, but it's still worth seeing.

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  19. I'd love to explore this area. I love being by the sea. I've been to California only once, to Dana Point. Do those cows just wander anywhere? And you didn't post any pictures of ancient petroglyphs or middens this time. The most ancient remains were the Hearst castle!!

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    1. I live about 2 miles from Dana Point Harbor! I just got home from taking my granddaughter to her music lesson in Dana Point.
      Yep, the cows are pretty much free range around that area. It does feel kind of weird not posting any rock art. Thanks for your comments!

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  20. A beautiful stretch of coast, and I see you ran into some gangsta cows. I love places where there's no one else.

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    1. Yeah, that "gangsta" cow, scared the heck out of me. I agree about being places where there aren't any other people. Don't get me wrong, I like people, and don't mind hiking with just a friend, or my wife, but I'm happiest in the wilderness when I'm by myself.

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  21. I'm dazzled by those rock/land and tree formations.
    Wow - you captured so much beauty. I agree about the Big Sur coastline, and Cheryl Strayed's writing workshop at Esalen was canceled because of the flood damage. They're hoping to be back in the groove for next year.
    Thanks for the spectacular images, Pat.

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    1. They dazzled me also. There aren't many business along that part of the coast (Big Sur), those that are there, must be taking a financial beating. We're going to be back in this area in two weeks, maybe we'll drive up towards Big Sur and see how much progress they are making.

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  22. been to most of those places many times over the last 45 years, always thought it was one of the most beautiful places in the US.
    It's been so smoky now that I'm heading over to Seattle tomorrow, it's so thick here it makes one's eyes sting. And no end in sight. Montana had as of yesterday, 40 new fires. The chief firefighter for the USFS says they'll burn until the first good snow in Oct.
    Nice pics, Pat. Hope you're well.
    Mike

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    1. Hey Mike! I agree about the beauty of this area. We are headed back up there in a couple of weeks.
      Are all of those fires caused by lightning strikes?
      They recently busted a guy that had set a bunch of the wildfires in this area. Crimes like arson should be a capital offense (depending on the circumstances). Enjoy your time in Seattle!

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  23. The first time we went through that area we walked on the beach and camped somewhere near, but didn't go to the Castle because basically we had four little ones and no money. Not all that many years ago, just the two of us toured it and it is quite an amazing place to see. Still I think the toddlers and pre-teens got more out of the beach way back then than they would have the castle! Thanks for the tour and the memories!

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    1. My pleasure Sallie! I agree with you about kids and the castle. I'm sure I wouldn't have been interested as a kid either. There are a couple of campgrounds in the area, so you probably did camp there.

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  24. interesting place. I hate narrow paths like that close to the edge. But I go them anyway if it is needed to get where I want to go.

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    1. I'm not very fond of cliff edge trails either, and like you, I do it anyway.

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  25. It's a lovely area Pat and you have shown it here beautifully.. the steer were a bit of an unexpected surprise 😀 There's something incredibly photogenic about those old wooden piers.

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    1. Thanks Grace! I agree with about the piers. I've been to this one several times, and never seen more than a few people on it.

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  26. Hello, this looks like a great park and trail. The views of the coastline, beach and ocean are gorgeous. The black cows could pass for a bear from a distance. Wonderful photos. Happy Sunday, enjoy your day and new week ahead!

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    1. It's a nice little spot, on an amazing coastline. Thanks Eileen! Happy Sunday to you also.

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  27. What a wildly beautiful hike there. It's been so long since I've visited that part of California, and your photos make me want to go there again. Looks like quite a hike!

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    1. As you know, it's a beautiful area. The hike is fairly short, and the scenery makes up for the poor (in spots) trail.

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  28. Looks like hiking heaven there. Nice beaches, nice trail and no people. Incredible but no people means nice and peaceful. The wooden bridge is absolutely beautiful in b&w. The black cow does resemble a bear but glad it was a cow. :)
    Wonderful photos Pat and thanks for the grand tour.

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    1. Thanks so much Bill! I'm with you, the no people part always makes me happy. I have to admit though, I have met some really nice folks while hiking. I was REALLY happy when I realized it wasn't a bear.

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  29. Some really great looking scenery there - so many places, so many bills!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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    1. Thanks Stewart! It's a beautiful place. The bills aren't bad at all when we travel around. We make most of our meals in our RV, and very rarely stay in a hotel/motel.

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  30. A lovely spot of earth--I often find myself missing the Pacific Coast

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    1. It certainly is lovely. Living so close to it, I probably take it for granted. I really do love it though. It's odd that I'm more drawn to the desert.

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  31. Looks like you're getting around! Love the color of the ocean. Great capture! Looks like a lot of fun that hike on the edge there, were the ocean meets the land trail. I'd like to drive down pacific coast highway someday. *sigh* =)

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  32. Hi Sandy! I do my best! If you can ever make that drive, you will NEVER regret it.
    So nice to see your comment!

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  33. Nice shots!
    Looks like a wonderful place. My wife and I used to enjoy driving up the coast to Cambria and Hearst Castle but never walked that trail.

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    1. Thanks James! Based on the lack of footprints on the trail, I'd say that most folks can say the same thing.

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  34. I'd love to see the castle. I hope to explore your area someday soon. Great new header!

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    1. Thanks Sharon! I also love that photo. It kind of sums me up. Me, in my element. I hope you do go to that area. You won't regret it.

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  35. Oh man, last time we drove down the coast, last year, I was fascinated by the elephant seals. They're so huge, which...I don't know what I was expecting from something with "ELEPHANT" in its name, but hey! Loved them. In fact, I love the whole PCH area. Next time I want to check out some of the missions and castles!

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    1. Yep, the elephant seals are pretty cool. Sometimes, when you go there they might be doing things aren't so cute! Cal Trans just reported that Hwy 1, may not be open for another year! That would really suck...
      Thanks for stopping by!

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  36. It makes sense that the roads were built closely to the bridge. Don't you love it when you stumble on something that will be historic in a short while? Love the shoes hanging on the bridge:) Once we caped near Pismo beach, but didn't know that Hearst castle is nearby there. Hope to see you back in a few days at All Seasons!

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    1. I totally love it when I find these things. Yep, there is a lot to see on that part of the coast.

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  37. gorgeous colours and some of those trees are beauty of nature indeed

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  38. I agree DEZ, it is so pretty up there.

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  39. Amazing scenes! I must see those colorful stones! We went to Fort Bragg a year ago and were so disappointed that there was so little of the sea glass left. People were taking it by the bucketfuls!

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  40. Hi Carolyn, I hate people who do things lkfe that. They don't care about anybody but themselves. There is a glass on Kauai that had been totally ransacked yet. I was surprised.

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