San Jose, California
June 3, 2006
Natural Bridges State Beach
This beach, with its famous natural bridge, is an excellent vantage point for viewing shore birds, migrating whales, and seals and otters playing offshore. Further along the beach, tide pools offer a glimpse of life beneath the sea. Low tides reveal sea stars, crabs, sea anemones, and other colorful ocean life. The park also includes a large area of coastal scrub meadows, with bright native wildflowers in the spring. Moore Creek flows down to the ocean through these meadows, forming wetlands in the sand.
From San Jose, take Highway 17 south to Santa Cruz. Highway 17 turns into Ocean Avenue. Follow Ocean Avenue until the T-intersection. Go right onto San Lorenzo Blvd and make the first left at the light onto Riverside Drive. Go over the river to 2nd Street, make a right, and go to Pacific Ave (the 4th stop sign), make a left and go about 100 yards past the skateboard park. Make a right up the hill, at the top veer left. This becomes West Cliff Drive. Follow this to the Santa Cruz Surfing Museum (where the lighthouse is&emdash;it is also called Steamer Lane. This is where we will all meet and begin our trek!
Drive time from San Jose is about 1 hour. Parking is free.
This is an easy Level 1.5 hike. It is about 5 miles long with a 50' change in elevation.
Dogs are allowed in some places, but not on the sand at the meeting place.
For more information contact your host, Rick B. It's always good to check back here for last-minute updates too.