The Sonoma Coast State Park is one of the most scenic attractions in California, with rugged beaches, picturesque headlands, and secluded coves. There are plenty of ways to explore this natural paradise, whether is camping, hiking, picnicking, or playing on the beach. It’s a great place to escape the inland California heat, with the foggy north coast mornings and a cool ocean breeze. The state park spans 17 miles along the coast, and has a dozen access points with parking along Highway 1.
Some of the beach areas are home to harbor seals and endangered snowy plovers, and do not allow dogs. If you want to enjoy the salty air and ocean views with your pup, head over to Blind Beach, which can be found off of the south parking lot at Goat Rock. This beach welcomes leashed dogs to join in on the fun! Keep in mind that like most north coast beaches, Sonoma Coast is not for swimming. Strong rip currents and heavy surf can present a danger for you and your pooch.
If you and Fido would like to take a hike, Bodega Head is a pawtastic part of the State Park to check out. This area has hiking trails near the ocean that will bring you to sandy coves and high cliffs. From the vantage point of the cliffs, you may even be able to catch a glimpse of migrating gray whales! Be sure to stay on the trail and listen to warning signs, as the bluffs and rocks may be unstable and unsafe for climbing.
It’s not surprising if you and your canine travel companion want to stay in this area for a while! For a night under the stars, head over to one of the campgrounds. Leashed dogs are welcome in the Wright’s Beach and Bodega Dunes Campgrounds, but not on dunes or beach of Bodega Dunes. Both campgrounds have developed sites with fire rings, picnic tables, and nearby restrooms. Wright’s Beach does not have hot showers or potable water filling stations, but they can be found at the Bodega Dunes Campground, just 5 miles south.
Wherever you are in the park, be sure that you stoop and scoop, leave only footprints, and respect the wildlife. The gorgeous, rugged Sonoma Coast is a state park you and your best pal won’t soon forget.