Shorttail Gulch Coastal Access Trail

20242 Osprey Drive, Bodega Bay

  • Beaches
  • Birding
  • Fishing
  • Hiking/Walking Trails

Hours: The park opens at sunrise and closes at sunset.

Parking: Free.

Dogs: Permitted on leash no longer than 6' in length. License required.

Ranger Phone: (707) 875-3540

This steep coastal access trail leads to a spectacular view of hidden coves and rock formations. Fishing is excellent but challenging. A perfect place to spend an enjoyable day for picnicking, sightseeing and relaxation. Can be hiked as a 1.9-mile loop with Pinnacle Gulch Trail. Flush restroom facility at nearby Pinnacle Gulch parking lot trailhead.

Trails Challenge

PDF fileView larger image of Shorttail Gulch & Pinnacle Gulch Trails Challenge Map NEW Shorttail Gulch & Pinnacle Gulch Coastal Access Trails
20600 Mockingbird Drive, Bodega Bay

This park is featured in the Sonoma County Trails Challenge, which invites you to get out and get active by hiking five of 15 routes highlighted in the updated Trails Challenge guidebook. Submit a trails log when you finish all five hikes and get a free Trails Challenge gift!

Suggested Trail
Either trail to beach and back or hike both trails as a loop during low tides
Loop length:
1.10 to 2.39 miles round trip
Degree of difficulty: Moderate
Elevation Gain: 350 feet (on the return)

Trail symbols for walk, hike, run and dogs on leash

Park notes

  • Shorttail and Pinnacle Gulch Trails are separate, half-mile trails leading to separate coves on Bodega Bay south of Doran Regional Park. The trailheads are located in the Bodega Harbour golf course community.
  • Both trails are moderately steep, unpaved, and lined with coastal chaparral and flowers. Both lead to beaches and interesting rock formations, and offer secluded experiences. The beach at the bottom of Pinnacle Gulch Trail is the larger of the two, at a quarter-mile long.
  • Both offer great birding, occasional whale sightings, tidepooling at low tide, and views across the bay to Bodega Head or south to Point Reyes.

    Trail Notes

    • Both trails descend ravines fed by seasonal streams and end with sets of steps onto the sand. At Pinnacle Gulch beach, look for Pinnacle Rock, a distinctive offshore formation. The beach at Shorttail Gulch is dotted with large rocks.
    • Both trails are lined with a mix of cypress, wax myrtle and willow trees, coastal scrub, berries, and spring and summer wildflowers. In warm months, you may notice garter snakes darting into the brush and hear the barking of seals from across the bay.
    • You can hike either trail to its respective beach and then return the way you came. Or, at low tide only, you can create a looped hike by hiking down Shorttail Gulch Trail, crossing the rocky shore to Pinnacle Gulch Beach, and hiking up Pinnacle Gulch Trail.

    Trail Directions

    • Pinnacle Gulch: From the parking lot, cross Mockingbird Drive to the posted trailhead. Follow the dirt trail.
    • Shorttail Gulch: From the parking lot, walk .5 miles on Mockingbird and Osprey Drives to the posted trailhead. Follow the dirt trail.

      Driving Directions

      • As you approach the south end of Bodega Bay on Highway 1, turn south on South Harbour Way into the Bodega Harbour community. The turn-off is just south of the entrance to Doran Regional Park.
      • Drive one block to the end of the street.
      • Turn left on Heron Drive and continue .9 miles to Mockingbird Drive.
      • Turn left on Mockingbird Drive and go .1 miles to the posted trailhead on the right. Park in the lot on the left.
      • Free parking. Restrooms. Drinking fountain.

      View Map and Get Directions

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      Download the free 2017 Trails Challenge guidebook, hike 5 or more trails & get a free t-shirt!

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      Trails at a Glance

      * New Itineraries and the 50-Mile Challenge for Regional Parks' 50th!

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