Sunday, 1 March 2015

Cowell Ranch Beach near Half Moon Bay

The first of March, and a lovely sunny day here in the SF Bay area. We drove to the Cowell Ranch Beach in San Mateo for the Sunday hike - just a little south of Half Moon Bay. The beach access point has a small parking lot with no parking fees. The beach is a half mile hike from the parking lot, down a wooden staircase at the trail head. This was our first stop of the day - we spent an hour or so on the beach eating our picnic and watching the waves. The 5 year old had a lot of fun running around, though we didn't let him get near the water - the waves made it seem like there was a big dip in the ground where the waves were breaking. After a while we climbed back up and walked for a while along the Purisima-Cowell trail, a nice easy trail along the bluff. We also saw some seals on the rocks below the trail, always a happy sight. The trail was lined with cheerful yellow flowers - Spring is here!

At the parking lot:

Walking from the parking lot to the beach:

Cowell Ranch beach:

Seals from the bluff trail:

We'd thought this would be a two hour trip - one hour of driving and one hour of walking. We ended up spending four and a half hours :)

For families with kids: This is a really easy trail. You can stop at the beach, or continue on the trail for a longer walk. There are restrooms at the parking lot and at the top of the stairs leading down to the beach - none after you reach the bottom.

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