Trinidad, California is a small town on California’s picturesque north coast. Above is the view from the bluff near the Memorial Lighthouse. On the left is the Scenic Drive coast. To the right are Trinidad Bay, Trinidad harbor, Little Head and Trinidad Head. Trinidad’s setting is complemented by an extensive trail system for public enjoyment.
Steps lead from the Memorial Lighthouse down to Old Home Beach. Walking east on Old Home Beach, we cross two small creeks and reach the Parker Creek Trail back up to town. By taking it, we can explore more of Trinidad and loop back to the Memorial Lighthouse. Turn left at the top of the steps, walk past the climbing roses along the bluff, and exit onto Wagner Street. But first, let's go further along Old Home Beach. We'll scramble over rocks past basking harbor seals to pebbly He-Woli Beach. See my Trinidad map for locations and trail routes. Try my virtual coast walk to explore this route interactively through a series of 360° panoramas.
The Trinidad Head loop trail has magnificent views in every direction. It is a moderately strenuous climb, but well worth the effort. Allow about an hour for this hike. My Trinidad Head map shows the trail system and sights.
Northwest of Trinidad is Trinidad State Beach, including Trinidad Beach, College Cove, Elk Head and Megwil Point. These locations are most easily accessed from two parking areas off of Stagecoach Road. The trail from the northern parking lot to Omenoku Point is nearly level and takes about 15 minutes one way. There is also a worthwhile, although moderately strenuous, trail connecting the parking and picnic area above Trinidad Beach across Mill Creek to the trail system at Elk Head. Allow about half an hour one way for this walk. See my Trinidad State Beach map to locate parking, trails and good places to explore.
Patrick's Point State Park, 10 minutes north of Trinidad, is a big favorite. Great trails and views! Lots to see and do for kids of all ages!
Big Lagoon, 15 minutes north of Trinidad, is fun for wading, agate hunting, fishing, kayaking, sailing, windsurfing and birdwatching.
The redwood parks near Orick are just 25 minutes north of Trinidad. Simply majestic... Allow plenty of time to explore the redwoods, too.
Since 2014, I have been shooting 360° panoramas of the Trinidad area, posting them like Google Street Views. I list the Google-style panoramas on my index page. You can find most of them in the image carousel of Google Maps, too. In addition, I have begun posting my panoramas on Round.me, a website specialized for 360° panoramas. Round.me provides an option for descriptive narrative and displays panoramas in a pleasant alternative way. If you compare, let me know what you think.
The California's Redwood Coast website describes more ways to explore and to enjoy Trinidad. It is a valuable reference whether or not you are exploring Trinidad for the first time.
J. Scott Shannon has compiled a photo history of Trinidad, California.
Be sure to download and print the BLM's free California Coastal National Monument Trinidad Gateway Brochure (2.8MB PDF). It describes Trinidad's cultural history and marine life, and it has a map of the very best places on the shoreline to explore.
Please see the Greater Trinidad Chamber of Commerce website for information on lodging and other services.
Images by Jim Popenoe