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Make your way to Trinidad Bay!

January 3, 2012

Welcome to Trinidad! You’ve arrived at your Trinidad Bay Vacation RentalsPacific Heights ocean-front vacation home, and you decide to explore the dream land outside your door.  Step out onto the deck

Pacific Heights, Trinidad, CA

Pacific Heights, Trinidad, CA

that connects you to your own personal trail (although there is public access) leading to an incredibly beautiful, secluded beach or to the road that leads to one of the most spectacular hikes in Trinidad, CA.  Hmmm, which will you choose?  You decide to start with the hike, since you’ve probably been sitting in a car or plane for some time and need to stretch your limbs and feel some blood pumping!

Within minutes, you’re on the small-town streets of Trinidad that lead you along the bluffs overlooking Trinidad Bay, Trinidad Head, and Trinidad State Beach. Trinidad Memorial Lighthouse on your left, Imagepays tribute to the brave ones lost at sea, and provides a great photo opportunity with its panoramic ocean backdrop. You continue down the hill towards Trinidad Head…you can’t miss it as it looms just blocks ahead at an elevation of nearly 400 feet above the level of the sea that surrounds it.

The initial ascent is a bit steep, but fortunately the views of Trinidad Pier, ImageTrinidad State Beach, College Cove, and Pewetole Island are so captivating that you don’t even notice that you’re a bit winded once you reach the fork in the trail. Image

Along the way, you can also admire the many native plants that endure the elements on this marine promontory: wild ginger, silk tassel, California lilac,Image

flowering currant, fringe cups, huckleberries, douglas iris, violas and some volunteer forget-me-nots, to name a few. Aaaah, take a deep breath of fresh ocean air and listen to the ocean crashing all around you. There is a bench to relax for a moment and take in the spectacular vista before you: secluded beaches, an island blowhole, sea stacks and rocky beach sculptures, steep cliffs, Strawberry Rock in the distant forested hills, sea birds soaring, plunging, or bobbing, sea lions barking on nearby rocks.

You decide to take the northern trail as its dark tunnel of limbs lures you in.

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Evergreen branches arch overhead then open up to another viewing area with benches that look out over the rocky islands nearby. Further ahead, you reach a sunny corridor of huckleberries, salal, silk tassel, currants and other shrubs along an ascending switchback trail. Image

Yes, you’re still hiking up, up, up, but look! An osprey is chirping in a tree above and humming birds are performing acrobatic mating dances at every turn of the trail. As your elevation increases, the craggy shape of the Head’s western face now reveals its colorful intrigue. Shrubs and trees cling heartily to its crevices, stunted by wind and salt air. Lichen and moss paint the faces of the rocks in hues of chartreuse, rust, orange, sage, and neon green.

Hmmm, what’s this? You see a sign that says, “Spur” that points to a small trail off the main one. This trail is a treasure all its own. Orange monkey flowers, sky-blue lilacs, ferns and other colorful plants grace the path’s borders. The wind swirls through the stunted trees and shrubs that surround you, creating an ethereal shushing sound as you rise up the natural rock steps to the top of the spur. Behold the curve of the Earth from this magical plateau! ImageWitness the stretch of California’s glorious coastline as far as the eye can see, the great swells of the Pacific marching into the Trinidad Bay,Image the grand expanse of sky with gracefully soaring birds all around, and the rainbow swaths of color that blanket the rocky cliffs in every direction: bright salmon, red, and purple huckleberry shrubs contrasted with dark grey rock covered with glowing lichens. The white bark of weathered, old, and gnarled branches, strong and bright against dark, bonsai evergreens. Looking north, you see Elk Head, another destination you aim to explore during your stay in Trinidad (photo below was taken from Elk Head looking north).

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Stay tuned for the second half of the Trinidad Head hike!

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