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Ross' Cove Trail



0.9 mile 1.5 kilometer point to point


Ascent: 12' 4 m
Descent: -142' -43 m
High: 174' 53 m
Low: 42' 13 m


Avg Grade: 3% (2°)
Max Grade: 10% (5°)


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This trail travels along Pillar Point Bluff above the Pacific Ocean.

David Hitchcock

Features Birding · Views · Wildlife

Pillar Point Bluff Park is open from sunrise to sunset.

There is no viewing or spectating allowed from Pillar Point Bluff during the Mavericks Surf Competition.


The Ross' Cove Trail can be accessed by parking on Ocean Blvd or Bernal Ave and hiking out along the Frenchman's Reef Trail or the Jean Lauer Trail to where the two trails meet. The Ross' Cove Trail starts from this junction and follows along the Jean Lauer Trail for a short distance before Ross' Cove breaks off to the right toward the Pacific Ocean. The area is windswept and relatively free of trees. Low shrubs and some flowering plants line the trail. At 0.2 miles, the trail curls to the left and follows the ocean at this point. As you hike along the ocean, be aware of your surroundings and the conditions of the cliff. The San Mateo Parks Department has noticed cracks along the cliff, and parts of the bluff have given way. On the beach and rocks below, seabirds and seals can be seen resting on the rocks or swimming in the ocean. In the distance, you can see the Pillar Point Air Force Station on the cliffs above the ocean. If the waves are good, surfers can be seen enjoying the waves in the world-famous Mavericks area.

Around 0.9 miles, the trail comes to another junction where if you go to the right, the trail drops down to the beach. By going to the left, the trail leads down to the road that leads to the Pillar Point Air Force Station. From here, you can turn around and head back to your car, or you can follow the Jean Lauer Trail back to your vehicle.

Flora & Fauna

Various seabirds can be seen flying overhead or along the beach. Harbor seals can be seen resting on the offshore reefs below.

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in California


23 Views Last Month
523 Since Jan 18, 2018



Elephant seals and birds rest on the rocks on the beach below the trail.
Feb 10, 2018 near Moss Beach, CA
Pillar Point Air Force Station sits off in the distance above the Pacific.
Feb 11, 2018 near Moss Beach, CA
Ross' Cove Trail cuts through a windswept landscape of low shrubs and few trees.
Feb 10, 2018 near Moss Beach, CA
You can see Half Moon Bay from the trail as you get closer to Pillar Point.
Feb 11, 2018 near El Granada, CA
The Pillar Point Air Force Station sits on the bluff in the distance.
Feb 12, 2018 near El Granada, CA
Surfers wait for waves in the ocean below.
Feb 11, 2018 near El Granada, CA


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