“This is a trail that provides access to the bluff and the trails that run above the Pacific Ocean.
— David Hitchcock
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 Pillar Point Bluff Trail provides an alternative trail to the Jean Lauer Trail
that drops below the bluff close to the Half Moon Bay Airport. The trail can be accessed from the parking area on Bernal Ave or by a parking lot on Airport Street. While there are several ways to access this trail, this description starts from the Jean Lauer Trail
, drops down off of the bluff, and then climbs back to the bluff top.
From Bernal Ave, take the first left and continue straight ahead. The dirt trail climbs gently for a little bit before the Jean Lauer Trail
breaks off to the right and the Pillar Point Bluff trail goes off to the left. There is a post at the intersection that provides directions in case it is not clear. The trail descends from the windswept bluff along a dirt trail at this point. There aren't trees in this area, so make sure you have sunscreen or a hat on sunny days. The trail turns to the right again and parallels Airport Street. You can see small planes taking off and landing throughout the day. The tree-covered hills on the other side of the airport rise above Half Moon Bay, making it a nice hike year round. The trail turns to gravel as it levels out below the bluff. Birds can be seen flying among the bushes on either side of the trail. Hawks and harriers can be seen soaring above the trail in the wind. Around 0.45 miles, a trail breaks off to the left that leads to a parking lot on Airport Street. After this point, the trail turns to dirt and starts to climb steeply up the hillside. At 0.7 miles, the trail intersects back with the Jean Lauer Trail
. If you turn to the left, you can continue exploring the bluff, or you can take a right and work your way back to the car.