Point Sal State Beach

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Point Sal ridgeline at Point Sal State Beach. Point Sal is at the end of the ridge.

Point Sal State Beach is a beach on the Pacific coast of California, located near the city of Guadalupe, in the northwestern part of Santa Barbara County. There are approximately 80 acres (320,000 m2) of property and only 1.5 miles (2.4 km) of ocean frontage. This beach is at risk of landslides as there are rocky shorelines and extremely steep slopes.

Among the most popular activities are fishing, beach combing, hiking, nature study, photography, picnicking and sunbathing. However, swimming is not recommended due to dangerous rip currents, absence of lifeguard service, and occasional shark sightings. Camping is prohibited due to security concerns involving Vandenberg Air Force Base, and anyone caught camping can be subject to citation, arrest, and eviction by the Park Rangers and/or the 30th Security Forces Squadron. There are also no recreational facilities (toilets, picnic tables, etc.) [1]

During the winter of 1998, portions of the access road to the beach were washed out by winter rains. As of June 2011, the road has not been repaired and remains closed to vehicles. Point Sal State Beach is accessible only to visitors who hike to the beach. One way is to travel west on Brown Road from its junction with Highway 1 approximately 2 miles (3.2 km) south of downtown Guadalupe, park your car at the trailhead, and hike approximately 4.5 miles (7.2 km) to the top of the cliff overlooking the beach. Visitors should allow sufficient time to return to the trailhead on Brown Road by sunset.

Alternatively, the strong hiker can trek 12 miles (19 km) (round trip) to the state beach from Rancho Guadalupe Dunes County Park located to the north of Point Sal.[2] The entrance to the park is accessed by driving approximately 6 miles (9.7 km) west on Main Street from Highway 1 in Guadelupe. Note that the park closes at 7:30 pm, well before local sundown in the summer.[3]

The route involving going through Casmalia using Point Sal Road is no longer accessible to the general public since it requires traversing Vandenberg Air Force Base.

The rocks around the headland constitute part of the Coast Range Ophiolite, one of the largest ophiolite terranes in the world.


  1. ^ Point Sal SB accessed June 29, 2011
  2. ^ Pt. Sal State Beach accessed June 29, 2011
  3. ^ Rancho Guadelupe Dunes accessed June 29, 2011

Coordinates: 34°54′05″N 120°38′53″W / 34.90139°N 120.64806°W / 34.90139; -120.64806

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