Hike Date: April 20, 2011
Distance: ? miles (it’s up to you and the tides)
Trail(s): No trail, just beach
Where’s it at? Moss Beach north of Half Moon Bay


I’d been trying to get here for a while, having read about this “hike” in a number of books about Bay Area hiking trails. I wasn’t disappointed. Very cool and big place to checkout tidepools, I’d say it’s about 1 mile’s worth of exposed rock along the beach.

I googled around about a month and a half ago for tide charts. Wasn’t too familiar with it. Basically you are looking for a negative low tide number in the charts, or a really low positive one. On April 19th, 2011 it was -1.48 or so and on the 20th, when Lisa and I went, it was about a -1.4 at 7am.

Sure enough, we could tell driving along Hwy 1 (which we’d done a number of times recently), the tides sure seemed lower. We got a little later start than we wanted but probably got to the lot about 7:40am, so the tide was already coming back in. But, it takes a while and even by 9am it was still at “0 foot tide”. It was pretty surprising how many other people were out there so early on a Wednesday.

So we saw some starfish, though not as many as I see in Monterey or Pt. Reyes, Anenomies (sp), Mussels, Harbor and Elephant seals, Sponges, Snails (I think), Hermit crabs, some tiny fish, and a whole lot of seaweed or kelp. I’m sure I’m forgetting some of them. I’m not sure how much is normally exposed but we were able to walk out pretty far, though you have to be a little careful of the slippery kelps or exposed rock areas that were still wet from higher tide.

All in all very glad to have visited and I’ll have to agree that it’s the best tidepools I’ve been to in the bay area.

Photos from Fitzgerald Marine Reserve (click to enlarge)

Tidepool Walk at Fitzgerald Marine Reserve Tidepool Walk at Fitzgerald Marine Reserve Tidepool Walk at Fitzgerald Marine Reserve
Tidepool Walk at Fitzgerald Marine Reserve Tidepool Walk at Fitzgerald Marine Reserve Tidepool Walk at Fitzgerald Marine Reserve
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Tidepool Walk at Fitzgerald Marine Reserve Tidepool Walk at Fitzgerald Marine Reserve Tidepool Walk at Fitzgerald Marine Reserve
Tidepool Walk at Fitzgerald Marine Reserve Tidepool Walk at Fitzgerald Marine Reserve Tidepool Walk at Fitzgerald Marine Reserve

Directions to Fitzgerald Marine Reserve


View Tidepool Walk at Fitzgerald Marine Reserve in a larger map

Weather at Moss Beach, CA