Where is Salt Point State Park
Located on the state’s northern coast, Salt Point State Park resides entirely within the state of California. The state park is most well-known for the variety of marine ecosystems and features it protects. Salt Point State Park also contains various hiking trails, a campground, and areas for fishing, wildlife viewing, and SCUBA diving. The state park is located in Sonoma County. Salt Point State Park is also located 137 miles and a two hour and forty-five-minute drive west of Sacramento, 95 miles and a two hour and fifteen-minute drive north of San Francisco, and 266 miles and about a five-hour drive southwest of Redding. The state park is also located near several other outdoor recreation areas. These recreation areas include Robert Louis Stevenson State Park, Sugarloaf Ridge State Park, and Sonoma Coast State Park.
How Large is Salt Point State Park
Salt Point State Park covers a total area of around 6,000 acres. The park’s geography mainly consists of rocky shoreline, marine forests, and other marine environments. Hiking trails in Salt Point State Park accumulate to more than 20 miles. The shoreline of Salt Point State Park extends for around six miles. Salt Point, the park's namesake, protrudes into the Pacific Ocean. As elevation increases in the state park, more forest develops. At around 100 to 300 feet the state park’s geography is dominated by old growth Douglas Fir forest.
Salt Point State Park Weather
The weather at Salt Point State Park varies frequently throughout the year. In the summer, temperatures in the park average between 45- and 70-degrees Fahrenheit. In winter, these temperatures cool considerably and average between 40- and 60-degrees Fahrenheit. The warmest temperatures of the year arrive at the park in June, July, and August, and the coldest temperatures find the park in December and January. On average, Salt Point State Park receives around 55 days of rain per year. These 55 days of rain accumulate to a yearly average of around 40 inches. Salt Point State Park rarely experiences snowfall. The average length of daylight present in the park in the summer is 14.5 hours. In the winter, the average is around 10 hours of daylight.
When Did Salt Point Become a State Park
Salt Point State Park first became a state park in 1933. The earliest residents of the state park area were the Kashaya Pomo people. These people fished along the coast during the summers and moved inland during the fall and winter. In 1846, Ernest Rufus became the first European to own the land along the California coast. Over the years, his land switched hands several times before ending up in the grasp of the California government. Salt Point State Park was established to protect the variety of marine resources that are contained in the park and to provide visitors with access to the California Coast. The state park is managed and maintained by the California Department of Parks and Recreation.
Things to do in Salt Point State Park
Salt Point State Park offers visitors the opportunity to explore a variety of marine ecosystems and participate in a variety of outdoor experiences. The most popular adventures and experiences found in Salt Point State Park are listed below:
Explore the Visitor Center
The visitor center at Salt Point State Park is the perfect place for visitors to begin their California state park adventure. The visitor center houses a variety of exhibits and displays that educate visitors and discuss topics related to the park’s ecology, geography, geology, and history. Park staff working in the visitor center can also provide visitors park maps and additional brochures, as well as answer any specific questions that may arise during a visitor’s trip.
Join an Interpretive Program
After visiting the park’s visitor center, visitors at Salt Point State Park should look to join in on one of the park’s interpretive programs. These programs normally relate to the park’s marine environments but also discuss topics related to the park’s history and cultural influence. All of the interpretive programs offered at Salt Point State Park are led by knowledgeable staff. The schedule for these programs varies from week to week but is normally posted in the park’s visitor center and online on the park’s website.
Hike a trail in the Park
Salt Point State Park contains more than 20 miles of hiking trails. These trails are diverse and offer experiences suited for every skill level of hiker. Trails in the park traverse the park’s coastal forests and ascend upon the park’s rocky shoreline. Visitors looking for more information relating to current trail conditions and difficulties should seek information from staff working in the park’s visitor center.
Take a Beach Day
One perk of being on the California coast is the fact that everyday can be a beach day. Visitors who are looking to relax at Salt Point State Park can take advantage of the several beach areas designated in the park. These areas provide access to the park’s beaches and to the Pacific Ocean. All you need to bring is a swimsuit, sunscreen, and the good times.
Anglers visiting Salt Point State Park will want to bring all of their fishing equipment with them to the park. Several areas along the shoreline of Salt Point State Park are designated for saltwater fishing. Every visitor at Salt Point State Park who is looking to cast a line into the Pacific Ocean is required to first obtain a valid California saltwater fishing license.
Wildlife Viewing in the Park
A variety of species call Salt Point State Park home. Wildlife enthusiasts visiting the park can hope to see black-tailed deer, racoons, coyotes, bobcats, gray foxes, badgers, and striped skunks. The park also occasionally hosts a variety of marine creatures. These species include gray whales and bottlenose dolphins.
Camping in salt point state park
The campground at Salt Point State Park contains a number of campsites. Visitors looking to stay in the park’s campground should make reservations online through the park’s website or reservation portal. Visitors looking to stay in Salt Point State Park during peak season should make their reservations several months in advance.
When to Visit Salt Point State Park
Salt Point State Park is open all year long, and visitors can plan their trip to the park throughout the year. However, the best time to visit Salt Point State Park is during the spring or summer. During these months, temperatures in the park allow visitors to experience all the park has to offer. During the same day, visitors can fish in the Pacific Ocean, hike along the park’s coastline, and explore the visitor center.
Must Have Items to bring to Salt Point State Park
Every trip outdoors requires a bit of packing and planning, and a successful trip to Salt Point State Park is no exception. Below is a list of essential equipment every visitor should consider bringing with them before they leave for the park.
Water & Snacks
Two of the most essential items for any trip outdoors are water and high energy snacks. Visitors looking to spend a day at the beach should bring water in addition to any other drinks they bring. The California sun can dehydrate visitors rather quickly. Summer days spent on the beach can cause this risk of dehydration to escalate.
Swimsuit, Sunscreen & Sunglasses
A swimsuit, sunscreen, and a pair of sunglasses will come in handy when spending all day in the park and at the beach. These items will provide comfort and protection from the sun. Visitors looking to wear their sunglasses while recreating on the beach should bring a cheap pair with them in case, they lose them or damage them in the elements.
Anglers visiting Salt Point State Park will want to bring all of their saltwater fishing tackle along with them. Anglers will also want to obtain a California state saltwater fishing license prior to their arrival at the park. These licenses can be purchased online through the state’s license portal or from a variety of local establishments.
Hiking Boots & Water Shoes
Salt Point State Park is best travelled through the use of hiking boots and a pair of water shoes or flip flops. The pair of hiking boots will come in handy while traversing the various trials found within the park, while the flip flops will be better suited for activities near or in the water.
Where to Stay in Salt Point State Park
Visitors looking to stay in Salt Point State Park will want to secure a reservation for one of the park’s campsites. These reservations can be made through the park’s website and reservation portal. Visitors looking to stay at a hotel in the surrounding area will want to initially check out options in Sonoma County. However, visitors deciding they would like to stay in a larger city or have more lodging options to decide between, can make the drive to either Sacramento or San Francisco.
Food Near Salt Point State Park
The closest food to Salt Point State Park can be found in Sonoma County. The county contains several restaurants, bars, and grocery stores that are in close proximity to Salt Point State Park. Visitors looking for additional options or a larger culinary scene can visit Sacramento or San Francisco. Salt Point State Park also manages and maintains a concession stand where visitors can purchase drinks and snacks.
Airports Near Salt Point State Park
The closest airport to Salt Point State Park is located in San Francisco. The San Francisco International Airport is 115 miles and about a two hour and thirty-minute drive away from the park. The next closest airport to the park is located in Sacramento. The Sacramento International Airport is located 142 miles and about a three-hour drive away from the park.