Cowell-Purisima Coastal Trail
South Half Moon Bay, California

Hike along coastal bluffs
to Vista Point & ocean view

Sunday, July 14, 2013

By Peter Y. Chou

Preface: On Sunday July 14, 2013, my friend took me hiking at Cowell-Purisima Coastal Trail, south of Half Moon Bay. She came here three weeks back with two Open Space Preserve docents after their Purisima Creek Redwoods hike. They saw many wildflowers and splendid ocean views. Because of fog along the coast, my friend avoided coming here until today. The flowers seen on today's hike include pink Wild Radish, Golden Yarrow, Wild Mustard, Shasta Daisy, Buttonbush, Wild Lupine seeds, Water Hemlock, and a lone California Poppy. While there were no giant Redwoods or Douglas Firs to provide shade during our walk, the fresh ocean breeze and majestic views of coastal bluffs with white waves washing to the shore were breathtaking and refreshing. After an enjoyable hour hike (2:20-3:20 pm), we went to the northern Cowell Ranch Beach Trail. Unfortunately, the parking lot accomodating some 20 cars was full. So we left for Purisima Creek Redwoods (PC05 Gate), an half-hour away for an additional 90-minutes hike (4:30-6:00 pm).

Skyline Trading Post (17287 Skyline Blvd)

Driving down La Honda Road (Hwy 84)

View on La Honda Road

"Ramana Hill" (like Arunachala Hill, India)

Bob's Produce on Hwy 1 (across from trail)

Hill across from Cowell-Purisima Trail

Cowell-Purisima Coastal Trail Info Board

Wildflowers by Trail Entrance

Cowell-Purisima Coastal Trail

Coastal Trail Leading to Vista Point

View of Vista Point from Trail

View of Hills from Coastal Trail

Pink Wild Radish (Raphanus raphanistrum)

Common Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

Purisima Farms Info Board

View of Golden Yarrow from Cliff

Beach View from Coastal Cliff

Coastal Cliff & Eel Island

Four Seagulls Flying over Ocean

Shasta Daisy (Leucanthemum x superbum)

Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis)

Vista View of Fog & Hills (left)

Vista View of Fog & Hills (center)

Vista View of Fog & Hills (right)

Bird on Phone Wire by Entrance

Ocean Beach from Cliff

Buttonbush on Coastal Bluff

View of Ocean Beach & Cliffs

Golden Yarrow & Ocean Beach

Coastal Cliff, Beach, & Ocean

Ocean, Beach, & Coastal Cliffs

Ocean Waves & Coastal Cliffs

Seeds of Wild Lupine (lupinus)

Cream Sacs (Castilleja rubicundula)

California Coastal Trail Info Board

Wooden Bench at Vista Point

Ocean View Opposite Vista Point

Flowers & Eel Island

Tangled Roots & Ocean View

White Waves on Beach

Trail back to Entrance

Trail from Vista Point

Golden Yarrow (Eriophyllum confertiflorum)

Pink Wild Radish (Raphanus raphanistrum)

Lone California Poppy on Trail

Water Hemlock (Cicuta)

Cowell Ranch Beach Sign

Cowell Ranch Trailhead

Fog Cloud over Hills

Cowell Ranch Info Board

Cowell-Purisima Trail Info Board

— Photographs by Peter Y. Chou, July 14, 2013

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email: (7-17-2013)