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Hiking Adventure at Cowell-Purisima in Half Moon Bay

Weekends should always be spent with the whole family. Whether you spend it just inside the comforts of your own home or enjoy it outside, it doesn’t matter, as long as you are together. However, spending weekends at home may limit the activities that you can do and enjoy unlike spending it outside. Be one with nature, enjoy the great outdoors and hike Cowell-Purisima in Half Moon Bay
Cowell-Purisima Trail starts at the Cowell State Beach parking lot and is only open to the public during weekends. It has an access to the majestic views of the ocean and the foothills of the Santa Clara Mountains. It’s a 7 mile out and back trail situated near Half Moon Bay, California. The place is best for hikers and non-hikers alike. People go here to enjoy the beauty of the ocean. When accessing the place from the northern trailhead, the hike will take you to coastal terraces and Eel Rocks bluffs where you will be greeted by the majestic city view of the Half Moon Bay. Normally on clear days, when you reach the blufftop, harbor seals will greet you below the bluff viewing area. On the other hand, accessing the place on the southern end will not give you as much beautiful view of the place especially the Cowell Beach Ranch. Though the trail is for all skill levels, a section of trail through the Purisima Creek is not passable to wheelchairs.

As you go along the trails, you will notice panels that give hikers information about the local history of the place, the wildlife and some common plants. Hawks and different kinds of birds sometimes hover above, adding excitement and thrill to the hike. Artichokes and brussel sprouts and wildflowers will also greet you during your hike. Cyclists and hikers need not worry about parking and other facilities like restroom as they are available at both ends of the trail.
Know Before You Go
1. Dogs and horses are not allowed on the trail.
2. Estimated time to finish hiking is 1-2 hours, so better yet bring lots of fluids to keep you hydrated.
3. Animals like sea otters, elephants, seals can be seen as you go hiking. Take this opportunity to take snapshots of these creatures. So don’t forget to bring your camera with you.
4. Accessible Parking: Yes for both southern and northern trailhead.
5. Park hours: 8am - sunset.
6. Open during weekends and federal holidays only.


From the intersection of Highway 1 and Route 92 in Half Moon Bay, go south on Highway 1 for approximately two miles until you see the Cowell Ranch Beach parking lot on your right. This parking lot is at the north end of the trail. To reach the parking lot at the south end of the trail, continue a little more than 3 miles and turn in to the right. At the south end of the trailhead straight down the path leading from the parking lot; turn left, and check out the scenic lookout or head right to start the trail. There are also restrooms available at the parking lot.

Coming to Half Moon Bay, California? Book your stay at Harbor View Inn, and enjoy the breathtaking views of the California Coast. Book best room rates through our website here or call (650) 726-2329.

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