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Pacifica Municipal Pier and Mori Point

If you are a Bay Area fisher, you probably already know about Pacifica Municipal Pier, a 1,140-foot open-ocean pier (41-inch railings). In season, people catch king salmon, surf perch, striped bass, and halibut. You can go out on the pier even if you don't fish. On the lawn near the pier are picnic tables and grills. A wide,...
If you are a Bay Area fisher, you probably already know about Pacifica Municipal Pier, a 1,140-foot open-ocean pier (41-inch railings). In season, people catch king salmon, surf perch, striped bass, and halibut. You can go out on the pier even if you don't fish. On the lawn near the pier are picnic tables and grills. A wide, paved promenade runs along the waterfront. North of the pier you can travel only a few blocks before the promenade ends, but the route is right at the ocean's edge, with waves crashing on rocks just below you in places. It can be a very dramatic—and wet—spot when the surf is high. Traveling south from the pier, you can extend your hike along a levee trail between Sharp Park Golf Course and the beach, then travel through wetlands on an elevated boardwalk.

Trail/Pathway Details

Sharp Park Promenade to Old Mori Road

Trailhead: Beach Blvd.and Santa Rosa Ave.

Length: Over 4 total miles

Typical Width: 4 ft. & above

Typical Grade: Mostly level or gentle

Terrain: Firm

The route described here is a combination of pavement, boardwalk, and hard-packed dirt and gravel. Some sections may be sandy, while others may be muddy and rutted, with pools of standing water.

For a smoother ride I suggest you just take the Old Mori Road Trail and bypass the rough levee trail that runs between the beach and Sharp Park Golf Course.

Description

From the pier, head south on the paved promenade that travels along Beach Boulevard for a few blocks, to Clarendon Road. From there, if you can manage a short but steep and sometimes sandy slope, you can access a hard-packed dirt and rock levee trail and continue south for another .5 miles to the end of the beach at Mori Point. The promenade can be a difficult ride because of windblown sand, standing rainwater, and bird droppings. The levee trail runs between the beach and Sharp Park Golf Course. From this elevated vantage point you may spot pelicans skimming the ocean's surface, shorebirds probing the sand, and occasionally sea lions and whales swimming close to shore. You're almost certain to meet dogs and energetic walkers on this trail.

As you approach the point you will see Bootlegger Steps heading straight up the bluff. Before you reach them, the berm trail branches and one trail continues to the right, toward the stairs, while the left-hand trail (Old Mori Road) curves eastward. If you’re really adventurous, consider making a side trip along the stretch of Coastal Trail that takes off immediately past the trail to Bootlegger Steps, also on the right. It climbs steeply for a few hundred yards to the blufftop, where the ocean views are spectacular. In spring, the Mori Point bluff is often awash in wildflowers. I needed assistance on the downhill return to keep my power chair from sliding sideways, but it was a worthwhile challenge.

Back on Old Mori Road trail, continue to an elevated wooden boardwalk that travels through wetlands south of Laguna Salada, the lake inside the golf course grounds. The wetlands provide habitat for the endangered red-legged frog and San Francisco garter snake. Wood benches and interpretive signs are here and there along the boardwalk. Past the wetlands, the boardwalk ends and a broad, hard-packed dirt and gravel trail continues along the old roadway. A tall wood fence fronts the northern side of the trail, blocking it from the houses along the route. The level path travels through trees and past a marshy creek; standing water and mud can be a problem here during the rainy season.

The trail ends at Bradford Way and Mori Point Road, but if you want to extend your hike, you can follow Mori Point Road to the right (you must travel in the roadway a short distance, but traffic is typically light and slow-moving) to connect to the Pacifica Coastal Trail, which travels south along Highway One through the Calera Creek wetlands and on to Rockaway Beach and Pacifica State Beach (about three miles). The entire stretch from Sharp Park to Pacifica State Beach is about seven miles one way.

Accessibility Details

The facilities listed below meet all of our access criteria unless otherwise noted.

Two accessible spots are near the foot of the pier and two are at the end of Beach Blvd. At the Bradford Way and Fairway Drive trailheads, parking is on-street only, with no designated accessible spots.Unknown column 'status' in 'where clause'