Jean Lauer Trail (Pillar Point Bluff)

  • Accessible Restrooms
  • Accessible Parking


  • Accessible Restrooms
  • Accessible Parking


South Bay
Info: (650) 363-4000
Sunrise to Sunset
On leash
Last Visited:
April 2021
A small network of trails (only Jean Lauer Trail is accessible) winds throughout the 119-acre Pillar Point Bluff that offers spectacular ocean views. Due west you might see the infamous Mavericks surf break, Half Moon Bay Harbor is to the south, and to the east, Montara Mountain looms above agricultural lands.

Trails and Pathways

Jean Lauer Trail
Time to Complete:
45 minutes
Trailhead Location:
Bernal Ave. at Alvarado Ave
Trail Length:
1-2 total miles
Typical Width:
4 ft. & above
Typical Grade:
Typical Terrain:
Trail Overview: If you’re in Half Moon Bay this is a great spot for a quiet hike on a bluff with great views. Mustard was plentiful on my spring hike as was birdsong and scampering bunnies and lizards. It’s popular with locals for dog walking. A few benches line the trail.

At the Bernal Ave. trailhead there’s a moderate uphill climb for a few hundred feet but then it’s mostly level for the rest of the way. Turn left at the top of the hill and for the most accessible route just follow the signs for the Jean Lauer Trail. A spur trail (also called Jean Lauer) off to your left takes you downhill to Airport St. but continue on the bluff trail for the more accessible section and ocean views.

After travelling about ¾ mile I reached a sign that read Main Parking (.1 mile to the lot at W. Point Ave.) and followed it downhill to a gate (21” opening)  that I couldn’t pass thru so I turned back and retraced my route.

If you choose to start from the lot on Airport St. once you cross the short boardwalk through wetlands bear right at the fork. The trail travels up a continuous slope through a landscape of grassland, sagebrush, coffeeberry, and coyote brush occasionally punctuated with young pine. I turned back after about a quarter-mile because the terrain became more bumpy than I was up for but had I continued it would meet up with the level portion of the Jean Lauer Trail (described above).

More Info: A few water bars on the segment that leaves from Airport St. may be problematic for manual wheelchair users. At both the trailhead on Bernal Ave and where I turned back at W.Point Ave. there is a moderate uphill.

Accessibility Features

The facilities listed below meet all of our access criteria unless otherwise noted.
Accessible Parking:
Yes – designated accessible parking, hard, level or slope no greater than 2%;

The most accessible parking (see photo) is on Airport St. however the trail here climbs uphill and has some water bars that may be challenging in a manual wheelchair. Also the bridge threshold at the start of the trail may be problematic for some motorized chairs. I parked at a small residential area on Bernal Ave. at Alvarado Avenue however, the dirt lot here has no designated parkiing so I parked roadside and lowered my ramp into the street which has essentially no traffic. Do not park at the nearby parking area for the Frenchman’s Bluff Trail nor at the southern entrance to the Jean Lauer trail off W. Point Ave; the entrance to the trail is only 21” wide.

Accessible Restroom:
Yes – The only accessible restroom is at the Airport St. parking lot

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