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Bean Hollow

Bean Hollow State Park

June 5th, 2005

1.3 miles
0 vertical feet
Total Time: 1:00

Rating: 6/10

Directions: From Half Moon Bay, take Highway 1 south past Pescadero. Turn right into the signed entrance for Bean Hallow State Park. There are two parking lots, one at either end of the park. Alternatively, you can park by the side of the road near the middle of the park.   View Driving Map

When we arrived at the parking lot around noon, it was already full. As we tried to decide what to do, an impatient ranger honked at us to turn around, even though he was blocking our way. Eventually we passed him, and asked if there was another parking lot. He incorrectly told us there wasn't. Real helpful guy. In any case, we ended up parking in a turnout about a quarter mile north of the south parking lot.

Harbor Seals

Enjoying the view

From the turnout, we joined the main trail and headed north. The trail follows the coastline the entire time, with great views of the rocky formations below, and the Pacific Ocean beyond. Almost immediately we spotted harbor seals on the rocks just off the coast. There were dozens of them, quietly sunning themselves.

Looking south along the coast

The rocky coast

After going a short distance, we came to a point where we could descend down to the rocky coast. We spent quite some time here, marveling at the sandstone formations. A photographer could spend hours here exploring all the different angles and nooks and crannies, the surf pounding on the rocks. It would be a great place to watch the sun set.

Sandstone formations

Formations in the rock

After enjoying the sights, we returned to the main trail. A little while later, we reached the northern parking lot. There are a couple picnic tables here. Despite the ever present coastal wind, we decided to stop and have lunch here.

Harbor seal basking in the sun

More harbor seals

After lunch, we retraced our steps. When we got back to the car, we had the option of continuing south to the second parking lot. It was a short extra distance, but it didn't look much different than what we'd just done, so we skipped it. If you like beaches, though, you'll want to visit the southern end of the park.

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