This small section of the 1,200-mile-long California Coastal Trail is perfect for a sunny day and a great compliment to a visit to the Crescent Beach Overlook. The trailhead is located at the south end of the beach overlook parking area. Easy to miss but plain as daylight once you know it’s there.
For the first hundred yards or so the trail hangs on the side of a slate-grey slide section of coast – few trees, scrub vegetation, careful of the edge as it’s a hundred-foot drop to the sea (and not really a wise trails for little kids or unleashed dogs).
Soon the trail dips down into lush vegetation, replete with wildflowers in the spring and flattens out considerable at Nickel Creek. Follow the creek inland to a cathedral of old-growth redwood and fir. Jump around on fallen limbs and get some softly lit photos of redwoods, then head west toward the ocean, following the trail past a primitive camp site and then on to the ocean.
Broad views of the rocky beach to the south appear at first, then the trail drops to the ocean and depending on the tides, exposed tidal pools or just a foamy rough surf.
Follow the trail back and you’ll complete a 1.2 hike or brave the coastal trail south and intersect with Damnation Creek Trail for a 9 mile in and out hike of epic proportions.
Coastal Trail – Nickel Creek, Enderts Beach Section
Length: 1.2 miles roundtrip
Trail Type: one-way in, one-way out
Difficulty: easy, non-level, some grades
Change in elevation/climbing: 400 ft
Location, distance from bnb~hiouchi: trailhead and parking at the Crescent Beach Overlook at the very end of Endert’s Beach Road, 30 minutes by car
Snapshot description: A moderately easy, rewarding hike that skirts a slide zone high above the ocean, then drops down to the ocean, affording numerous ecological zones, a creek, tidal pools and the possibility of seeing four-footed and winged wildlife (elk, pelican, sea lion, whale).