Hiking to Piedras Blancas Light Station:
Park at either the north or south trailhead of the Boucher Trail that runs through California State Park property.
Coming from the south on Highway 1, the easiest trailhead to find is at the north end of the Elephant Seal Viewing Area parking lot. There is also another parking lot just to the north off Highway 1. From either parking lot, hike north for approximately 1.5 miles, then walk another .25 miles down the light station road. The loop trail around the light station is .5 miles, for a round trip total of 4 miles.
A slightly shorter hike starts at the north trailhead of the Boucher Trail, 1 mile north of the lighthouse gate, near mile marker 64. Watch for the turn lane if you’re coming from the south, as the parking lot is easy to miss. From this trailhead, hike approximately 1 mile south to the light station road. The round trip for this hike, including the loop trail around the light station, is around 3 miles.
The hike is entirely self-led. You can walk at your own pace, on your own timeline, and enjoy some fresh air and exercise. The trail is mostly flat and easy. On both the trail and at the light station, no smoking, no pets, no bicycles, and no dronesare allowed. Please stay on the trail.
The Open House: Once you reach the light station, you are free to wander the site at your own pace between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. You are welcome to arrive and leave anytime within those hours. There will be docents and staff available to answer questions and point out some of the wildlife. Bring your lunch and a drink and watch for whales from our picnic area, then visit the gift shop. The event is free to all, but we suggest a donation of $5 per adult, which can be dropped in the box in the gift shop. Donations help support the restoration and maintenance of the light station.
Safety reminder: There are ticks and poison oak along the trail. Please maintain a 50 foot distance from all marine mammals. This is a requirement of the Marine Mammal Protection Act, but, more importantly, it is for your safety. Elephant seals can travel 15 -20 miles per hour when they’re motivated, and they can be aggressive.
Although marijuana is legal in the State of California, the light station is a federal site, and marijuana is still illegal on federal lands.
The light station is managed by the Bureau of Land Management as a historical and ecological preserve, and is part of the California Coastal National Monument. This is a NO DRONE ZONE.
For more information, visit https://www.piedrasblancas.org/hike-in-open-house.html or email: PiedrasBlancasTours@gmail.com
- 2023: August 16