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Small Mountain By The Sea
Trinidad Head is either a small mountain or a large rock jutting out into the Pacific Ocean next to the small town of Trinidad. The vegetation isn't particularly noteworthy and you won't see any wildlife besides seagulls, but the views are superb. The northern third has views of the rugged seaside cliffs to the northwest while northeast is the picturesque seaside vacation town. The trail head is on the north side of the mountain at the large dirt parking lot for beach.
A steep trail heads up to the north flank of the mountain from the parking lot that includes a few dozen steps that quickly reaches a dirt road that continues up. A single track trail branches off to the right a few hundred yards further up that heads around the north side of the mountain through roughly 6' high maritime chaparral. Views of Pewetole Island, and Leproli, Flatiron and Blank Rocks dot the sea a few thousand feet offshore to the north and west. There are 3 short spur trails to spots with views and benches before the trail tops out a little less than a mile in. A final spur trail heads out a few dozen yards to a rock high above the ocean. This is a nice place to check out, but expect a lot of wind. This is also the first time the northern end of the King Range is in view 40 miles to the south.
The weather will assuredly be cool, maritime and windy so dress accordingly. The trail reaches the top of Trinidad Head 0.10 mile after returning to the road. The open summit hosts a number of sensors and communication devices, but unfortunately I didn't bother trying to figure out where the old lighthouse was located, but there was a 10' tall cross carved from stone that seemed to be a memorial of some sorts hear where the trail ends at the road. Head back down the road and go left at the trail junction as the now wide road offers a nice view of Trinidad Harbor. Little Head, a huge rock with trees on top of it that sticks 150' out of the harbor, is an interesting sight as the hike ends back at the stairs down to the parking lot. Continuing down the road is a longer and gentler way back to the bottom.
Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.