While Pacifica is well known for its famous surfing beaches, the lesser known Mori Point is a destination that stands on its own. With trails that wind along bluffs and beaches, the 32-acre wetland park is an easy 30-minute drive from Oakland and can make for a lovely half-, or full-day trip.
The trails at Mori Point are super family friendly with “choose your own level of difficulty” hiking.
There are three trailheads off Mori Point Road by the parking lot. We choose the easiest trail, Old Mori Trail, reaching the beach in a flat half mile. As you enter the tree covered trail, the trees will eventually start clearing to make way for the beach. You’ll hear the waves before you see them. This trail is seriously beautiful. It’s so short, yet constantly changing— a ton of beauty in a very short distance. Closer to the beach are the wetlands. Keep an eye out for lizards! We saw several darting in and out of wildflowers. The area also has an extensive Native American history, with many plaques we like to stop and read along the way.
All trails eventually lead to the beach, with a massive (very insta-worthy) swing, at the top of a bluff.
We scrambled our way down a bluff to get to the beach. You can also carry on down the Coastal Trail to an actual staircase that goes to the beach. But we like getting on the beach straight away. I pack a couple shovels, snacks and we play on the beach for about an hour or so.
Both my kids enjoy beachcombing for seashells, feathers, seaglass and other beach goods. Mori Point beach has a treasure trove of iridescent abalone shells, many with both sides intact. There is also a shallow cave to explore.
On our hike back to the car, we usually take the Lishumsha Trail for a short loop, with different scenery.
- Ocean breeze: smells so good, but it can be windy off the coast, so dress in layers.
- Parts of the trail are exposed, so also bring sunscreen/hats.
- There are no public restrooms, so know your contingency bathroom plan before you head out.
We hope to make this current half-day trip into a full-day trip when the rest of Pacifica (and the Bay Area) is open after Shelter-in-place.