|Devil's Slide Trail and Pillar Point Harbor
on Magnificent California Coast
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A view of Devil's Slide Trail that I took on the afternoon of October 25, 2017. It is an "abandoned"
paved old coastal Highway 1 between the cities of Pacifica and Montara on California coast. It is
about 18 miles south of San Francisco and 6 miles north of Half Moon Bay. The trail is paved, with
separate lanes for hikers and directional bike traffic. The total cost to convert the abandoned highway
to the scenic hiking trail is about $2 million with breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean from its rocky
The steep, precarious cliff on the east side of Devil's Slide Trail. The name Devil's Slide comes from the
rockfalls and landslides that frequently occurred here during winter storms and closed the old Highway 1
frequently for several months for each occurrence here before the new Tom Lantos Tunnels were constructed
to bypass this problem.
Now the "abandoned" old 1.3-mile section of Highway 1 here becomes a wonderful paved wide hiking trail for
pedestrians and bicyclists to enjoy the spectacular views of the oceans, cliffs, waves, seabirds and whales.
Four more impressive views of Devil's Slide can be seen here, here, here and here
Fantastic views from the parking lot at the south end of the 1.3-mile Devil's Slide Trail. The Devil's Slide
Bunker is visible on the top on left side.
Two of the three scenic Overlooks, with telescope, benches, Interpretative Panels and trash can, along this
1.3-mile Devil's Slide Trail for tourists to enjoy the fantastic views.
The Devil's Slide Rock near Devil's Slide Trail. In the spring and early summer seasons, thousands of paired
nesting seabirds (common Murres) nest on this rock to lay eggs and to raise their babies. These nesting
seabirds are busily flying out to nearby ocean to catch fish and flying back to feed their babies on the bird rock.
I used my compact super-zoom camera (Canon PowerShot SX 60 HS) with 65X optical zoom to zoom in and
I can see quite a few cormorants on this bird rock (Devil's Slide Rock) on October 25, 2017, the date of my
first visit of Devil's Slide Trail.
Zoom in some more for better view of cormorants on this bird rock.
I probably will come here again in the spring or early summer seasons to see thousands of nesting Common
Murres in action on or near this bird rock.
Another bird rock, San Pedro Rock, about 1.5 miles north from the Devil's Slide Rock.
觀海休閒步道，觀景台，供遊客欣賞海景的座椅，開闊的視野, 邊聊天邊看海景, 與你的
Interpretive signs are placed at key points along the trail and describe the history, geography and the marine
and avian communities that live and migrate through here. At these provided overlooks, visitors may rest on
benches or gaze through observation scopes and take in the views of the vast Pacific Ocean or the migration
whales or thousands of busy nesting seabirds on the bird rock or Farallon islands 30 miles away.
The powerful waves below the steep cliff on the windy day of October 25, 2017.
Zoom in for a closer view of the San Pedro Rock.
By zooming in some more, I also saw some cormorants on San Pedro Rock on October 25, 2017.
Three pelicans flying through this area.
The parking lot at the south end of Devil's Slide Trail. There is a parking lot at each end of Devil's Slide Trail
with about 10 parking spots.
High atop the coastal peak at Devil's Slide is crumbling remains of a bunker that looks as though it is about to
tip off the edge of the summit and slide into the sea. This bunker was originally built during World War II as a
triangulation and observing station and was once simply a part of a much bigger set of buildings and facilities
to protect San Francisco. When in service (before Radar technology), a watcher equipped with a set of
binoculars and compass would keep watch out at sea and if they spotted any enemy ships they simply radioed
a massive six-inch gun not far away which would sink the enemy ships before they got close.
However, with the advent of more modern missile defenses and Radar technologies, this watch station bunker
became obsolete and the entire site was abandoned in 1949, leaving an empty bunker atop Devil’s Slide.
Today the Devil’s Slide Bunker sits on private property and is not open to the public.
The parking lot with toilet facilities and drinking water fountain.
Breathtaking view of the Pacific Ocean on the sunny day of October 25, 2017 with blue sky and deep blue
ocean. Absolutely gorgeous!
Hiking from south to north, Devil's Slide Trail keeps on going uphill.
Dogs on leash are allowed on Devil's Slide Trail.
Zoom in for a closer view of the bunker and we saw some graffiti on the bunker.
Similarity to Walkway Over the Hudson at Poughkeepsie, New York:
The history of the tourists' attraction of Devil's Slide Trail originating from restored 1.3-mile section of
abandoned coastal Highway 1 in California is somewhat similar to the history of the tourists' attraction of
Walkway Over the Hudson at Poughkeepsie in the State of New York originating from restored 1.28-mile of
abandoned, fire-damaged Railroad Bridge as described near the end of my web page at:
I enjoyed very much visiting these two tourists' attractions.
One of several Interpretive Panels on Devil's Slide Trail. A good introduction and detailed video description of
Devil's Slide Trail is available on this website.
There are about 20,000 gray whales migrating between their winter calving lagoons in Mexico and summer
feeding grounds in the Arctic. In the Spring north-bound migration season, many mother gray whales with
their babies swim closer to the shore and are easier to see from shore. Being high on the cliff, Devil's Slide
Trail provides excellent Top-Down view for visitors to enjoy watching these migrating whales. So, I will come
here again in the spring season to watch migrating whales in action.
Magnificent views of the dramatic Pacific coastline.
After touring Devil's Slide Trail, we drove south on Highway 1 for a short distance and saw some surfers and
people at the Gray Whale Cove State Beach.
Some surfers surfing at Gray Whale Cove State Beach.
Then we arrived at the busy fishing village known as Pillar Point Harbor at Princeton-by-the-Sea located at 1
Johnson Pier, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019. It is off Highway 1 at the northern end of Half Moon Bay and about 6
miles south of Devil's Slide Trail. The local communities are Princeton by the Sea and El Granada.
Map: Click here for interactive Google Map showing location of Pillar Point Harbor
Many fishing boats and pleasure boats in Pillar Point Harbor. People can buy fresh fish or fresh live Dungeness
crabs from some of these fishing boats as described on this website. If you are looking for high quality
seafood, this is the place you should come. If you want wild caught rock cod, this is the place you should come.
This is something you can't compare with the farm raised cod. They also have shrimp, salmon and abalone for
sale too. And you should come early, after lunch time, some of these fishing boats are gone.
Detailed local map of Pillar Point Harbor is available here. Aerial view of Pillar Point Harbor can be seen here.
Piles and Piles of crab traps for crabbing boats at Pillar Point Harbor.
There are many seafood restaurants and shops at Pillar Point Harbor.
As a bird watcher, I was happily surprised to see such high concentration of huge number of big pelicans and
other birds at Pillar Point Harbor. I was standing on Pillar Point Harbor Blvd in watching and taking pictures of
these pelicans in action.
There are also huge number of pelicans and other birds perching on the long rock jetty (breakwater) of Pillar
During late summer and fall, schools of fish often concentrate in the harbor and provide feeding grounds for
large numbers of Brown Pelican, Elegant Terns and Heermann's Gull.
I took a movie of the spectacular views when huge number of pelicans took off from the water
simultaneously as shown on the following YouTube website:
I also took a movie scan of huge number of pelicans and other birds perching on the long rock jetty as
shown on the following YouTube website:
I also took a movie of many pelicans in action poking their heads and big bills into water to catch fish in Pillar
Point Harbor as shown in the following YouTube website. Such action is an indication of lots of fish in Pillar
Point Harbor. It is such big school of fish that attracts the high concentration of so many pelicans and other
birds to Pillar Point Harbor to feed.
In addition to many pelicans, we also saw other kinds of birds at Pillar Point Harbor.
I took a movie of one of many shorebirds busily poking its beak up-and-down quickly into the wet sand to
feed along the shore of Pillar Point Harbor as shown in the following YouTube movie:
Some pelicans are in the air.
The picturesque Romeo Pier as viewed from the hiking trail between Tide Pool Parking Lot and Maverick's
Beach. The old, shaky yet scenic Romeo Pier at Pillar Point Harbor is an icon of the harbor landscape. The
pier is a popular image for photographers and landscape painters visiting this harbor. Built in 1940, the
Romeo Pier served as a place for Coastside fishermen to unload sardines and salmon for decades, long
before the harbor rock jetty/breakwater was built.
From this hiking trail near Tide Pool Parking Lot, we also heard loud barking of sea lions on or near Romeo
We also heard foghorn in Pillar Point Harbor and I love to hear the sound of foghorn. It brings back sweet
memory about 40 years ago when I heard foghorn while I was in Mendocino in northern California coastal
area for one night. I was a foreign student in University of California at Berkeley. The Foreign Student Center
arranged a 3-day tour for a group of foreign students, including me, to northern California coastal area. The
northern California coastal areas are often very foggy such that foghorn at the coastal lighthouse comes on
The boats and the inner rock jetty (breakwater) as viewed from the hiking trail near the Tide Pool Parking Lot.
We saw a loon in the harbor.
I took a movie clip of the loon swimming with the background sounds of barking sea lion and of foghorn as
shown on the following YouTube website:
The head of a sea lion popped out of water, some sea lions are swimming or frolicking in the harbor.
In view of so many fishing boats bringing back all kinds of fresh fish, of piles and piles of crab traps at this
harbor and of the high concentration of hundreds of big fishing birds, pelicans, at this harbor, the seafood in
these seafood restaurants at this harbor must be very delicious.
Pillar Point Harbor is home port to a vital commercial fishing industry, to sport fishermen, and to pleasure
boaters seeking the amenities this modern coastal harbor facility provides. It is a major commercial and sport
fishing harbor, and is host to many public events including the annual Mavericks surfing competition.
A boat greets visitors at the entrance to this unique fishing village. The entrance leads to a spacious parking
lot where there's a Farmers Market every Sunday. Some visitors are enjoying the magnificent views of the
dramatic Pacific coastline and sunset view, some are hiking in this area, some are fishing or crabbing on the
pier or on the rock jetty or on the rental kayak, some are enjoying excellent seafood in the restaurants, some
are kayaking or stand-up board paddling on the calm water in the harbor, some are buying fresh fish or crabs
from some fishing boats,
There are even two spaces for you to clean your catch before you head back home. There are boats parked
along the main dock walkway advertising their offerings in addition to a white-board at the beginning of the
dock listing boats with fish for sale. You walk a few feet up to a store and have the fish cook or the crab
cleaned for you.
There is a small surf/rental shop, bait shop and restaurants serving some of the best seafood and clam
Pillar Point Harbor is a fun place with many kinds of interesting activities for visitors to enjoy.
The tripadvisor's reviews of restaurants near Pillar Point Harbor is at:
The yelp's reviews of seafood restaurants near Pillar Point harbor is at:
The Pillar Point Air Force Radar Tracking Station on the top of Pillar Point Bluff above the beach.
Pillar Point Bluff offers hikers, joggers, bicyclists, and dog-walkers a chance to take in the stunning views of
the ocean in front and the harbor behind, and sounds of the Pacific Ocean. The 220-acre bluff top includes a
section of the California Coastal Trail and offers views of Half Moon Bay Harbor, agricultural lands and the
world famous Mavericks surf break. The surf break is located approximately half a mile off shore due west
from the Pillar Point Air Force Tracking station and is best viewed with binoculars. In Spring season, flowers
everywhere on the Pillar Point Bluff!! There are yellow flowers blooming all along the trails on the bluff and
cliffs. It was quite a view with the ocean in the back drop. There is a separate parking lot located at Airport
St, Moss Beach, CA 94038 which is the Trailhead for visitors to hike up to the 220-acre bluff.
Map: Click here for interactive Google Map showing location of Pillar Point Bluff Parking Lot and Hiking Trails
on the 220-Acre bluff
The bluff above the beach can be a good vantage point for observing sea birds. Sooty Shearwater may be
seen by the thousands in summer and early fall, often quite close to shore.
The Tide Pool Parking Lot at the beach level below the bluff is at the end of West Point Avenue and near the
gate that keeps you from getting too close to the Pillar Point Air Force Station. The Tide Pool Parking Lot
is the Trailhead for a 25-minute hiking trail along northern border of the harbor to Mavericks point.
Map: Click here for interactive Google Map showing locations of Pillar Point Air Force Station and Tide Pool