Stornetta in Spring

Stornetta Public Lands opened to the public last year and we made a visit last summer.

But it is spring and we wanted to see how the wildflowers were doing. Coastal iris had already been noticeable in many large clumps.

coastal irisOf course, the other main reason to visit is a spectacular ocean up against and uplifted layered cliffs.

Crumbly slanted landNear the entrance (at the turn in the road before the Pt Arena Lighthouse)

Stornetta Entrancethe first wildflowers were low (huddled against the wind) and hard to see. Johnny tucks with pillow-shaped petals.

johnny tuckNow back to the ocean and land – Sea Lion Rock – they don’t get to the top (the cormorants have that), they hang out on the beach.

Seal IslandArchThe main trail is now marked and you do want to stay away from the immediate edge –

TrailCliffLeave it to the Sea Thrift.

Sea ThriftThe land is fragile at the cliff edge, along the creeks

StreamGull ocean streamAnd the sinkholes. This one has opened up to the ocean more than when we were here last August.

SinkholeLet the pelicans and gulls handle the flight patterns over the area.

PelicansThe vistas are beautiful even on a misty day.

Stacks m 2019We could make out the Point Arena Lighthouse.

Pt Arena lighthouseHope you get a chance to visit this grand place. We went farther than last August, but the stream at .75 mi made the walk too muddy. There’s plenty of area to wander around. Or you can sit down and enjoy.

photog lOh and about the wildflowers. Now they come in clusters – in another year or two without the cows, I think they will be more prevalent and there will be more variety.

For our last visit go to Walking Pt Arena Stornetta.

Directions: To find the trailhead, go out Lighthouse Rd from Hwy 1, north of Pt Arena. Before the turn in the road to head to the lighthouse is a small roadside parking area. Be careful – some sharp dropoff. I hope the parking improves.

Amenities: Portapottie. No water.

If you need it, bring it back out with you. This is a no frills location – but it is most wonderful.

No bikes, no horses, & dogs on leash.

See you on the trail!

Words by Lynn Millar, photos by Lynn and Mike Millar

Sun cup l

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