Adventures Bay Area Hikes

Rodeo Lagoon Trail with Plant ID and Whale Bones!

This 1.5 mile hike doesn’t have much elevation change, but what it does have is all in one spot. It’s still an easy hike, even if I needed to stop for a breather on that one hill. The day I went there was a whale carcass on the beach. By the time I got there it was down to a few bones, but one of them was the skull! It was pretty spectacular.

I also got to see river otters, great blue herons, ducks, pelicans, and quail among other birds. The trail itself was great – for much of the way. There is one stretch on the north side of the loop that runs along the road. I’ll skip that next time I go and make it an out and back instead of a loop.


The trail starts right next to the bathrooms, and I’d recommend taking the right hand fork first, to do a little bridge walk through the east side of the lagoon, and then going over the bridge between the lagoon and the fresh water lake to the inland. That’s where I saw the otters, so it’s worth the walk! After that, I’d turn back and go along the south side of the lagoon, do a beach walk, and come back.

Plant IDs:

Activities and Amenities:

There are bathrooms with flush toilets at the parking lot, and a nice little visitor’s center. If you skip the north side, trail doesn’t have any benches or tables. (There were picnic benches along the north side near the quails).

Getting there:

You’ll want to follow a map or GPS program if you’re not familiar with the area, it’s a bit twisty turny to get there, and from the direction I was traveling, it was one exit before the bridge. I hate it when I go to San Francisco by accident. (It happens.. fortunately, not a lot.) Also, download your maps because cell service is minimal.

TLDR – get the basics here: