Bakersfield Field Office

 Recreation Activities in the Coast Area: Point Sal

The site is located 5 miles west of Guadalupe, California.

Hikers walking along promontory at Point Sal 


Hikers on a Point Sal promontory. 


Point Sal is a promontory on the coast of northern Santa Barbara County, near the north end of Vandenberg Air Force Base.  It is a fragile area, with sandy soil and a unique blend of wildlife. Sea lions, mussels and deer can be found just yards from one another.  Threatened or endangered species such as the peregrine falcon, California brown pelican, California least tern, southern sea otter and California gray whale are regulars at Point Sal.

The area is also a unique meeting point and transition zone for tide pool life and plant life common to the north and south coasts of California.  The area is sensitive for cultural resources and geologic values and is designated by BLM as an Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC.)  

 Sea lions basking on Lion Rock, a part of the California Coastal National Monument
Lion Rock (part of the California Coastal National Monument) with sea lions.

Trail Closure Notice:

Vandenberg Air Force Base sometimes closes the trail for safety reasons.  Link to current restrictions.

Access to Pt Sal is difficult.  It entails a strenuous hike of 12 miles (round trip), much of it on sand.  The trailhead is at the gate on Brown Road.  From there the trail initially follows a closed county road leading across private lands.  The route leads across properties managed by Vandenberg Air Force Base and then Santa Barbara County as it winds down the ridge to the point. 

The windblown sands slide so readily that sensitive resources are easily disturbed even by the footsteps of well-meaning visitors.  Therefore, travel on the BLM portion is limited to pedestrian use on designated trails, and overnight stays are prohibited.  Travel on all other portions is subject to any restrictions imposed by the landowner or managing agency.  We ask for your cooperation and respect, should you choose to visit this sensitive area.

Left-pointing (Back) navigation arrow





Access is via a hiking trail that crosses part of Vandenberg Air Force Base and Santa Barbara County land.  The  hike is over 12 miles round trip, much of it on sand. 










International symbol for hikingInternational symbol for wildlife and bird watching


Downloads & Links

Current trail restrictions

Point Sal Area of Critical Enviromnental Concern (ACEC)   from 1997 Caliente RMP (Resource Management Plan)

Point Sal State Beach 

Icon for map

Point Sal Map


Rocks and tide pool 


Beach and rocky seashore 


Contact Information
Outdoor Recreation Planner
Bureau of Land Management
Bakersfield Field Office
3801 Pegasus Drive
Bakersfield, CA 93308
(661) 391 6000