Weekend Sherpa: Hiking the Sonoma Coast's Beaches
The Sonoma Coast seems to have more beaches than San Francisco has hills; after Bodega Bay the choices go on for 13 miles. For an easy intro to beach hopping, connect Shell Beach to Blind Beach along the tranquil, bluff-top Kortum Trail. Stroll for 2.3 miles (one-way) across sturdy boardwalks, high above beach coves smothered by crashing waves, and past ancient sea stacks. Raptors like to cruise this coast too—from red-tailed hawks to great horned owls and white-tailed kites. After 1.3 miles you'll notice a giant heap of rocks—actually an ancient sea stack—that adventurous types climb for the king of coast views. The trail veers inland, up and over a hill, and ends at the dark sands of Blind Beach. Linger here as long as you like, admiring the jagged outcrops and wave-sculpted Arched Rock.