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Above: This point, on the border of Vandenberg AFB, is the closest you can get to the southwesternmost point of the contiguous U.S. (1:57)
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The southwesternmost point of the contiguous United States is an unnamed point of land on Vandenberg Air Force Base located 1.6 miles southeast of Point Arguello, near Lompoc, California. Since it's on an Air Force base, it's off-limits to the public. Therefore, I visited two surrogate points instead:

  1. The point closest to this location that's publicly-accessible. That point is located at Jalama Beach County Park near Lompoc.
  2. The southwesternmost point of land that's publicly accessible. This point, a few miles from point #1 and a bit more to the southwest, is at a hairpin bend in the Jalama Road, about a half-mile from Jalama Beach County Park.

Summary:

  • I visited both of these points on May 17, 2016.  To read my article and see my photos, click here. 
  • The coordinates of Point #1 are: 34° 30.730' N, 120° 30.257' W.  The coordinates of Point #2 are:  34° 30.101' N, 120° 29.829' W
  • To see a Google Map of the southwesternmost points, click here.
  • To see the panorama photo I created at Point #1, click here.  To see the panorama photo I created at Point #2, click here.

How to Get There:  

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Above: This site, at a sharp bend in the Jalama Road, is the southwesternmost point of the contiguous U.S. that's publicly accessible. (1:27)
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To get to these sites, take California Highway 1 south of Lompoc until you see a sign for Jalama County Beach.  Turn west here and travel 14 miles down the Jalama Beach road.  This is a dead-end road that ends at Jalama Beach County Park.  About a half-mile before you reach the park, the road crosses a set of train tracks and makes a sharp, 180-degree turn.  The southern edge of this bend is the southwesternmost point of the contiguous United States that's publicly-accessible (Point #2).  All the land around you, on both sides of the road, is privately owned.  

To get to Point #1, continue on the Jalama road a half-mile to the end, at Jalama Beach County Park.  Be advised that an entrance fee is charged at the gate.  Continue through the park to the Jalama Beach Cafe, then park and walk northwest to the bluff that's across the creek.  There's a barbed wire fence here (down in some spots), which denotes the boundary of Vandenberg Air Force Base.  The point where the trail crosses the barbed wire fence is the location closest to the southwesternmost point of the contiguous United States.

By the way, to get to Jalama Beach, do not take U.S. Highway 101 to Gaviota State Park and continue on the small road northwest of the park (like I did).  That road terminates a half-mile to the north on a privately-owned ranch.  The only access to Jalama County Beach is the Jalama Road, off California Highway 1 south of Lompoc.

 

The Southwesternmost Point

 

 

Above:  The southwesternmost point of the contiguous United States is an unnamed point on Vandenberg Air Force Base (green dot).  The closest you can get to the southwesternmost point is at Jalama Beach County Park (purple dot).  The southwesternmost point that's publicly-accessible is on a sharp bend in the Jalama Road (red dot).  I created the blue and red lines, each with a bearing of 135 degrees, to help me determine the southwesternmost points.