Above: This unnamed point a few miles south of Point Arena on the northern California coast is the west-southwesternmost point in the Lower 48 states. The light was fading as I began my 2-mile hike out to this point so I had to scramble. (1:25)
The west-southwesternmost point of the contiguous United States is an unnamed point of land located north of San Francisco in the newly-created California Coastal National Monument. It's located about two miles west of the town of Point Arena, California and about three miles south of the Point Arena Lighthouse.
- I visited the west-southwesternmost point on May 15, 2016. To read my article and see my photos, click here.
- The coordinates are: 38° 55.156' N, 123° 43.646' W
- To see a Google Map of the north-northwesternmost point, click here.
- To see the panorama photo I created at this point, click here.
If You Go:
To get to the west-southwesternmost point, take California Highway 1 to the northern edge of the town of Point Arena. The point is located in the newly-created California Coastal National Monument, managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). There are two trailheads to the point located a few hundred yards apart, but they join up a few hundred yards past each trailhead.
One trailhead (the one I took) is located at a pullout on Highway 1 a few feet north of the Point Arena city limit sign north of town. There's a gate here but the fence allows pedestrian access. Be careful not to continue walking on the dirt road that extends past the gate. Instead take the trail, which veers left (south) from the dirt road. The trail is marked with a very small BLM trail marker on a brown stake. The other trailhead is a bit further south on Highway 1. To reach it, pull into the parking lot for the first building you see to the right (west) side of the road as you pass the city limits sign heading south into town. Again, both trails join shortly past their trailheads, so you can take either one.
Continue on the trail west for about two miles through a grassy plain. There's a portable outhouse located about two miles from the trailhead but there are no other facilities and there are no signs. The west-southwesternmost point is not marked but to reach it, continue walking west (using your GPS or compass) until you reach the bluff, about 20 feet above the ocean. Use my photos as a guide, if you'd like.
The West-Southwesternmost Point
Above: The west-southwesternmost point is about three miles south of Point Arena lighthouse and near the town of Point Arena, on the northern California coast north of San Francisco. It's an unnamed point of land in the newly-created California Coastal National Monument, managed by the BLM. I created the blue line, with a bearing of 157.5 degrees, to help me determine the west-southwesternmost point.