MOONSTONE BEACH is one of the most popular surfing spots in Humboldt County, and for good reason. In the summer, the ocean produces 3- to 5-ft. swells, often going to 20 ft. in the winter. A wide beach break provides ample room for surfers to ride, and this stretch of ocean is great for beginners and seasoned surfers alike.
But Moonstone Beach is not just for surfers. A wide, pristine beach, towering redwoods, sheer 100-ft. cliffs and waves crashing against dozens of sea stacks make this a remarkably scenic spot that all visitors can enjoy. You may see whales, dolphins, seals, cormorants, pelicans and ospreys. You can comb the beach for treasures, go fishing, climb the rocks, explore caves, ride a horse along the surf or play in the Little River where it enters the ocean. The view at this beach is absolutely spectacular.
LUFFENHOLZ BEACH, just north of Moonstone Beach, is one of Humboldt County’s most exciting secret spots. It runs along a rocky cove with some of the best tide pools anywhere. It also offers a sandy beach, huge boulders, a year-round creek and stunning views of Trinidad Bay. Glorious on sunny days, dramatic when it storms, and hauntingly mysterious the rest of the time, it provides a unique experience each time you visit.
Located on Scenic Drive between Trinidad and Westhaven-Moonstone, look for the small pull-off area where visitors can park. Nearby is a picnic table. About 200 ft. to the north is a steep staircase that goes down to the beach near Luffenholz Creek. Have fun exploring the shore, but keep an eye on the tide to avoid getting stranded if you venture too far out at low tide.
West of the parking area is another set of stairs and a narrow footpath with strategically-placed handrails. They will take you to a wonderful vantage point above the beach with panoramic views that sweep from Trinidad Head in the north to Houda Point and Camel Rock in the south. Take care with children and dogs, however — there are a few spots with long drops, so keep everyone well away from the edge.
Next Up: #88 – Patrick’s Point State Park