Ascent of Point Sur on 2018-12-19

Climber: Andrew Kirmse

Others in Party:David Sanger
Date:Wednesday, December 19, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Point Sur
    Elevation:361 ft / 110 m

Ascent Trip Report

For a 360’ P300, this was quite interesting. Point Sur rises conspicuously directly from the ocean, with a sandy spit of land between it and Highway 1. The light station atop the rock is a state park manned by volunteers who give tours several times a week. About 15 people parked just outside the gate for the 1pm tour on a Wednesday. Don’t be late: a car that arrived at 1:03 was turned away because the gate had been closed already.

We all drove down to the base of the rock and started walking up the paved access road. A docent gave us the history of the area, including the wreck of various ships and a dirigible (the Macon), and a naval submarine listening station next door. We reached the lighthouse, which is actually a little bit below the summit plateau to stay beneath the fog. The summit area is mostly flat, the top 40 feet or so having been razed during construction. The tour brought us to other buildings that have been restored to 1950s-era detail.

Our docent told us that reinforcement work on some of the bridges on the access road is likely to start in early 2019, and the rock will be closed for tours for a year. After that, the plan is to ferry people up to the top by van, which will improve accessibility, but will miss out on a very pretty walk with views of sea otters and sea lions. I have a buy-one-get-one-free pass, worth the entry fee of $15, that’s good until October 31, 2019. I can mail it to anyone who is interested.

Click on photo for original larger-size version.
The light station and access road are just visible from Highway 1 (2018-12-19). Photo by Andrew Kirmse.
Click here for larger-size photo.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:321 ft / 97 m
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:321 ft / 97 m
    Distance:1 mi / 1.6 km
    Start Trailhead:40 ft / 12 m
Descent Statistics

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