California’s Shark Fin Cove and other encounters

After days of driving north, our minds are filled up with impressions and memories. The numbers on the green road signs are getting smaller. It’s only only a 90min ride to our last destination, San Francisco. We are silently making our inner farewells to Highway 1 and all the beauty it offers, excited for the final adventure that lays ahead of us.

During those last miles on the pacific coastal route, we are frequently seeing cars parking on the side of the road. Wondering what their passengers are up to, we are letting quite some occasions pass until we finally pull over. Curious whats hidden down there by the cliffs.

We are approaching the crag slowly. Rambling around and taking time for some infinity-rails-romantic-balancing picture for the hipster in me. It takes a while until we finally realize what a fluke it was to pick this very spot. Bit by bit Shark Fin Cove reveals it’s beauty. Starting with the giant rock inside the bay, over the huge waves, the little beach and finally, much to our surprise a bunch of people hanging out there. We move from “oh cool, let’s take a picture from up here and bunk off” to “we need to get DOWN there”.

On this point, I have to be honest. I am terrified not at ease with heights; scared to fall off as soon as I see an abyss and freaking out for everyone around me less frighten, ready at all times to witness something horrible and to call the ambulance. No shit.

This being said, the mental effort to put on my big girl pants and to climb down this narrow dirt track was huge. It’s thousand tiny, tricky and slippery stones were feeding my upcoming panic and while I saw myself laying down there with a cracked head. I thought more than once “that was a real shitty idea”. Realistically, the track is a bit steep. Leave your heels at home and you are good to go.  Probably it’s quite simple to get down there for any person that is not me.

And yes, against all odds, you need to get down there to do it right. Shark Fin Cove is certainly amongst our top 3 stops along Highway 1 between Los Angeles and San Francisco. We were lucky enough to catch one of California’s most beautiful sunsets. The waves were one massively impressive force of nature and the light was simply magical.

We stumbled upon Shark Fin Cove by pure chance. The Lonely Planet doesn’t mention it and we didn’t notice any landmark along the road. It’s just a few minutes outside of Davenport.  If you -contrary to us – pay attention, can spot the Shark Fin rock already from up the street.

Fun Fact

I learned from Santa Cruz Life’s wonderful article about the Shark Tooth Rock that the little dirt track is not having only traps in form of slippery stones and pipes to badly bang your head on (yep, done that). It is home to some lovely Poison Oak as well; which totally explains the terrible itchy ugly rush on my ankle that is drivin’ me fucking nuts. So, watch out!


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20 Responses

  1. utravelshare says:

    Best places are always the unexpected ones 🙂 in particular if you find such a magnificent hidden place, and the Lonely planet doesn’t mention it 😀 great discover, I take note for my next travel to California 😀 .


  2. Wow what an adventurous trip! I absolutely love the photos, the cove looks beautiful. Definitely added on my list for places to visit 🙂

  3. diytravelhq says:

    I’d never heard of Shark Fin Cove before – why not?! It looks epic & sunset looks like the perfect time to be there. It proves that you can’t rely completely on guide books when travelling!

    • I totally agree! You just have to keep your eyes open, but I think if it would be in all those guides, it would loose a bit it’s sparkle.. like this we really had the feeling we found something 🙂

  4. 😱😱😱 those photos!!! LOVE that long exposure! Glad you didn’t fall off the ledge into the abyss 😉

  5. Shark Cove looks awesome. How cool you happened to stop at exactly the right spot!

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