Moonstone Beach Boardwalk In Cambria
Central Coast

How To Visit Moonstone Beach Boardwalk In Cambria

Moonstone Beach Boardwalk is a scenic pathway that travels next to the ocean in Cambria. This wooden boardwalk is mostly flat making it a popular outdoor activity for those visiting Cambria or San Simeon.

The boardwalk is only 2.6 miles long round trip so it’s the perfect place to go for an afternoon walk with little kids or dogs. It also offers plenty of opportunities to access the beach where you can explore tide pools and walk on the sandy shoreline.

On my most recent trip to Cambria, I walked this pathway with my baby stroller and pup. I’m here to share information that I wish I had known before my visit.

In this guide, I cover where to park, trail details, and what to expect if you plan to visit the Moonstone Beach Boardwalk in Cambria!

Moonstone Beach is one of the best boardwalks in California.

Moonstone Beach Trail Information

Here are a few quick Moonstone Trail highlights before I dive into more details:

  • Length: 2.6 miles out and back
  • Elevation Gain: flat
  • Time Needed: 1-2 hours
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Dogs allowed?: Yes, dogs are allowed on the boardwalk, but not on the beach itself

Moonstone Beach Boardwalk Trail Parking

There are many entrance points where you can access the Moonstone Beach Boardwalk. Parking and entrance to this trail are free to visitors.

Moonstone Beach Boardwalk Map:

If you’re following Moonstone Beach Trail from the AllTrails hiking app it suggests parking at the Leffingwell Landing parking lot at the north entrance. This is what I did on my visit.

There is a small dirt lot where you can park your car and access the trailhead. You can set Moonstone Beach Boardwalk directions within the AllTrails hiking app that will take you directly to this parking lot.

Moonstone Beach Trailhead

The trail travels next to Moonstone Beach Drive with plenty of entrance points along the way. You can park along Moonstone Beach Drive and easily access the trail from this road.

You can also park at the Santa Rosa Creek Parking Lot by the south entrance. if you need to use a restroom before the hike, there is a basic bathroom within the parking lot.

About Moonstone Beach Boardwalk

Moonstone Beach Boardwalk is one of the best Cambria hiking trails offering incredible views of the ocean. This boardwalk is part of the California Coastal Trail (CCT) which travels for 1200 miles along the California Coast.

Rugged ocean views along Cambria Moonstone Beach Boardwalk.

This trail has been on my bucket list for a while and I finally got to check it off on my latest trip to San Simeon. I got to visit this location in spring when the trail was surrounded by wildflowers adding to the already beautiful scenery.

The boardwalk is flat so it is an ideal location to take little kids for a casual stroll while visiting the area. I even brought my infant stroller that fit on the boardwalk.

The pathway is also dog friendly although there were ‘no dogs allowed’ signs at the stairways leading down to the beach itself.

Moonstone Beach in Cambria

The boardwalk follows next to the ocean on one side with residential homes, hotels, and restaurants on the other side. If you’re looking for a place to grab lunch, Moonstone Beach Bar & Grill is a very popular option (although they don’t allow dogs).

This trail does not have a lot of shade and it’s very exposed to the sun. Be sure to bring a hiking hatsunscreen, and plenty of water for the adventure, especially when the weather starts getting warmer in the summer months. You don’t need any special hiking gear to do this trail, any sneakers or shoes will do.

Driftwood structure at Cambria Moonstone Beach.

There are plenty of benches along the pathway where you can sit, relax, and watch the waves crash against the shoreline. Although it can get busy on the weekends, come early in the morning to enjoy a bit of solitude before the crowds arrive.

My Experience Visiting Moonstone Beach Boardwalk

After finding parking at Leffingwell Landing, we ventured into the trail. The boardwalk travels on top of rugged ocean cliffs with beautiful views right from the beginning.

After a bit of walking, we reached the Moonstone Beach Boardwalk Deck. Here you can stop to enjoy views of the surrounding cliffs or take stairs that go down onto the beach.

Moonstone Beach Boardwalk Deck

This rocky shoreline is home to many animals including sea lions, dolphins, harbor seals, and birds like brown pelicans and black oystercatchers. If you stop at one of the viewpoints, be on the lookout and you might spot some!

As we continued along the boardwalk, the next section passed Moonstone Beach. We could not go down to the beach because we had our pup with us, but this is a very popular beach for exploring rocky tide pools where you can observe marine life. If you’re staying at one of the nearby hotels, be sure to head down here for a beautiful sunset!

Stairs that lead down to Moonstone Beach in California.

The beach itself is named after the smooth pebbles known as ‘moonstones’ that can be found scattered along the shoreline, especially after a storm.

The last attraction along the boardwalk is the Moonstone Beach Park. This is a 30-acre park with a river at the center of it that serves as a small sanctuary for local wild animals. It borders Shamel Community Park which has a restroom, playground, and grassy area ideal for picnicking.

Moonstone Beach Park

After reaching the endpoint of the boardwalk you can turn around and head back the same way. If you’re looking for other easy Cambria hikes, I recommend checking out the nearby Fiscalini Ranch Preserve next.


If you’re seeking fun and easy hikes in Cambria, it doesn’t get better than this! Have any questions about visiting the Moonstone Beach Boardwalk? Let me know in the comment section below!

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This post is written by Laura Sausina. Hi, I’m a California local and the founder of the California Wanderland travel blog. I currently live in Ventura County and help 30,000 readers a month discover things to do in Central California! Read more about me here.

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