California Coastal National Monument ~ Viewpoint ~ Elk / Greenwood Rocks & Islets
Photo © Bob Wick
The captivating perspective of the California Coastal National Monument rocks from the town of Elk is often featured in tourism media. Walk the dirt trail along the 150' high bluff rim on Greenwood State Beach, for views of Greenwood, Elk, and Cuffy Coves. Within these coves are numerous seastacks of varying shapes and sizes.
Central in the scenery is Wharf Rock, named after Greenwood Wharf that once extended out from a cut in the bluff and across a few smaller rocks, along the near shore side of Wharf Rock. At one time, a small gauge rail line extended the length to deliver lumber onto awaiting sailing and steam schooners. Cuts in the rock and a few pylons remain.
The Greenwood State Beach parking area on the west side of Highway 1, at the south end of the town in the Greenwood community area provides the best access.
Greenwood State Beach’s Greenwood/Elk Visitor Center and Museum, once the Goodyear Lumber Company’s mill office, contains a 34’x11’ mural depicting this circa 1900 wharf.
On the south side of this small state park is a beach access trail that follows an old road cut down to Greenwood Beach. Here the large pyramid-shaped Greenwood Rock and numerous other rocks and seastacks can be viewed from the beach level.
Greenwood State Beach also has a small beach access parking area on the coast side of Highway 1 across from the Elk grocery store, a garage, and restaurant. The state beach has a picnic table and restroom on top of the bluff.
Not ADA accessible