Dogs are allowed on the beach and headland trails west of Highway 1 within Jug Handle State Natural Reserve on the Headlands Loop trail. Dogs are not allowed on the Staircase Trail or areas east of Highway 1.
The first seven stops of the Ecological Staircase—all west of Highway One—can be walked as a short headlands loop. At first, lanky Bishop pines loom overhead. Later, you’re gazing across a sweep of prairie. Then, there’s the rugged Pacific Coast. Finally, as you loop back, interpretive signs help you identify windswept grand fir, Sitka spruce, Douglas fir, wax myrtle, and other plants of the first terrace. A self-guided tour of the entire trail is posted online.
Just north of the picnic area, you can also walk down steps to the beach. The scenery is grand, but the water is rough and cold (here and elsewhere along the North Coast). Swimming is not recommended, and no lifeguards are present.
Dogs on leash are allowed only west of Highway 1.