Though not as spectacular as the Ma-l’el Dunes to the north, the Samoa and Manila dunes contain a plethora of beautiful—and generally less trafficked—trails at the southern limit of the dune forest ecosystem. The ascents are minimal but so much of this hike is on loose sand that it can feel longer than it is. If needed, there are numerous ways to shorten it. The route takes in the Samoa Dunes and Wetlands property, acquired in 2020 by Friends of the Dunes for eventual transfer to the BLM. It also overlaps with the route of the zany Kinetic Sculpture Race, held every Memorial Day weekend. There is no signage and most of the trails don’t even have names. The route follows several sections of a buried water pipe; numbered pipe access structures provide useful landmarks as well as canvases for some interesting graffiti art. Many of the trails are narrow and brushy and the vegetation is often wet from fog condensation. Mosquitoes are plentiful in spring and summer. The hike ends with a long beach walk.
Friends of the Dunes: firstname.lastname@example.org, 707-444-1397