[Oblique aerial photo of Big Lagoon from the west by Jim Popenoe]

Big Lagoon


 2009 by Jim Popenoe

Big Lagoon is seven miles north of Trinidad.  Exit Hwy 101 onto Big Lagoon Park Road. Follow signs to Big Lagoon County Park at the south end of the lagoon.  A broad sand bar separates the lagoon from the ocean.  Water in the lagoon is only slightly brackish.  The lagoon provides a range of habitats for plants and animals.  In summer, pelicans come to the lagoon to bathe.  The lagoon side of the sand bar is home to wading shore birds.  The steep northeast shore is covered by old-growth redwood and Sitka spruce forest.  Water along the lagoon's south shore is shallow and the banks are densely vegetated.  At the lagoon's southeast end is a tule marsh used by waterfowl, river otter and Roosevelt elk. Click here for a big (800x600) aerial view from the southeast.  From the bluff just south of the lagoon is a splendid view of Patrick's Point.

Big Lagoon is also very popular for recreation.  It warms up enough in summer to go wading. The sandy beach and quiet water along the bar make fun places for small children to play. Hunting, fishing, kayacking, canoeing, rafting, sailing and windsurfing are all popular.  Read Marna Powell's excellent guide on kayacking at Big Lagoon. For vacationers, Big Lagoon Park has campsites in the trees.  To learn still more, see the Big Lagoon page at the California's Redwood Coast website.