In clear weather, the west end of Trinidad Head is a great place to view the coast. With binoculars, we can observe birds, seals, sea lions, whales migrating between Alaska and Baja California, fishing and boating activity. At other times, Trinidad Head experiences dense fog and winter storms. Occasionally the winds reach hurricane force. The low vegetation here is sculpted in part by these strong winds.
Above we look north toward Elk Head. We can also see College Cove, Pewetole Island and Trinidad Beach. Far off, rising above the trees and just below the horizon, is Strawberry Rock. The town of Trinidad is entirely hidden behind the summit. The summit hides Scenic Drive, Moonstone and Westhaven from view as well.
Looking east, we see towers and buildings on the summit. Trinidad Head is home to the Trinidad Head Observatory, a NOAA ESRL atmospheric monitoring station. This is a long-term project to track air quality and to better understand our changing climate.
Looking west to northwest, we see the offshore Blank Rock, Flatiron Rock and a reef that is very important in the local fishery. Far off near the right edge of the photo is Green Rock, northwest of Elk Head. These big offshore rocks are used as rookeries by sea birds.
In the final photo, we look south toward Pilot Rock and Eureka. Pilot Rock is a key navigational landmark for mariners approaching Trinidad Harbor. All four photos are from one 360° panorama that I took in April 2014.
Photos by Jim Popenoe