Pillar Point, Half Moon Bay

Pillar Point, Half Moon Bay

by | Jul 30, 2020

Pillar Point is a prominent headland forming Half Moon Bay, located about 20 miles (32 km) south-southwest of San Francisco and 4 miles (6.5 km) northwest of the community of Half Moon Bay, California.

The headland has cliffs with an elevation of 175 feet (53 m). The bluff property was historically used for grazing, and in 1940 it was purchased by the U.S. Army for an observation post. In 1958 the U.S. Navy took over and used the station as a control site for missile testing. Ownership of the site was transferred to the U.S. Air Force in 1964 to support ballistic missile test launches out of Vandenberg Air Force Base. The 220-acre (89 ha) bluff top is open to the public and includes a section of the California Coastal Trail. There are popular views of Half Moon Bay Harbor and the world-famous Mavericks surf break.

Ross’s Cove, the beach below the bluff, is part of the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve and is located within the Montara State Marine Reserve. San Mateo County Parks Department acquired Pillar Point Bluff with a grant from the Wildlife Conservation Board as an addition to Fitzgerald Marine Reserve in 2011. Read more here and here. Explore more of Pillar Point and Half Moon Bay here:

About the background graphic

This ‘warming stripe’ graphic is a visual representation of the change in global temperature from 1850 (top) to 2021 (bottom). Each stripe represents the average global temperature for one year. The average temperature from 1971-2000 is set as the boundary between blue and red. The color scale goes from -0.7°C to +0.7°C. The data are from the UK Met Office HadCRUT4.6 dataset. 

Credit: Professor Ed Hawkins (University of Reading). Click here for more information about the #warmingstripes.

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