The black-sand beach provides a broad walkway toward the houses of Shelter Cove atop Point Delgada. Footing may be firm along the water, or soft and tedious on the berm. Crossings of Horse Mountain Creek and Telegraph Creek along the way may require wading. Just after crossing Telegraph Creek, head left up a dirt trail to a kiosk on a small bluff. Above that another ¼ mile is the Black Sands Beach Trailhead, complete with a paved parking lot and restrooms.
To continue southward on the CCT from here, the route follows paved roads inland for about 4.6 miles to the Hidden Valley Trailhead in section 56.
As a side trip, you can continue along the coast from Black Sands Beach for another 0.6 mile to the first rocky point, then climb inland on paved streets, passing Abalone Point, Seal Rock, the airport, and then to Point Delgada and Mal Coombs Park. The Shelter Cove Campground and Store makes a good stop for refreshments and even a shower.
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The Coastal Trail alignment shown on these maps has
not been sanctioned by any agency of the State of California