The Davenport Pier

Driving down hwy 1, taking in the smell of the salty air, the clean, blue bay area ocean, you’d never know what you were missing if you didn’t know where to look.

Across the street from a massive concrete plant stands the remains of what used to be the Davenport pier.  The pier was built by John Pope Davenport to be used as a lumber pier.  Due to the amount of mud washing in from the Agna Puerca creek, the ships couldn’t tie up to port.  An extension was added but it didn’t solve the problem.  Another pier was built; however, the location is unknown.  Then, due to a large storm (I believe) both piers were destroyed.  The only remnants are the beams of the Davenport pier.

The beams serve as a canvas for graffiti artists and a place of spectacle for others.  People have attempted to tight rope walk between two of the piers, as you can see if you search on YouTube.

Disclaimer:  Getting up close and personal with these massive structures is extremely dangerous.  During low-tide, I have heard that there is a path just north of the pier to take where you can walk around the rocks.  I went during the afternoon, so the water level has risen substantially since morning.  There is a path, but I’m not joking when I say it is more like a wall of slate.  More pieces fall apart at every step and there is zero leverage for you to hold onto of pull yourself up with.  I am a fairly adventurous person, but by the time I had made it half way down, I realized I couldn’t turn around and wished I hadn’t started the descent.  My fiance made it down to the sand, but I waited at a “checkpoint” if you will, where I saw a ton of old iron twisted and bent up from the where the pier used to connect to land.  When I got back to the top I wanted to throw myself onto the ground and start kissing it.  A great deal of coaching (from my fiance) was the only thing that got me back up to the top.  (I was about to say “forget it” and stay at my checkpoint until the water level went back down so I could hike around the rocks on the north side.)  Upon reaching the top, we promptly bee-lined it across the street to a little brewery and got the largest beers they had, which I’d have to say were pretty damn good.

There is quite a bit of the original pier left: iron beams, screws and bolts all rusting and sticking out from the hill, so if you choose to give this a try. Be VERY cautious. One misstep and you will most likely need to visit the nearest hospital.

The safest place to get pictures is from the Davenport Bluff, which is accessible from the dirt parking lot across from the Whale City Bakery & Brewery.

How to find this place: If you head down hwy 1 from Pescadero, you will eventually see a concrete plant on your left.  Turn right, toward the water into the dirt parking lot across from the plant.  You will have to walk across the railroad tracks to the coast before you will see the pier. Enjoy!

*The history of the pier is quite hard to come by. If you know something I haven’t mentioned or if any corrections need to be made, please let me know!