St. John Trails: The White Cliffs

st john usvi trails: white cliffs
White Cliffs
White Cliffs Trail Map, St John Virgin Islands
White Cliffs Trail
St. John Trails: Europa bay
Europa Bay

Want a beautiful and exciting alternative to the Lameshur Bay Trail between Lameshur Bay and Reef Bay? We have one for you and it is one of the most dramatic, scenic and exciting hiking trails on St. John – The White Cliffs Trail.

trail to the ridge

Beginning at Lameshur Bay, take the Lameshur Bay Trail as far as the Europa Bay Spur. Turn left onto the Europa Bay Spur and follow it to the coral rubble and rock strewn beach at Europa Bay.

Turn right and head towards the south end of the beach. You should be feeling a cooling breeze and hearing the sounds of the surf breaking and the melodious rhythm of the small cobbles and pieces of coral rolling back and forth in the surge.

large rocks on trail
big rocks on trail

Walk along the shore until you reach the steep hill coming down from the cliffs. Turn right along the base of the hill (it is cleared) and go about 150 feet in from the water. Bear left and diagonally up the hill. You want to stay just to the right of the big rocks and in a short way, you will start to see a track that heads straight up. Follow it to the top of the ridge….”

Near the top is a turn off to the right with magnificent bird’s eye views of  Europa Bay and the big salt pond behind it.

When you reach the ridge, a short walk to the left will bring you to an overlook with great views to the southeast coast of St. John all the way out to Rams Head.

view of salt pond at Europa Bay
View of Europa Bay Salt Pond

Europa Bay
View of Europa Bay

View towards Ram Head
View towards Ram Head

Now for the trail: Walk west along the ridge. The trail goes to the left side of the ridge, down a bit and then back over the ridge and down a bit on the north side of the ridge. The trail gets better as you go. If you are bushwhacking at all, you missed it. Just keep heading west.

a large agave in middle of the trail
Agave on trail

Passing a rather large agave in then middle of the trail, follow the trail straight up the ridge. After you pass over a short rocky section, you will come to an area of large cactus.

The trail isn’t very noticeable here, but you can keep just to the right of the first couple of cactus and then bear up and left to reach the top of the cliff. There are a few little agaves but it is easy going. You should be at the top of the cliff with the ocean straight down below you. There is a section of stone wall at the edge.

What we’re calling the White Cliffs Trail may have been a footpath for those traveling between Lameshur Bay and Reef Bay, but this part where you first get to the clifftop and the section of stone wall appears to be an old road.

Now you will be walking west along the ridgetop. On your left the hillside descends steeply towards the White Cliffs and the rocky shoreline below. Wowie! Awesomely dramatic! And lots of outstanding photo ops also!

The views to the south are superb all along the trail and there are more orchids blooming along the trail than I have seen anywhere else on the island. If you look closely, they seem to grow along the trail, but not much away from the trail. They were just starting to bloom before Christmas.

From here, the trail is obvious and follows along the side of the hill and goes straight toward Reef Bay.

You will emerge from the trail at the east end of the beach not far from the beginning of the White Cliffs.

Entrance to trail from the beach at Reef Bay

If you want to find the trail from the beach at Reef Bay, walk east along the beach until you are a few hundred feet from the end. There are two round bushes on the beach, out toward the water. Both about 6 feet tall, look the same, and are maybe 20 feet apart. Head into the woods from between the bushes, bear right and sort of follow up the left side of the gut. Look for the cut stumps. It is probably easier to find from the Europa Bay end.

If you haven’t had enough by now, you can easily reach the sugar mill ruins at the end of the Reef Bay Trail and continue your explorations, such as the petroglyphs, the Par Force Ruins and the Great House. If you don’t want to backtrack you can also return to Lameshur Bay via the Lameshur By Trail.

Update me when site is updated

4 thoughts on “St. John Trails: The White Cliffs”

  1. Seems like an awesome hike! I’ve been to the Reefbay sugar mills ruins, and the Yawzi trail, but this one that is in-between looks really great. I had no idea that there was a Europa Bay Salt Pond, very cool… I thought the Salt Pond bay salt pond was the only one on the island. I will definitely check this out next visit!

  2. One of our favorite things to do whenever we visit is to sit in the water waist deep in front of the cliffs. That area is extremely shallow and full of turtle grass, so it is a fish nursery (just like mangroves). There are a lot of baby nurse and black tip sharks in the area that are too timid to approach, but as soon as we get out of the water, several of them will swim through the spot we were just in to “smell” us! (Can you tell we’re biologists?) They are totally harmless!

Comments are closed.