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Spots on the Rock

A coastal cruise from Gun Beach to Tanguisson Beach

Tangible history and physical wonders along the island's northwest coast

Seaside trails along the island's northwestern coast, between Tumon's popular Gun Beach and Dededo's rugged Tanguisson Beach, sweep past pretty views of a rocky, wet wonderland. This coastal cruise has it all.

From war remnants and an ancient CHamoru latte site, to pristine, isolated beaches and towering castle-like cliffs and limestone rock formations – this coastal region has collected it all throughout the centuries of Guam's formation.

In addition, this coastal area is also known for its accessibility to great snorkeling and diving sites, as well as many sea creatures and features seen around the Philippine Sea.

Note that this hike can only be done during low to negative tide. This trek takes travelers over a coastal area usually submerged by water with dangerous waves constantly crashing over the nearby reef. While it's likely to be relatively low tide during Guam's dry season, be sure to check local tide charts before committing to this hike.

WWII remnant and northwest coast views

To begin, walk on to Gun Beach and trek east toward the jungle. Near the top of the beach and right by the jungle, you'll find the entrance to the first leg of the hike as well as a World War II remnant.

Here lies an old, rusted Japanese 20-cm coastal defense gun, one of only two Japanese guns left in its original position in Guam. Check out this piece of history, along with a fortified unit behind it, before moving with the rest of the journey.

Near the remnant is the manicured trail that leads to our first stop, Fai Fai Beach. Continue on this jungle path, which will grant breathtaking views of Tumon Bay along the way.

Soon the path will transition onto a wooden platform that lends a staircase and side rails for your use. Still, carefully climb down the short flight of stairs onto the rest of the platform. Here you have even more views of beautiful Tumon Bay and nearby sights of the reef.

Continue walking along this limestone shelf to reach Fai Fai Beach, characterized by a few rocky shoreline spots and the jungle-lined cliffs to your right.

There's one area along the beach with an array of green, moss-covered rocks and other beach treasures that are very interesting and picturesque. Feel free to document your finds, but these treasures belong to the ocean!

To reach the ancient CHamoru latte site nearby, follow the outskirts of the private ranch area by the jungle.

Near the end of the ranch area, climb above the beach and onto the upper grassy area by the ranch and find the trail that leads into the jungle and toward the cliffs.

Real-deal ancient latte stones

Follow this well-beaten path into the jungle toward the latte site. Once you enter an area under a canopy of trees, you will have sights of the first of many ancient latte stones in northwestern Guam.

While these large, jutting rocks won't look like the ones advertised across Guam, these are the real deal! Please respect the environment and our latte stones. Photos are fine, but refrain from touching and otherwise damaging these ancient relics.

Continuing along the path, you will soon find an abundance of much more manicured latte stones, standing in order. Gaze over these symbols of ancient CHamoru history, but again, please do not interact with our beloved latte stones.

After you've taken your pictures and had your fill of wonderment in this ancient CHamoru area, follow the rest of the noticeable trail to get back out to the beach. Pay close attention to the ground path and any colored markers among the trees on your way out.

Soon the jungle canopy will fade behind and you should break out on to the white sandy beach by a distinct, leaning coconut tree.

Continue the trek by journeying right, toward the Two Lovers Point cliffs. By the end of the beach are a few unique limestone rock formations, characteristic of Guam's northwest coast.

The shallow waters here are also where you are likely to find a variety of sea critters, including small, darting fish, octopuses, starfish, sea urchins, clams, sea cucumber (yup, balate') and more!

Look above for Two Lovers' Point cliffs

Just around the corner is where you should find yourself below the cliffs where Two Lovers Point towers 400 feet above.

According to CHamoru legend, two lovers caught in a forbidden romance that matched that of Romeo and Juliet jumped from the jutting point above with their hair intertwined centuries ago.

Even more unimaginable, during the dry season this coastal flat is, well, flat. The water level is a foot at most throughout the day, and with large boulders and a rugged terrain all around, it would be nice to think that the two lovers jumped off during the rainy season.

Take a few moments to reimagine the dramatic legend that unfolded supposedly right in this very area. Gaze over the castle-like cliffline that was once a formidable fortress occupied by the Spanish centuries ago.

Afterward, continue walking over the reef flats along the coast. Soon you will reach an area filled with nothing but huge, round boulders scattered along the beach, embracing the ocean's harsh tides.

Be careful traversing over these boulders as not all of them are stable, and keep an eye out for gaping holes and gaps in between. After making it through boulder land, check out the nearby edge of the reef, but beware the rushing tides!

Just around the next corner is the final leg of the hike with your destination less than 20 minutes away.

Catch the sunset along Tumon Bay

Safely make your way around the cliff – probably by walking along its bottom shelf – to get to the other side. This last leg of the trip is where you're likely to have your first sight of other people throughout the whole hike due to its close proximity to Tanguisson. Also seen in the distance is the old Dededo power plant.

Carefully trek over the sharp limestone rocks and through slippery pathways. All around, there are colorful signs of sea life bursting. Red limestone headlands and green seaweed are something of interest beneath your feet.

Once you've reached the sand, it's a short walk to Tanguisson Beach, which lies a few minutes ahead. Passing more and more people with each stride, you might be missing your journey filled with mostly solitude.

At Tanguisson you might want to rest and enjoy another refreshing swim and snorkel session in the waters here. There's a reason why the beach is pretty populated on the weekends and the answer lies in the water!

However, if you're tired of seeing the water and could use a refreshing drink instead (if you're 21 or older), drive back to your other car at Gun Beach and grab a cold one at the Beach Bar, just in time for the sunset.

Cheers to another adventure-filled weekend with another hike crossed off the list, swimming and snorkeling included, and hopefully some great summertime memories to cherish.

Happy hiking!

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