The bluff property was historically used for grazing. When the San Mateo County adopted the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve Master Plan in 2004 it had identified these lands for acquisition. Peninsula Open Space Trust subsequently secured the parcels in the area and made initial public access improvements including building a parking lot, restroom, and the Jean Lauer Trail. 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.