|Gorgeous -Bay Area Guardian
Long sandy beaches below rugged headlands, a craggy coastline with natural arches
and secluded coves are features that make Sonoma Coast State Beach one of California's
most scenic attractions.
The Beach, actually a series of beaches separated by rock bluffs and headlands,
extends 17 miles from Bodega Head to Vista Trail located 4 miles north of Jenner.
Beachcombers, fishermen, sunbathers and picnickers can access the beach from more
than a dozen points along coast Highway 1.
While the north coast weather can be foggy in the summer, it usually burns
off by midday and the cool ocean breezes make the Sonoma Coast a haven for visitors
seeking to escape the inland heat.
The beach is located between Jenner and Bodega Bay on Highway One. The Rangers'
Station is at the north side of Salmon Creek, off Highway 1.
The weather can be changeable; layered clothing is recommended.
Bodega Head is the rocky headland that forms the entrance into Bodega
Harbor. The harbor side provides a popular crabbing area along the jetty, and
the many hiking trails on the ocean side allow access to small, sandy coves and
spectacular scenic blufftop views. The high cliffs offer excellent vantage points
for observing migrating gray whales.
Goat Rock, near the mouth of the Russian River, is known for its scenic
shoreline and easily accessible sandy beach. Picnic tables and restroom facilities
are also available. Goat Rock beach is home to a colony of harbor seals which
are fun to watch, but please stay 50 yards from the seals, especially during pupping
season (March - August.) Due to the protected status of the seals, NO DOGS are
allowed on Goat Rock Beach.
Shell Beach is a favorite location for beachcombing and tidepooling.
It is used by schools as an outdoor classroom for the study of tidal pool marine
life and enjoys a reputation as a prime fishing spot.
Duncan's Landing is famous for two things: as an early-day landing
for loading small coastal ships with lumber and food products and for being the
most dangerous point along the Sonoma Coast due to large and unpredictable surf.
Heed the signs and stay off the rocks, the waves have come up to the parking lot
and people have been swept off the rocks. In the spring the wildflower displays
Portuguese Beach & Schoolhouse Beach are beautiful sandy beaches
surrounded by rocky headlands. Rock fishing and surf fishing are popular in these
Salmon Creek Beach, where a lagoon forms as sand closes the mouth
of Salmon Creek, is a popular summer destination. Nearly two miles of unbroken,
scenic, sandy beach make this an excellent place for surf fishing, beachcombing,
and picnicking. The surfers are here when the waves are good. NO DOGS and NO FIRES
are allowed on Salmon Creek Beach due to the protection of the snowy plovers.
The western snowy plover is listed under the Federal Endangered Species Act as
a threatened species because of loss of nesting habitat due to human development,
invasion of European beach grass and predation by ravens, foxes, domestic dogs
Take care when visiting the beach
Like most north coast beaches, Sonoma Coast is NOT FOR SWIMMING. Strong rip
currents, heavy surf and sudden ground swells make even surf play dangerous. A
small staff of well-trained lifeguards are usually on duty during the peak season,
but with so much coastline to cover they may not be available.
It is especially important to keep children back from the highest water-line
and never turn your back to the ocean. Many rescues are made each year. Also be
careful of the bluffs and rocks. The shale formations are unstable and unsafe
for climbing, so stay on the trails and heed warning signs.
There are 27 developed campsites located adjacent to the beach. There are no showers,
but campers may use the hot showers at nearby Bodega Dunes Campground. Maximum
trailer length is 27', no hook-ups are available. Each site has picnic tables,
fire rings and paved parking spurs. Running water and flush toilets are nearby.
When the campground is filled, the overflow area in the Wright's Beach Picnic
Area may be used for self-contained vehicles. This area is along the roadway adjacent
to the kiosk. Reservations are recommended, especially on the weekends and during
the peak season.
There are 98 campsites with hot showers, flush toilets, and a trailer sanitation
dump station. Maximum trailer length is 31', no hook-ups are available. Campfire
and Junior Ranger programs are held in the summer months. The day use area includes
a disabled accessible boardwalk out to a classic sandy beach. No DOGS and NO FIRES
are allowed on the beach as a measure to protect the snowy plovers. The western
snowy plover is listed under the Federal Endangered Species Act as a threatened
species because of loss of nesting habitat due to human development, invasion
of European beach grass and predation by ravens, foxes, domestic dogs and cats.
Willow Creek Environmental Camp
Pomo Canyon Environmental Camp
11 primitive campsites with fire rings, picnic tables, and pit toilets. Campsites
are within 1/4 mile from the parking lot and there is no running water. The only
State Park campground on the Russian River, sites are shaded by willows but close
to a large beach for swimming and fishing. Blue heron, egrets, osprey, and occasionally
river otters can be seen by the river. To protect the wildlife, no dogs are allowed.
These sites are not on the reservation system.
20 campsites with fire rings, picnic tables, pit toilets and running water nearby.
Campsites are within 1/4 mile from the parking lot, one is disabled accessible.
Camps are set in a beautiful redwood grove among the ferns. A three mile trail
to Shell Beach takes off from the campground, crossing seasonal streams and rising
up into the grassland with marvelous views of the river and finally the ocean.
To protect the wildlife, no dogs are allowed. This campground is not on the reservation
||En route Campsites
||Exhibits & Programs
||Hike or Bike Campsites
||Campers (Max. Length) 31'
||RV Dump Station
||Trailers (Max. Length) 31'
Please call Sonoma Coast SB prior to arrival as conditions may change.