Use map menus to display the location and extent of any beach segment
Directions to New Brighton State Beach: Exit Hwy One at Park Avenue. Proceed to north end of New Brighton S.B. and park.
Directions to Aptos Creek: Exit Hwy One at Rio Del Mar Blvd. Proceed to Aptos Beach at junction of Beach Drive and park.
Sampling: This segment extends from the extreme northwest end of New Brighton S.B. to Aptos Creek at Rio Del Mar State Beach. The northwest end of New Brighton State Beach begins where the rocky bluff meets the sand (impassable). Continue south, past the pier and cement ship for another half-mile until the Aptos Creek is reached. In dry months, this point is marked approximately by the edge of the parking lot. Total length is 2.3 miles.
Directions to Aptos Creek: Exit Hwy One at Rio Del Mar Blvd. Proceed to Aptos Creek at junction of Beach Drive and Rio Del Mar Blvd. and park.
Directions to La Selva railroad trestle: Exit Hwy. One at San Andreas Road. Proceed to Manresa State Beach and park. Take stairway to the beach and walk <0.5 mile north to railroad trestle.
Sampling: This segment extends from Aptos Creek, past a large white seawall, to the railroad trestle, approximately 0.5 miles north of Manresa S.B. Total length is 3.0 miles.
Directions to La Selva railroad trestle: Exit Hwy. One at San Andreas Road. Proceed to Manresa State Beach and park. Take stairway to the beach and walk approximately 0.5 miles north to railroad trestle.
Directions to Sunset State Beach: From the north, exit Hwy. One at San Andreas Road and proceed to Sunset Beach Road. From the south, exit Hwy. One at Hwy 129 junction (Riverside Dr.), cross over Hwy. One to Beach Road, turn right on San Andreas Road and proceed to Sunset Beach Road. Pass through park gate and park vehicle in lot near kiosk. Take rampway to the beach.
Sampling: This segment extends from the railroad trestle, approximately 0.5 miles north of Manresa S.B., past the Monterey Bay Academy, to the Sunset S.B. rampway located on a high, tree-covered bluff. Total length is 3.2 miles.
Directions to Sunset State Beach: From the north, exit Hwy. One at San Andreas Road/Larkin Road and bear right onto San Andreas Road. Proceed to Sunset Beach Road; turn right. From the south, exit Hwy. One at Hwy 129 junction (Riverside Dr.), cross over Hwy. One to Beach Road, turn right on San Andreas Road and proceed to Sunset Beach Road; turn left. Pass through park gate and park vehicle in lot near kiosk. (The kiosk is a manned entrance station. You may meet at the parking spaces on the left just before the park entrance station, at the parking for the group picnic area. Leave BeachComber ID on the car dashboard.) Take ramp way to the beach.
Directions to Pajaro Dunes & Pelican Point: Exit Hwy. One at Hwy. 129 junction (Riverside Dr. exit), cross over Hwy. One to Lee Road and turn right. Proceed to Beach Road and turn left. Proceed west on Beach Road until the Pajaro Dunes development is reached. Take a left turn at the end of Beach Road, pull up to the speaker, and obtain permission to enter housing development. (State that you are there for the monthly Beach Survey for Moss Landing Marine Labs.) Drive down Rio Boca Road to Pelican Point (extreme south end of development) and park. Take Pelican staircase to beach at south end of houses. When exiting, stay on Rio Boca Road; slowly pull up to the exit gate, and it will swing open.
Sampling: This beach extends from the Sunset S.B. rampway, past a large housing development, and continues to the southern limit of all buildings. Total length is 3.3 miles. The mouth of the Pajaro River is another half-mile south. If you desire, you may sample the extra half-mile to the mouth of the river. Record this extra portion, “Pelican Point-to-Pajaro River mouth”, on a separate data form.
Directions to Pajaro River mouth (south side): Exit Hwy. One at Struve Road. Proceed to Giberson Road; take a left. Follow Giberson Road for two miles to Zmudowski State Beach parking lot. At the entrance to the parking lot there is a locked iron gate to your right. Park and proceed through the gate, north along the dirt road (approximately 0.5 miles) towards the mouth of the Pajaro River. Cut across the dunes at a large cypress tree, and use the walkway created by State Parks’ Snowy Plover fencing to get down to the water’s edge. This is a sensitive area for nesting Snowy Plovers. Please avoid the broad, flat sandy area where the birds are likely to be nesting, and do not cross the fencing for specimen collection. During periods of excessive rain the small wetland area east of the Zmudowski State Beach parking lot floods and prevents access to the parking lot. When this happens you have two choices:
1) park the vehicle along the edge of Giberson Road prior to the flooded area and walk north along the dirt road between the flooded area and the agricultural fields. This dirt road will take you around the flooded area until you can access the dirt road that runs parallel to the dune;
2) Access the beach from Jetty Road (see below) and walk the entire segment twice.
Directions to North Moss Landing Jetty: Exit Hwy One at Jetty Road. Park at end of road near the rock jetty. Because this segment is usually a long walk, volunteers usually park one car south at Jetty Road, carpool in a second car to the Pajaro River mouth entrance, and use the first car to retrieve the second car at the end of the walk.
Sampling: This beach extends from the south side of the Pajaro River mouth, past Moss Landing State Beach, and ends at the north jetty entrance of Moss Landing Harbor. Total length is 2.7 miles.
Directions to Moss Landing Pier: Exit Hwy One at Moss Landing Road. Make a right turn at Sandholt Road and proceed across the bridge. Immediately after crossing the bridge, park in front of Moss Landing Marine Laboratories trailers. Walk to pier.
Directions to Monterey Dune Colony (south end): Exit Hwy. One at Molera Road and proceed to Monterey Dunes Way. Obtain permission to enter housing development and continue driving until end of development is reached. Park vehicle and walk to beach.
Sampling: This segment extends from the Moss Landing pier, through Salinas River State Beach, to the end of the Monterey Dunes housing development. Total length is 3.1 miles. The mouth of the Salinas River is approximately 0.5 miles south of the southern end of the housing development. If you desire, you may sample the extra half-mile to the mouth of the river. Record this extra portion, “Monterey Dunes Colony-to-Salinas River mouth”, on a separate data form.
Directions to Salinas River barge: Exit Hwy One at Del Monte Blvd. Drive west on dirt road to Salinas River Wildlife Area parking lot. From parking lot, take trail to beach (about 15 minutes). The sunken Salinas River barge is 0.7 miles north of the beach access. If the farm road at Del Monte Blvd. is impassable, surveys should commence from Reservation Road, walking the beach in both directions, to avoid the wet dirt road all together.
Directions to Marina State Beach/Reservation Road: Exit Hwy One at Reservation Road. Drive west on Reservation Road to Marina State Beach and park.
Sampling: This beach extends from the sunken Salinas River barge, past the Lone Star Industries sand plant, to the main access of Marina State Beach/Glider Port. Remain cautious of the tides and rip currents during high surf conditions, as part of this segment is backed by high dunes. Total length is 3.2 miles.
The mouth of the Salinas river is approximately 0.5 miles north of the sunken barge. If you desire, you may sample the extra half-mile north to the mouth of the river. Record this extra portion, “Sunken barge-to-Salinas River mouth”, on a separate data form.
Directions to Marina State Beach/Reservation Road: Exit Hwy One at Reservation Road. Drive west on Reservation Road to Marina State Beach and park.
Directions to Fort Ord Dunes State Park:(Note: as Fort Ord has been developed, access routes have changed repeatedly and may do so again) Exit Hwy One at Lightfighter Drive. Make a left at the second signal onto 2nd Ave. Turn left at the stop sign onto Divarty St, then turn right onto 1st Ave. Turn left onto 8th Street, continuing across Hwy One and along road to parking lot for Fort Ord Dunes State Park. Follow the foot trail that begins just south of parking lot down to beach.
Sampling: This beach extends from the southern edge of the parking lot at Marina State Beach to the mid point of the beach access trail for Fort Ord Dunes State Park. Total length is 2.8 miles.
Directions to to Fort Ord Dunes State Park: Exit Hwy One at Lightfighter Drive. Make a left at the second signal onto 2nd Ave. Turn left at the stop sign onto Divarty St, then turn right onto 1st Ave. Turn left onto 8th Street, continuing across Hwy One and along road to parking lot for Fort Ord Dunes State Park. Follow the foot trail that begins just south of parking lot down to beach.
Directions to Tioga Avenue: Exit Hwy. One at Canyon Del Rey Blvd. Turn right on Canyon Del Rey Blvd. Turn right on Sand Dunes Drive and proceed to Tioga Avenue. Turn left on Tioga Avenue and proceed to end of road to park your vehicle.
Sampling: This segment begins at the beach directly in front of the eroded ravine (Fort Ord Dunes State Park) and proceeds south along an empty beach past two large culvert drains and several steeply angled sections to a poured concrete bluff and terminates at the west end of Tioga Avenue. Parts of the segment become narrow to impassable in stormy weather conditions or exceptionally high tides. Total length is 3.2 miles.
Directions to Carmel Beach City Park: Exit Hwy. One at Ocean Avenue and proceed west to end of road and park. Walk north into Pebble Beach Golf Links beach until a small impassable point is reached.
Directions to San Jose Creek State Beach: Park along Hwy. One approximately one mile south of the Carmel River bridge. Walk south until an impassable rocky point is reached.
Sampling: This is a segmented stretch of beach. The north end begins at a small impassable rocky point within the Pebble Beach Golf Links and extends south to a stairway at the southern end of Carmel Beach City Park. Proceed up the steps and walk along Scenic Avenue until another stairway leading to Carmel River State Beach is reached. No sampling between the stairways (0.3 miles). From the north end of Carmel River State Beach, resume sampling to the south, across the Carmel River, through the rocky outcroppings (check small pocket beaches), until an large, impassable rocky point is reached at the extreme southern end of San Jose Creek State Beach. When the Carmel River breaks through, alternate shuttling routes with cars parked near Ocean Avenue are implemented to survey both sides of the river. Total length is 2.6 miles.
Directions to North end: From Monterey, drive to west towards Asilomar beach along Sunset Drive. Park along Sunset Drive at the north end of Spanish Bay.
Directions to South end: Enter 17 mile drive at Sunset Drive, and proceed through the Pacific Grove Gate with your BeachCOMBERS pass. Continue along 17 mile drive until it splits, taking the right fork towards the beach. Park in the lot behind MPCC beach house. Access is also possible through the Congress Ave gate.
Sampling: Survey from the rocky end of the beach at either end of the segment. Continue along the beach, passing over the rocks separating the two halves of the beach. Low tide is essential for this walk, but it is possible to walk the beach in both directions, surveying in only one direction. Total length is 1.1 miles.
Directions to Greyhound Rock Coastal Access: This segment is located adjacent to Hwy. One. From Santa Cruz, proceed north on Hwy. One approximately 15 miles and park one car at the Greyhound Rock Coastal Access parking lot. There is a sign on the right that says “coastal access” just before the left hand turn into the parking lot. If you reach Big Creek Lumber, you’ve gone too far. Do not leave valuables in the car at in this lot, as break-ins are a problem. Beach access is down a steep path – use caution!
Directions to Waddell Beach (Big Basin Redwoods State Park): From Greyhound Rock Coastal Access, proceed north another 2 miles until you cross the Waddell Creek bridge. The beach parking is a large dirt lot to the left, across the street from the access to Big Basin Redwoods State Park. If you reach the San Mateo County Line sign, you’be gone too far. Park second car here.
Sampling: The north end of the survey begins just north of the north end of the Waddell Beach parking area. There are makeshift stairs made out of rocks at the north end of the parking area. Take the stairs to the beach and walk north a short ways (<100 m) until the embankment turns from boulders on the bottom and dirt on the top to continuous boulders from the road to the beach. Begins survey here. As you walk south you’ll encounter Waddell Creek (approximately 0.3 miles). It is passable and shallow/dry during the summer, but can be an obstacle during the rainy season. During the wet season, you may need to leave the beach and cross the creek along the highway, walking back down to the beach when possible. Continue sampling along beach and around the point to the south (approx. 1.2 miles). Continue past Greyhound Rock (large monolith just offshore)m and the southern beach access to your left. Proceed another 0.4 miles until you’ve reached an impassable cliff (there should be another large rock with cormorants on it, just offshore). Walk back to Greyhound Rock and up the path to your second car. Total length is 1.7 miles.
Directions to Scotts Creek: This segment is located approximately five miles south of Greyhound Rock State Beach on Hwy. One. Park at the bridge that spans Scotts Creek, on either side of the road.
Sampling: This is a very short segment. Walk north to the mouth of the creek (approximately 0.2 miles). Sample from the mouth of the creek, past the bridge until you reach an impassable rocky point to the south. Total length is 0.5 miles.
Directions: Exit Hwy. One at Moonstone Beach Drive. Continue on Moonstone Beach Drive until the Castle Inn. Park along the road and walk down the path to the beach.
Sampling: Survey from the extreme north end of this beach (in front of Castle Inn) to the south end of the beach just beyond Shamei Community Park. Mid survey you will pass a rocky outcropping with stairs to an overlook. Total length is 1 mile.
Directions: Exit Hwy. One just south of the San Simeon Creek Trail parking lot opposite the Washburn Campground Road. Park one car here. Return to Hwy. One in a second car, traveling south to exit at the first parking lot at the intersection of Moonstone Beach Drive/Exotic Garden Drive with Hwy One. Proceed down the trail and staircase towards the ocean, and then walk south until in line with the San Simeon Pines Seaside Resort.
Sampling: Begin survey at southern point, in front of the San Simeon Pines Seaside Resort. Continue north to San Simeon Creek, stopping here if the creek is impassable. If not, continue 200 m north of the creek. Walk back up to the first parking lot opposite the Washburn area to retrieve one car, then drive south to retrieve the second. Total length is 0.84 miles.
Directions: From Hwy. One, follow the sign that directs you to “W. R. Hearst State Beach”. This road is directly across from the public access road for Hearst Castle. Drive 100 yards, then turn left into the parking area for “William R. Hearst Memorial State Beach”. The stair leading to the beach is to the right of the pier.
Sampling: Beach 14 runs East-West, with a pier located at the beach’s approximate mid-point. From the pier to the west, the beach extends 0.5 miles and ends at a tree-topped bluff. From the pier to the east, the beach extends 0.4 miles (past the mouth of Broken Bridge Creek) and ends at a rocky point which is impassable at high tide. During the winter months, it is likely elephant seals will be on the beach. It is advised they not be approached within 100 feet, which may make parts of the beach inaccessible – simply note this on the survey form. Total length is 0.9 miles.
Directions to Arroyo de la Cruz: Exit Hwy. One at the turnout just south of Arroyo de la Cruz. Park here and walk along the foot path, heading north to the beach.
Directions to Sierra Nevada: Park at the turn-out along Hwy. One, just north of Sierra Nevada Beach. Walk south along the footpath, proceeding through the fence, to the beach’s northern end.
Sampling: Begin sampling at the southern most point of the beach, across from La Cruz Rock to the west. Sample northwards through Arroyo de la Cruz, past the creek, and continuing around Point Sierra Nevada. Sampling is discontinued at the rocky point, until the beach becomes sandy again at Sierra Nevada beach. Continue sampling until the northern most point where the beach becomes impassable. On months when it is not possible to sample across the creek or around the point (due to high tide or heavy rains) the northern portions of the walk may be accessed from the north. Total length 1.2 miles.
Directions to Cowell Beach: Exit Hwy. One in Santa Cruz and proceed south along Ocean Street until San Lorenzo Blvd. Turn right onto San Lorenzo Blvd. and then left onto Riverside Ave. Park along Beach St. and walk east toward the San Lorenzo River.
Sampling: Begin at the San Lorenzo River and sample walking west towards the Municipal Wharf. Continue under the wharf onto Cowell Beach and end sampling at the east end of this beach near the Sea and Sand Inn parking lot. Total length is 0.8 miles.
Directions to Sand Dollar Parking lot: Exit Hwy. One at Sand Dollar Day Use Beach parking lot, just north of Pacific Valley School. Park and proceed down one of the trails towards the water.
Sampling: Survey between the two ends of Sand Dollar Beach (beginning at either end and surveying in only one direction). Stop where the beach becomes an impassable rocky point. Total length is 0.5 miles.
Directions to Tioga Ave: Exit Hwy. One at Canyon Del Ray. Take a right onto Canyon Del Ray Blvd. and another right onto Sand Dunes Drive. Continue along this road until Tioga Ave, where you should make a left. Park along this road and walk west to the beach, or drive a second car south to Municipal Wharf to begin your survey there.
Directions to Municipal Wharf: Exit Hwy One at Del Monte Ave. Take a left onto Camino El Estero, and then another left into the Monterey Visitor Center parking lot on Lake St. Parl there, walk across Del Monte Ave, and continue along the coastal trail until you reach the southern most point along the beach. Alternatively, drive a second car north to Tioga Ave and survey from there.
Sampling: Begin survey either Tioga Ave or the Municipal Wharf. Continue survey past the Monterey Tides hotel, to the other end of the segment. Drive back to pick up second car at starting location. Total length is 2.6 miles.
Directions to 4 Mile Beach: Drive north from Santa Cruz on Hwy. One. Turn left off the highway at the 4 Mile Beach parking lot, just north of the Santa Cruz Farms. Park and walk 0.3 miles south from the parking lot to the beach.
Sampling: Walk to the north end of the beach at Baldwin Creek and survey south until the beach becomes rocky and impassable. There are several large rocks offshore at this southern point. Total length is 0.4 miles.
Directions to Hwy 41/Atascadero Road corridor: Exit Hwy One at Hwy 41/Atascadero Road. Park in the dirt lot at the curve in the road after passing Morro Bay High School on the right.
Directions to North Point Natural Area: Exit Hwy. One at Yerba Buena St. and turn right onto Toro Lane. Park at the end of the road at North Point Natural Area. Proceed down the stairs to the beach.
Sampling: Survey from the corridor to Hwy 41/Atascadero Road. Continue north, ending the survey at the base of the North Point Natural Areas stairs at the beginning of the sandy beach. This survey can be completed in the opposite direction. Total length is 1.9 miles.
Directions to site: Take Los Osos Valley Road west until in turns into Pecho Valley Road. Follow Pecho Valley Rd. into Montana De Oro State Park. From Pecho Valley Rd, turn right onto Sand Spit Rd and follow this to the end parking lot. From the parking lot, take the trail (not road) to the beach.
Sampling: Begin the survey at the parking lot trail. Continue survey north, passing Rescue Markers #1 and #2, which are large orange signs with black numbers placed high on the dunes, roughly 0.5 miles apart. Please note on your datasheet when you reach each Rescues Marker. End survey at Rescue Marker #3, which marks the northern boundary of the segment. Reverse directions and hike back to your car. This beach section does not have any significant tidally influenced restrictions with exception being during periods when the plover fence is up and there’s extremely large swell and high tide. Total length is 2.08 miles.
Directions to Studio Dr parking lot: Travel along Hwy. One toward Cayucos. The survey area is along the southern end of Cayucos. The northern parking area is at the north end of Studio Drive, directly west off Hwy. One.
Directions to Toro Creek Road parking lot: The southern parking area is a pull out along Hwy. One, directly west from where Toro Creek Rd joins Hwy. One.
Sampling: The northern boundary is Old Creek, but since the creek mouth may vary location, begin survey at the north end of the Studio Dr parking lot. Sample south until the parking area off Hwy. One, directly across Toro Creek Rd. The ability to survey this section of beach is heavily influenced by tide and surf. During certain times, there are rocky outcrops that require lower swell/tide to get past. Total length is 1.47 miles.
Directions: Exit Hwy 101 at Winchester Canyon Road and head South on Cathedral Oaks Road. Turn right onto Hollister Avenue. Parking lot for Haskell’s Beach will be on the left before the entrance to the Bacara Resort.
Sampling: This segment begins at the parking lot entrance point adjacent to the palm trees. The segment runs southeast past the two piers. It ends at the start of the wooden fence approximately 1 mile down the beach.
*Restricted Access (base pass required year round. Area south of Minuteman Beach entrance closed March 1-Sept 30 for snowy plover nesting)
Directions to Minuteman Beach: Enter Vandenberg AFB Main Gate at Hwy. One and California Blvd. Continue on California Blvd to 13th street. Turn right on 13th street. Drive for ~12.7 miles: Continue on 13th street as it turns into El Rancho Rd and then Point Sal Rd. Turn left at the entrance to Minuteman Beach and park in lot.
Sampling: This segment extends from the extreme north end of Minuteman Beach to the mouth of Shuman Creek. Begin at the north end of Minuteman Beach where the bluff meets the sand (and is not easily passable). Continue south to the mouth of Shuman Creek, ending the survey on the south side of the creek mouth. Total length is 1.11 miles.
*Restricted Access (base pass required to access Wall Beach by car. Area south of Wall Beach entrance closed March 1-Sept 30 for snowy plover nesting).
Directions to Wall Beach: Travel west on W. Ocean Ave./Hwy 246 from Lompoc. Enter Vandenberg AFB Solvang Gate at W. Ocean Ave./Hwy 246 and 13th Street (go north). Continue on 13th Street. Turn left on Terra Road. Turn left on 35th Street (named New Mexico Ave. to right). Turn right on New Beach Rd. Cross railroad tracks and park in lot at Wall Beach.
Directions to Santa Ynez River Mouth/Ocean Park: Travel west on W. Ocean Ave./Hwy 246 from Lompoc. Turn right on Ocean Park Road. Go over railroad tracks and continue to parking lot at Ocean Park. No base pass is required if Ocean Park is the start point, but access is prohibited during Snowy Plover breeding season.
Sampling: This segment extends from the extreme north end of Wall Beach to the mouth of the Santa Ynez River. Begin at the north end of Wall Beach, where the bluff meets the sand (impassable). Continue south to the mouth of the Santa Ynez River, ending the survey on the south side of the river mouth. Total length is 1.23 miles.
Directions to Mulholland Hwy: From Hwy 1, park on the southbound side of the road near Mulholland Hwy and the Leo Carrillo State Park Visitor Center. You can access the beach from several places in this area. The easiest is via a long staircase.
Sampling: This segment is a stretch of sand and rocks sandwiched between two impassable rocky outcroppings at Molholland Hwy to the northwest and Nicholas Beach Rd to the southeast. Although it may sometimes be possible during low tide to climb on rocks to bypass the outcroppings, only this easily-passable stretch should be surveyed. Total length 1.1 miles.
Directions: Exit Highway 101 at Seaward Avenue and head toward the ocean on Seaward. Turn Right onto Harbor Blvd. Turn Left onto San Pedro St, and drive all the way down and park.
Sampling: The beach is south of the Pierpont Inn. This segment starts at the first jetty at San Pedro St, continues across a second Jetty at approximately Dover Lane, and ends at the third jetty at Winthrop Lane. A second car can be parked at the end of Seaward Avenue, if desired (parking is not easily available at Winthrop Lane). The total length of the section surveyed is about 0.8 miles.
Directions: Exit Highway 101 at Seaward Avenue and head south toward the ocean. The road will curve and go over a bridge. Then turn Right onto Victoria Avenue. Turn Right onto San Nicholas Avenue and drive into the parking lot.
Sampling: This beach is located in between the entrances to Channel Islands Harbor and the Port of Hueneme. This segment starts at the northern jetty by the parking lot off of San Nicholas Avenue and ends at the southern jetty (by La Jenelle Park) at Sawtelle Avenue. A second car can be parked at the end of the beach on Sawtelle Avenue, if desired. The total length of the section surveyed is about 1 mile.