California Coastal Access Guide, Seventh Edition

California Coastal Access Guide, Seventh Edition

by California Coastal Commission

Paperback(Seventh Edition)

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From the majestic redwoods and rocky shores in the north to the palm trees and wide, sandy beaches in the south, the California coast is an area of unsurpassed beauty and diversity. This thoroughly revised and expanded 7th edition of the California Coastal Access Guide is an essential travel handbook for both new and seasoned visitors exploring California's majestic 1,271-mile shoreline. With up-to-date maps and information, it is an invaluable travel guide for all coastal visitors—beachgoers, hikers, campers, swimmers, divers, surfers, anglers, and boaters—detailing where to go, how to get there, and what facilities and environment to expect.

The 7th edition features:

--Information on more than 1,150 public access areas

--Descriptions of campgrounds, trails, recreation areas, and visitor centers

--Addresses, directions, and phone numbers

--Information on wheelchair-accessible trails and facilities

--Easy-to-read charts listing facilities and amenities

--More than 170 color maps showing roads, trails and topography

--More than 360 color photographs

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780520278172
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 09/26/2014
Edition description: Seventh Edition
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 775,861
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 9.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

The California Coastal Commission was created by the voters of California, who adopted an initiative measure in 1972 that formed the Commission and gave it broad powers to plan and protect the coast. Later, the California Coastal Act of 1976 established the Commission as a permanent state agency with a mission to protect, maintain, and enhance the quality of the coastal environment. One of the Commission’s principal goals is to maximize public access and public recreational opportunities along the coast in a manner consistent with environmental preservation. The California Coastal Access Guide, which was created with the objectives in mind, will prove indispensable to anyone with a desire to explore the magnificent diversity of California’s beaches.

Read an Excerpt

California Coastal Access Guide

By Edmund G. Brown Jr.


Copyright © 2014 State of California, California Coastal Commission
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-520-27817-2


Del Norte County

Crescent City

GARTH'S BEACH: Radio Rd., .3 mi. N.W. of Washington Blvd./Pebble Beach Dr. intersection. A sloping path leads from roadside parking to a curving sandy beach. Additional parking pull-outs with beach access located south of Washington Boulevard. Beach is sheltered by Point St. George and Castle Rock.

* Rocky shore at north end

PEBBLE BEACH ACCESS: Pebble Beach Dr. near Pacific Ave., Crescent City. Along Pebble Beach Dr. are several pull-outs with picnic tables and stairways to the beach. The Crescent City Coastal Trail runs along the shoreline, from Point St. George to Crescent City Harbor. Castle Rock, located due west, is a national wildlife refuge and the second largest seabird colony off the California coast.

PRESTON ISLAND: Pebble Beach Dr. and Condor St., Crescent City. More of a rocky spit than an island; accessible via a paved road down the bluff face.

* Beachcombing

* Tidepool exploring

* Fishing

BROTHER JONATHAN PARK/VISTA POINT: Pebble Beach Dr. and 9th St., Crescent City. Grassy park inland of Pebble Beach Dr. includes a playground and baseball and basketball facilities, as well as a memorial to those lost at sea in the 1865 shipwreck of the steamer Brother Jonathan. On the seaward side of Pebble Beach Dr. is a vista point with picnic tables and bench.

* Del Norte County Historical Society Museum at 577 H St. in Crescent City displays items recovered from the wreck of the Brother Jonathan

ACCESSWAYS AT THE ENDS OF 3RD, 5TH, AND 6TH STREETS: W. ends of 3rd, 5th, and 6th streets, Crescent City. Rocky beach can be reached by paths or stairways. There is parking at 3rd and 5th streets; no facilities.

PATH AT OCEANFRONT LODGE: Front and A streets, Crescent City. A short public path leads around the seaward side of the hotel to a narrow driftwood-strewn beach.

* Fine views of offshore rocks

* Excellent spot for taking sunset photos of Crescent Lighthouse at Battery Point

Del Norte County

Crescent City Harbor

CRESCENT LIGHTHOUSE AT BATTERY POINT: S. end of A St., Crescent City. The lighthouse is perched about 200 yards from shore and can be reached on foot only via a causeway at low tide. Open at 10 AM, tide permitting, daily from April–September and weekends from October–March; for specific tour hours, call: 707-464-3089. On a clear day, St. George Reef Lighthouse is visible some seven miles offshore. Picnic tables and rest-rooms at Battery Point Vista Area at foot of A Street.

NORTH COAST MARINE MAMMAL CENTER: 424 Howe Dr., Beach Front Park, Crescent City. Rescue and rehabilitation service for injured, orphaned, or sick marine mammals; gift shop. Call: 707-465-6265.

* When present for rehabilitation, harbor seals or sea lions may be viewed

B STREET PIER: Foot of B Street. Public fishing pier is 900 feet long. Parking and rest-rooms at the foot of A Street.

BEACH FRONT PARK: Between Front St. and Howe Dr., Crescent City. Sports fields, picnic areas, and huge lawns. Along Howe Dr. is a linear park along a sandy beach, incorporating the Crescent City Coastal Trail.

* Fred Endert indoor swimming pool with water slide at 1000 Play St.; fee charged

* Huge Kid Town play structure on Play Street

REDWOOD NATIONAL & STATE PARKS INFORMATION CENTER: 1111 2nd St., Crescent City. Maps, guidebooks, and information about Redwood National Park and area state parks. Open daily, 9 AM–5 PM, with shorter hours during winter; closed major holidays. Call: 707-465-7306.

CRESCENT CITY COASTAL TRAIL: Shoreline from Point St. George to Crescent City Harbor, Crescent City. Six-mile-long multi-use path extends the length of Crescent City. Good place to start is at parking area on Sunset Circle next to the Shoreline Campground entrance.

* Shoreline Campground has 189 RV/trailer campsites with hookups and also tent sites; call: 707-464-2473

* Elk Creek Nature Trail starts nearby, inland of Hwy. 101 at east end of 2nd Street

CRESCENT CITY HARBOR: W. of Hwy. 101 and Citizens Dock Rd., Crescent City. Both a working and a recreational harbor, Crescent City Harbor includes fishing facilities, marine services, boat repair services, boat hoist, fuel dock, ice, and a Coast Guard station. Fee applies for some services. Harbor District office is on Citizens Dock Rd.; call: 707-464-6174.

Off Anchor Way are a public two-lane boat ramp and access to Whaler Island, with panoramic views. A variety of visitor attractions are at the harbor.

* South Beach Outfitters has surfboards, kites, and rentals

* Charter boat fishing for salmon and rock cod on the Tally Ho II; call: 707-464-1236

* Bayside RV Park (707-464-9482) and Harbor RV Anchorage (707-464-1724) are within the harbor

Del Norte County

Crescent Beach to Lagoon Creek

CRESCENT BEACH: W. of Hwy. 101, 1 mi. S. of Crescent City. Very long, flat sandy beach. The end closest to Crescent City Harbor is a well-known surf break. Road-side parking.

CRESCENT BEACH PICNIC AREA: Enderts Beach Rd., .5 mi. S. of Hwy. 101. Picnic tables and barbecue pits set in a grassy area. Another picnic area is at the Crescent Beach Overlook at the south end of Enderts Beach Road.

* Crescent Beach Picnic Area and Crescent Beach Overlook are linked by a two-mile trail

* Last Chance Trail, part of the Coastal Trail, continues south from Crescent Beach Overlook

NICKEL CREEK CAMPGROUND: .5 mi. S. of end of Enderts Beach Road. Five primitive campsites overlook Enderts Beach; picnic tables, barbecue grills, and bear lockers. Stream water must be purified for drinking. Call: 707-465-7335.

ENDERTS BEACH: .5 mi. S. of end of Enderts Beach Rd., S. of Crescent City. Beach accessible via a somewhat steep trail from the end of Enderts Beach Road. Restrooms are at Nickel Creek Campground. Call: 707-465-7335.

MILL CREEK CAMPGROUND: 2.5 mi. E. of Hwy. 101, 7 mi. S. of Crescent City. There are 143 summer-only campsites. Hot showers. Trailers limited to 27 feet and RVs limited to 31 feet; RV dump station available. No hookups. Part of Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park. For campground information, call: 707-465-7335; for reservations, call: 1-800-444-7275.

* Campfire center

* Junior ranger programs

* Guided walks

* Hike or bike campsites (no reservations)

DEL NORTE COAST REDWOODS STATE PARK: E. and W. of Hwy. 101, 7 mi. S. of Crescent City. One of California's largest state parks, with eight miles of wild shoreline, much of it accessible only by trails, and 25,000 acres in the Mill Creek watershed. Atypical of California's coastal forest, the redwood trees here grow virtually down to the sea's edge. Call: 707-465-7335.

* Damnation Creek Trail starts on west side of Hwy. 101 at mile marker 16 and takes a challenging course through old-growth redwoods

* Mill Creek day use area, east side of Hwy. 101, two miles south of Crescent City

WILSON CREEK BEACH: W. of Hwy. 101, 5.5 mi. N. of Klamath. Entrance to the parking area is off Hwy. 101, 50 yards south of Wilson Creek Bridge. On the beach are tidepools and abundant driftwood. At the south end of the beach the Yurok Loop Trail leads south to Lagoon Creek. Across Hwy. 101 from Wilson Creek Beach, the old Redwood National Park Hostel is closed, but a trail leads inland three miles to the DeMartin campsites; obtain required backcountry camping permit from any Redwood National Park visitor center.

LAGOON CREEK: W. of Hwy. 101, 5 mi. N. of Klamath. Freshwater lagoon, with picnic areas and trail access.

* Coastal Trail leads south four miles to the Klamath Overlook

Del Norte County

Klamath River South

KLAMATH OVERLOOK: 2.5 mi. W. of Hwy. 101 on Requa Rd./Patrick Murphy Memorial Drive. Picnic spot with elevated view of the Klamath River mouth.

* Four-mile-long Coastal Trail segment leads north to Lagoon Creek

* Gray whales may be seen during migration, November–early May

REQUA: Hwy. 101, 18.5 mi. S. of Crescent City. Requa has been inhabited for thousands of years. A large Yurok Indian village named Re'kwoi was located here until the residents were driven out by white settlers in the 1850s. The hamlet is now within the Yurok reservation.

* Historic Requa Inn, a century-old lodging establishment on Requa Rd.; call: 707-482-1425

KLAMATH RIVER: Hwy. 101, 19 mi. S. of Crescent City. California's second-largest river.

* On the north bank, Yurok-owned Requa Resort RV Park is at the end of Mouth of Klamath Rd., off Requa Rd.; call: 707-482-1309

* On the south bank along Klamath Beach Rd., privately operated Klamath River RV Park (707-482-2091) and Kamp Klamath (707-482-0227)

* Klamath Beach Rd. leads along the river delta, with informal access to the beach

FLINT RIDGE CAMPGROUND: 1 mi. S. of Klamath River mouth off Coastal Drive. Hike-in primitive campground, one-quarter mile inland from Coastal Drive. Ten well-spaced campsites, each with picnic table, barbecue grill, and bear locker. No-fee permit required for back-country camping; inquire at any Redwood National Park visitor center. The Flint Ridge Trail connects the Flint Ridge Campground with the Klamath River near the old Douglas Memorial Bridge site on Klamath Beach Rd. at Alder Camp Rd., a distance of four-and-a-half miles. The Douglas Memorial Bridge was swept away in the disastrous flood of December 1964.

COASTAL TRAIL: S. of Klamath River mouth to Newton B. Drury Parkway. Coastal Drive was formerly an eight-mile narrow unpaved road; now most of it serves as a segment of the California Coastal Trail, with vehicles restricted to the north and south ends. RVs and trailers are prohibited. The route is perched high above the sea, with spectacular views.

* A pull-out on Coastal Drive one-half mile south of the Flint Ridge Trailhead overlooks an abandoned World War II-era radar station that was disguised as a farmhouse

* High Bluff Overlook at the end of Alder Camp Rd. has a picnic area and restrooms

* On the southern end of Coastal Drive, one mile off Newton B. Drury Parkway, a trail leads to Carruthers Cove



Northern Humboldt County
Redwood Creek to Big Lagoon
Patrick's Point/Trinidad
Arcata Area
North Spit Humboldt Bay
South Spit Humboldt Bay
Eel River Valley South
Mattole River and King Range
Shelter Cove

The steep cliffs and forests of Redwood National Park dominate the landscape in northern Humboldt County. The southern portion of the county is also characterized by steep ridges rising sharply from the ocean. On the west coast of the continental U.S., Humboldt County's Cape Mendocino extends farther west into the Pacific than any other land area. Between these two rugged areas are the low-lying areas around Humboldt Bay and the fertile deltas at the mouths of the Mad and Eel Rivers. Many of the county's urban services are found in the communities between Trinidad and Fortuna, including the county's largest towns of Arcata and Eureka.

Hike a wilderness coast

The 35-mile-long "Lost Coast" in the southern part of Humboldt County is California's largest coastal roadless area, without a shoreline road of any kind. Much of the area lies within the King Range National Conservation Area, managed by the Bureau of Land Management. Hiking and camping are possible along the Lost Coast Trail as well as on numerous inland trails and at road-accessible campgrounds that include Horse Mountain Creek Campground and Tolkan Campground.

Explore the redwood forest

Majestic coast redwood trees, the tallest living things on the planet, are protected at Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. The park, along with Redwood National Park and redwood parks in neighboring Del Norte County, has been designated as a World Heritage Site and International Biosphere Reserve. The groves in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park have never been logged, and the redwoods that tower over visitors are up to 2,000 years old.

Also growing in the park's moist climate are stands of huge Douglas-fir and Sitka spruce, along with colorful rhododendrons and azaleas. Fern Canyon's walls are draped with five-finger, deer, lady, sword, and chain ferns.

Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park has some 75 miles of trails, rated in difficulty from "very easy" to "strenuous." Several trails are accessible to those with limited mobility, including the Big Tree Trail and Prairie Creek Trail; the Revelation Trail has guide ropes and Braille signs for use by visually impaired visitors. Some trails are accessible to bicyclists and equestrians. Horseback tours through old-growth forest in Redwood National Park are offered by Redwood Creek Buckarettes at Orick; call: 707-499-2943. Scenic drives through redwood forest include three-mile-long unpaved Cal-Barrel Rd. and eight-mile-long unpaved Davison Rd., which leads to Gold Bluffs Beach and Fern Canyon (trailers prohibited; observe posted vehicle size limitations). In the southern part of Humboldt County, Humboldt Redwoods State Park and Richardson Grove State Park also contain ancient redwood groves and offer hiking and camping opportunities.

Go fishing

Shore fishing is possible all along the beaches of the North and South Spits bordering Humboldt Bay, and pier fishing is possible at the bay's Del Norte Street Pier. At Hookton Slough in the Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge, game fish include sharks, rays, jack smelt, greenling, starry flounder, English sole, and halibut. Party and charter boats for sportfishing trips depart Woodley Island Marina and King Salmon in pursuit of salmon, halibut, tuna, and rockfish. Trailered boats can be launched at the Samoa Bridge Launching Facility, Eureka Public Marina, and Fields Landing County Park.

Go boating or hunting

Stone Lagoon and Big Lagoon provide sheltered waters that are ideal for paddling a kayak or canoe. Launch a small boat at Big Lagoon County Park or at the visitor center at Stone Lagoon. At both locations Zak's Kayaks rents equipment and provides guided tours; call: 707-498-1130.

Along the shore of Arcata Bay is the Mad River Slough Wildlife Area, reached off Samoa Blvd. west of Hwy. 101. The Fay Slough Wildlife Area is on the southeast edge of Arcata Bay; turn off northbound Hwy. 101 at Harper Motors, then turn left. Both areas offer hunting and wildlife observation, with day use only, managed by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife; call: 707-445-6493.

Visit a historic town

Ferndale is notable for its 19th-century Victorian character. Along Main Street are antique stores, gift shops, art galleries, and eating establishments. The Ferndale Museum at 3rd and Shaw streets exhibits historic farming and logging equipment, along with a fully functional blacksmith shop. Open Wed.–Sat., 11AM–4 PM and Sun., 1 PM–4 PM, plus Tues., 11 AM–4 PM from June 1–Sept. 30; closed during Jan. Call: 707-786-4466.

Arcata is home to Humboldt State University's Natural History Museum at 1315 G St., which displays fossils of prehistoric animals, sea-shells, California butterflies and other insects, and much more, with hands-on exhibits for kids. The museum is open Tues.-Sat., 10 AM–5 PM; fee for entry. Call: 707-8264479. Arcata also hosts the Godwit Days Spring Migration Bird Festival, held annually in April to celebrate the marbled godwit and other birds of the redwoods, bays, and mudflats. The festival offers field trips, workshops, and boat excursions, with opportunities for visitors to see rare bird species such as the marbled murrelet and spotted owl. See:

In the town of Trinidad is Humboldt State University's Marine Laboratory, which has a wheelchair-accessible visitor area with an aquarium and touch tanks. The laboratory is at 570 Ewing St.; open Mon.–Fri., 9 AM–4:30 PM, and also on weekends except during the summer, noon–4 PM; call: 707-826-3671.

Old Town Eureka, extending from C to M streets, between the bay and 3rd St., includes many fine Victorian buildings. The most-photographed of all is probably the Carson Mansion at 2nd and M streets; the massive redwood building features ironwork, stained glass, turrets, and out-sized ornamentation in a variety of styles. Now a private club, the mansion is not open to the public.


Excerpted from California Coastal Access Guide by Edmund G. Brown Jr.. Copyright © 2014 State of California, California Coastal Commission. Excerpted by permission of UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA PRESS.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Using This Guide
Map Legend
Del Norte County
Humboldt County
Mendocino County
Sonoma County
Marin County
San Francisco County
San Mateo County
Santa Cruz County
Monterey County
San Luis Obispo County
Santa Barbara County
Ventura County
Los Angeles County
Orange County
San Diego County


Explore the California Coastal Trail
Fishing (for Beginners)
Join a Beach Cleanup
Discover the Coast after Dark
Visit a Lighthouse
Board a Historic Ship
Look for Wildlife
Visit a Seaside Amusement Park
Go Horseback Riding
Enjoy Recreation on the Water
Get Away to an Island
Explore Your Watershed
Visit the Coast with Small Children
Camp Near the Shore

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