Enormous dunes line the eastern border of much of the beach, separating it from the highway. Seabird and shorebirds abound, along with harbor seals lounging on the rocks or swimming in the tide. The bluff tops are home to many native plants along with lizards, mice and rabbits.  In winter the tiny, threatened Western Snowy Plovers often find suitable habitat for nesting in scrapes in the sand.

Pelicans are sometimes seen standing on the beach. (Photo: © Suzanne Black)

Access to the Beach

Access to the beach is available from three separate parking lots on the western side of Highway 1. See access map here.

Northern parking lot

  • The sandy beach is easily accessible from two locations in the parking lot.
  • Facilities: Single restroom. No running water.

Fees: An $8.00 parking fee is payable daily upon entry to the park. Please pay for a parking permit even when a parking attendant is not present and leave the top stub of the payment envelope visible on the dashboard of your vehicle. Park Rangers will confirm payment.

Central parking lot

  • Beach and Marsh: From the hilltop parking area, a wooden staircase on the southeastern side of the parking lot will take you to a pedestrian walkway along the Highway 1 Bridge that leads to another staircase down to the beach. Climbing down the sandstone bluffs to the beach is not recommended and can be dangerous. Access to the marsh is by walking under the bridge from this beach. Crossing Highway 1 on foot is not recommended. 
  • Facilities: Single restroom.  No running water. 

Southern parking lot

  • Location: at the intersection of Highway 1 and Pescadero Creek Road.
  • Beach Access: The rocky beach tidepools are accessible from the northern end of the parking lot by stairs.
  • Facilities: Two restrooms.  No running water. Two picnic tables.  No barbecue pits.
Dunes on central Pescadero Beach. (Photo © Suzanne Black)
CSPA’s Support for Pescadero State Beach
  • Stairway from central parking lot to Highway 1
  • Stairway from Highway 1 to beach
  • Interpretive panel repair and safety signs in parking lot