Sonoma Coast SP
The following facilities currently have reduced services (pack it in/pack it out and no restroom facilities):
- Blind Beach Day Use
- Bodega Head East Day Use
- Russian Gulch Day Use
- Schoolhouse Day Use
- Vista Point Day Use
- Pomo Canyon Environmental Campground (closed until further notice)
The following facilities are open:
- Willow Creek Environmental Campground
- Bodega Dunes Campground (partial service reductions in place until May 22, 2014)
- Wright's Beach Campground
Service reductions are subject to change. Please call 707-865-2391 for further information.
Long sandy beaches below rugged headlands, a craggy coastline with natural arches and secluded coves are features that make Sonoma Coast State Park 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.
Facilities - Activities
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.
Aerial photos of Bodega Head
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.
Aerial photos of Goat Rock
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 are spectacular.
Aerial photos of Duncan's Landing
Portuguese Beach & Schoolhouse Beach are beautiful sandy beaches surrounded by rocky headlands. Rock fishing and surf fishing are popular in these locations.
Aerial photos of Portuguese Beach
Aerial photos of Schoolhouse Beach
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 and cats.
Aerial photos of Salmon Creek Beach
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.
Aerial photos of Wright's Beach & Campground
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
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.
Pomo Canyon Environmental Camp
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 system.
- Hours of Operation:
Call the park
- Park Office Telephone:
Max Camper Length:
31 FeetMax Trailer Length
- Purchase Annual Passes
$8.00 per vehicle
$7.00 per vehicle for seniors
Bus fee for 10-24 passengers is $50.00
Bus fee for 25+ passengers is $100.00
Bodega Dunes $35.00 / night
Hike & Bike: $6.00
Wrights Beach $35.00 / night
Premium $45.00 / night
Extra vehicle: $8.00
Extra vehicle with senior:
California State Parks is implementing new policies and restrictions on state beaches as part of the expanding effort to protect the western snowy plover. Some measures will result in additional restrictions on visitor use in areas that provide important plover habitat, particularly nesting areas. This includes enforcement of existing regulations prohibiting dogs on state beaches. The new rules do not prohibit leashed dogs in campgrounds, picnic areas, parking areas and roads, where dogs are allowed under state regulations. Click here for beaches where dogs are allowed http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=22543.
The Department will limit disruption of public use as much as possible, but at the same time maximize its protective efforts for the threatened shorebird.
The Department has been implementing site protection and enforcement at many plover nesting areas for years. However, more areas will be afforded protection by the expanded effort set forth in the new management program.
Salmon Creek Beach and Bodega Dunes Beach are protected areas for the snowy plover. Dogs and fires on these beaches are prohibited.