From Bowling Ball Beach and Fort Ross, to Goat Rock Beach and Blind Beach, to Portuguese Beach and Schoolhouse Beach, we had a blast exploring the majestic California coastline in Mendocino and Sonoma Counties for a day. We were also treated to a beautiful sunny day, which made it even better — even if there was a bit of wind.
Our last beach of the day before heading over to The Tides for dinner was North Salmon Creek Beach.
Salmon Creek Beach, is a wide, nearly two-mile stretch of gorgeous, unbroken sandy beach just north of Bodega Bay. It is the first of the Sonoma Coast State Park beaches you’ll find on California’s scenic Highway 1.
During the summer months, a sandbar builds up on the beach, closing the mouth of Salmon Creek and creating a shallow lagoon. This makes Salmon Creek Beach a very popular destination for families as kids can build sand castles and splash and play in the lagoon without fear of the brash ocean waves.
Salmon Creek Beach is actually made of of two separate beaches: North Salmon Creek Beach and South Salmon Creek Beach, both of which are popular with local surfers.
North Salmon Creek Beach
At about a quarter mile, North Salmon Creek Beach is the smaller of the two Salmon Creek beaches. It stretches from Salmon Creek north to narrow Miwok Beach and Coleman Beach along Highway 1.
The beach is easily accessed by a short walking path from the parking area (opposite the restroom) and families flock to North Salmon Creek Beach for picnicking, kite flying, beach combing, and surfing — and it is a dog-free beach due to federal snowy pover protections.
On a clear day, you can enjoy stunning views of the Sonoma costline and when the flow of Salmon Creek is low, it’s easy to walk across the creek to travel between the southern and northern beaches.
Know Before You Go
- North Salmon Creek Beach, part of the Sonoma Coast State Park, is located at 3095 CA Highway 1, Bodega Bay, California 94923 in Sonoma County. South Salmon Creek Beach is located at Bean Avenue and Maryana Drive, Bodega Bay, CA 94923.
- Download the Sonoma Coast State Park Brochure.
- Dogs and fires are not permitted on the beach due to the Federal protection of the snowy plovers and their habitat.
- Basic vault restrooms are available at the parking lot off Highway 1.
- In the summer or when surfing is good, the parking lot fills quickly. These waters are dangerous and only experienced surfers should enter the water.
- To reach the beach, use the trail at the end of the parking lot opposite the restroom. Don’t try to use the make-shift trail in the middle of the lot because you’ll have to wade through the creek, which isn’t fun when you have picnic supplies and kids in tow!
- Swim in the Lagoon! Not only is the water warmer, the North Salmon Creek area is frequented by sharks. There are regular great white shark sightings here, and three shark attacks have occurred since 2000.