Pebble Beach And Rocky Preston Island In Crescent City

Pebble Beach in Crescent City, California

Stretching from Battery Point to Point St. George, Pebble Beach is a series of connected coves along North and South Pebble Beach Drive in Crescent City. Many of the coves have parking areas and short trails or cement stairs to the beach. During high-tide most of the beach is underwater; during low tide, a long swath of sand lines the coast. If you’re lucky, you’ll find a few beautiful polished agates among the tiny beach pebbles.

At the south end of Pebble Beach, across from Brother Jonathan Memorial Park, there is a small picnic area that’s perfect for a picnic lunch or picnic dinner. Just north, at the intersection of Condor Street and Pebble Beach Drive, is the road to Preston Island — an island that’s not really an island.

After hiking the Simpson-Reed Discovery Trail and Lieffer Loop Trail at Jedediah Smith State Park in the morning, we headed back into town so we could visit the Battery Point Lighthouse — it is only accessible during low tide, so we had to time it just right! On our way to the lighthouse, we stopped at the Pebble Beach picnic area for a delicious ocean front picnic lunch.

Preston Island

A short, paved road leads down the bluff to Preston Island, a flat and rocky area that was quarried to nearly sea level to provide rock for the Crescent City Harbor breakwaters.

During low tide, it is a great place to explore the rocks and tidepools and take in the amazing views of the rocky Northern California coast.

Point St. George Lighthouse

On a really clear day, the silhouette of the St. George Reef Lighthouse sitting atop Dragon Rocks is visible from Pebble Beach. The lighthouse is the direct result of the coastal steamer “Brother Jonathan” sinking on the St. George Reef in 1865. Construction of the 15 story lighthouse began in 1882, took 10 years to complete, and cost $700,000.

  • Its first-order Fresnel lens was first lit in 1892. Today it is on display in the Del Norte County Historical Museum in Crescent City.
  • It was decommissioned and abandoned in 1975.
  • It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1993.

We could barely see it, so if you want a good look, bring some binoculars! In fact, it’s a great idea to bring binoculars with you on any visit to California’s north coast because the views are to die for!

Know Before You Go

  • Pebble Beach and Preston Island are located in Crescent City, California in Del Norte County.
  • Parking at the turn-outs and picnic area along the beach is free.
  • It’s best to visit the beach during low tide, otherwise much of the sand will be underwater.

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