AAA/Greg Weekes
AAA Editor Notes
Sonoma Coast State Park extends along and off SR 1 from Bodega Bay n. to Jenner, at the mouth of the Russian River. This stretch of Sonoma County coast embraces rugged headlands and a craggy shoreline pocked with secluded coves and natural arches rising from the waters just offshore. The park has approximately 17 miles of beaches, separated by rocky bluffs and headlands, that can be accessed from more than a dozen parking pull-offs along SR 1.

The entire coastline is ruggedly beautiful, but Coleman and Gleason beaches have particularly scenic backdrops. At Goat Rock, near the northern end of the park at the mouth of the Russian River, there's an easily accessible sandy beach that also is home to a colony of harbor seals. From Duncans Landing, steps lead down to the beach at Duncans Cove. The spring wildflower displays in this area are beautiful.

Between Goat Rock Beach and Duncans Landing is Shell Beach, favored by beachcombers and tide pool enthusiasts and also known as a prime fishing spot. Another popular summer destination for surf fishing and beachcombing is Salmon Creek Beach, just north of Bodega Head.

Note: As is the case at most northern California coast beaches, strong rip currents, heavy surf and sudden ground swells make swimming dangerous, even at the shoreline. Enter the water at your own risk, as lifeguards are not always available. Dogs are not permitted on beaches or trails, and must otherwise be leashed.

Recreational activities are permitted. Camping is permitted. Picnicking is permitted.

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