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2fer Tuesday: McClures Beach & The Other Side of McClures Beach, Northern California

Posted by Jody on April 3, 2012

McClures Beach, tucked away in Point Reyes National Seashore, is Mother Nature’s perfect sandy crescent to ponder the power of the pounding surf.  Surrounded by high, steep cliffs, this small, 1/2 mile long beach is the place to take a break from civilization.  McClures Beach’s rocky, driftwood strewn shoreline sets the scene for an amazing experience.  Rough boulders scattered about this beautiful, rugged cove serve as front row seats. You’ll just want to choose a perch, scramble up, and settle in. The thundering waves are the stars of the show here!

A sneak peek! The best is yet to come!

Greg and I headed for the McClures Beach parking lot just off of Pierce Point Road, at the far north of Point Reyes National Seashore. A hint of what was in store for us could be seen from the trailhead, and we couldn’t wait to hurry down the sandy path! The distant view of the Pacific Ocean was enough to set a brisk pace for the short .6 mile trek to the beach. The best was yet to come…

Views of the Pacific come and go along the .6 mile trail.

I recommend a good, sturdy pair of shoes for this coastal trek.  First, the sometimes steep, often uneven footpath requires a firm foothold. Second, you’ll want them for climbing up to your wave watching vantage point. Third, well, that’s still a secret!

Babbling creek and beautiful wildflowers along the McClures Beach trail.

The grand entrance to McClures Beach, Point Reyes National Seashore.

Looking North

Looking South

Watching the Waves

How cool is that?

Okay, now I’ll tell you. Reason #3 for sturdy shoes: Once you have traveled this far on south on the sand you may be able to sneak through a “secret” passage carved through the rock to an enchanting,  secluded cove on the other side of McClures Beach.

Through the Rock, McClures Beach

If you want to explore beyond the main beach, it’s really important to know the tide schedule for the Seashore (available at the visitor centers daily).  The National Park Service warns:  “It is tempting to venture around the southern corner to explore the adjacent beach, but use caution! This area can only be safely accessed during the outgoing low tide.” If the tide is heading out,  you can pass through the cliff and experience an absolutely magical moment when you discover a very small, almost mystical beach.

The Other Side of McClures Beach

The dreamlike quality of this little hidden cove nearly took our breath away. We felt like we were the first explorers to ever set eyes on this fairytale coast.

I have no doubt that you’re going to feel the same way!

Wishing you many magical days at the beach!

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