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Bean Hollow State Beach

Arroyo de los Frijoles Trail

From Pebble Beach to Bean Hollow State Beach is 2 miles round trip

Pebble Beach - not to be confused with the Pebble Beach of 18-hole renown near Carmel, the Pebble Beach in Tomales Bay State Park, or the Pebble Beach near Crescent City - is one of those enchanting San Mateo County beaches that extend from A�o Nuevo State Reserve to Thornton State Beach, a bit south of San Francisco. The pebbles on the beach are quartz chipped from an offshore reef, tumbled ashore, then wave-polished and rounded into beautifully hued small stones.

The one mile walk between Pebble Beach and Bean Hollow Beach offers a close-up look at tidepools, wildflowers (in season), and colonies of harbor seals and shorebirds. Some walkers say that the San Mateo County beaches and bluffs remind them of the British coast near Cornwall: the beginning of the trail crosses a moor-like environment bedecked with
iris and daisies.

The rocky intertidal area is habitat for sea slugs and snails, anenomes and urchins. Bird-watchers will sight cormorants, pelicans and red-billed oyster catchers flying over the water. The sandy beach is patrolled by gulls, sandpipers and sanderlings.

Directions to trailhead: Pebble Beach is located some 40 miles south of San Francisco. The beach is off Highway 1, about 2.5 miles south of Pescadero. The trail begins at the south end of the parking lot.

The hike:
The first part of the walk is along a nature trail. Waves crashing over the offshore reef are a dramatic sight. Keep an eye out for harbor seals swimming just offshore.

A couple of small footbridges aid your crossing of rivulets that carve the coastal bluffs. To the south, you'll get a glimpse of Pigeon Point Lighthouse. If the tide is low when you approach Bean Hollow State Beach, head down to the sand.

The state beach originally had the Spanish name of Arroyo de los Frijoles, Creek of the Beans, before being Americanized to Bean Hollow. Picnic tables at the beach suggest a lunch or rest stop.

© 2012 The Trailmaster, Inc.
From John McKinney’s
Day Hiker’s Guide to California’s State Parks
Trail descriptions and maps have been reproduced with the permission of the author.  To learn more about The Trailmaster and other related publications please visit their website at