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Sonoma Coast State Park
Periodically the Goat Rock gate closes to vehicle traffic during day use hours when dangerous ocean conditions prevail. When this happens, the conditions are monitored throughout the day and the parking lots reopen if/when conditions allow. Vhen the road is closed under these circumstances, visitors are still allowed to walk in. Please be mindful of the dangerous water conditions that could jeopardize your safety. Never turn your back to the ocean. Always stay well above the highest water marks in the sand. Try to have someone with you or at least let someone know where you will be.
Long sandy beaches below rugged headlands, a craggy coastline with natural arches and secluded coves are features that make Sonoma Coast State Park one of California's most scenic attractions.
While the north coast weather can be foggy in the summer, it usually burns off by midday and the cool ocean breezes make the Sonoma Coast a haven for visitors seeking to escape the inland heat.
The Sonoma Coast is comprised of several beaches separated by rock bluffs and headlands. Sonoma Coast SP spans 17 miles from Bodega Head to Vista Trail which is located approximately 4 miles north of Jenner. Beachcombers, fishermen, sunbathers and picnickers can access the beach from more than a dozen points along coast Highway 1. The Salmon Creek Ranger Station is located on Highway 1 midway between the South Salmon beach parking lot off of Bean Avenue and the North Salmon Beach parking lot.
The weather can be variable and layered clothing is recommended. We suggest having a fully charged cell phone available for use in case of an emergency while visiting our parks.
Facilities - Activities
Bodega Head is the rocky headland that forms the entrance into Bodega Harbor. The harbor side provides a popular crabbing area along the jetty and the many hiking trails on the ocean side allow access to small, sandy coves and spectacular scenic views. The high cliffs offer excellent vantage points for observing migrating gray whales.
Aerial photos of Bodega Head
Goat Rock, near the mouth of the Russian River, is known for its scenic shoreline and easily accessible sandy beach. Picnic tables and restroom facilities are also available. Goat Rock beach is home to a colony of harbor seals which are fun to watch, but please stay at least 50 yards from the seals, especially during pupping season (March - August.) Due to the protected status of the seals, DOGS are NOT allowed on Goat Rock Beach. Dog are allowed on Blind Beach which is off the south parking lot at Goat Rock. Dogs must remain on leash. Goat Rock is part of the Russian River State Marine Conservation Area (SMRCA) and fishing is not allowed from the north side of the south parking lot to Muniz Ranch.
Aerial photos of Goat Rock
Shell Beach is a favorite location for beachcombing and tide pooling. It is used by schools as an outdoor classroom for the study of tidal pool marine life and enjoys a reputation as a prime fishing spot.
Duncan's Landing is famous for two things: as an early-day landing for loading small coastal ships with lumber and food products and for being the most dangerous point along the Sonoma Coast due to large and unpredictable surf. Heed the signs and stay off the rocks. The waves have come up to the parking lot and people have been swept off the rocks. In the spring the wildflower displays are spectacular.
Aerial photos of Duncan's Landing
Portuguese Beach & Schoolhouse Beach are beautiful sandy beaches surrounded by rocky headlands. Rock fishing and surf fishing are popular in these locations.
Aerial photos of Portuguese Beach
Aerial photos of Schoolhouse Beach
Salmon Creek Beach, where a lagoon forms as sand closes the mouth of Salmon Creek, is a popular summer destination. Nearly two miles of unbroken, scenic, sandy beach make this an excellent place for surf fishing, beachcombing, and picnicking. North and South Salmon beaches are popular with the local surfing community when the waves are good. No dogs, horses or fires are allowed on north or south Salmon Creek Beaches due to the Federal protection of the snowy plovers. The Western Snowy Plover is listed under the Federal Endangered Species Act as a threatened species. Loss of nesting habitat is due to human development, invasion of European beach grass and predation by ravens, foxes, domestic horses, dogs and cats.
Aerial photos of Salmon Creek Beach
Take care when visiting the beach
Like most north coast beaches, Sonoma Coast is NOT FOR SWIMMING. Strong rip currents, heavy surf and sudden ground swells make surf play dangerous. A small staff of well-trained lifeguards are usually on duty during the peak season, however with so much coastline to cover, they may not be immediately available.
It is especially important to keep children back from the highest water-line mark and never turn your back to the ocean. Many rescues and recoveries are made each year. Also, be careful of the bluffs and rocks. The shale formations are unstable and unsafe for climbing, so stay on the trails and heed warning signs.
A parent or guardian must accompany youths under 18 years of age. The Supervising Ranger may approve the stay of a juvenile that presents written consent from their parent or guardian that states the dates of the authorized stay and the park name. Additionally, a verifiable contact number for the parent or guardian must be provided as well as medical consent in the event of an emergency. If staff is unable to make contact with a parent or guardian, the juvenile will not be allowed to stay in the campground.
Wright's Beach- Dogs allowed on leash
Call Reserve America for a reservation 48 hours to 7 months in advance. 1-800-444-PARK Wright's Beach offers 27 developed campsites located adjacent to the beach. There are no showers, but registered campers may use the token operated hot showers at Bodega Dunes Campground which is approximately 5 miles south). Additionally, Bodega Dunes has a potable water fill station and a dump station that service both campgrounds. There are no potable water filling areas at Wright's Beach. Do not use spigots for your filling needs. Fill up your water tanks at Bodega Dunes prior to you arrival. Maximum trailer length is 27' and hook-ups are not available. Each site has a picnic table, fire ring and a paved parking spur. Running water and flush toilets are available in the bathrooms. When the campground is full, the overflow area on either side of the kiosk may be used for self-contained vehicles on a first come, first served basis (only one night). Overnight camping is not permitted in the day use area. Reservations are recommended, especially on the weekends, holidays and during the peak season.
Aerial photos of Wright's Beach & Campground
Bodega Dunes- Leashed dogs allowed in campground. No dogs on Bodega Dunes Beaches
Call Reserve America for a reservation 48 hours to 7 months in advance. 1-800-444-PARK In our peak season there are 99 campsites available. We offer token operated hot showers, flush toilets, and a potable water fill station and a trailer sanitation dump station. The fill and dump station serve both Wright's Beach and Bodega Dunes. Maximum trailer length is 31' and hook-ups are not available. The day use area includes a boardwalk that overlooks a classic sandy beach. No dogs, fires or horses are allowed on the beach as a measure to protect the snowy plovers. The Western Snowy Plover is listed under the Federal Endangered Species Act as a threatened species. Loss of nesting habitat is due to human development, horses, invasion of European beach grass and predation by ravens, foxes, domestic dogs and cats.
Willow Creek Environmental Camp - (CLOSED for the season) No dogs allowed.
When open, Willow Creek Campground offers 11 first-come first-served primitive campsites. There are fire rings, picnic tables, and pit toilets available. All of the walk in campsites are within 1/4 mile from the parking lot and there is no running water. This is the only state park campground located near the Russian River. The sites are mostly shaded by willows and are relatively close to a large beach for swimming and fishing. Blue heron, egrets, osprey, and occasionally river otters can be seen by the river. To protect the wildlife, no dogs are allowed. These sites are not on the reservation system and are first-come, first-served only. You must self-register prior to occupying a campsite. Willow Creek Campground is a dry campground, there is no water available. Please pack in/pack out all trash
Pomo Canyon Environmental Camp (CLOSED for the season) No dogs allowed.
Pomo Canyon Campground offers 20 walk-in campsites. There is a fire ring and a picnic table in each campsite. Pit toilets are available. Campsites are within 1/4 mile walking distance from the parking lot. One campsite has disabled access. Camps are set in a beautiful redwood grove among the ferns. A three mile trail to Shell Beach takes off from the campground. There are several water crossings over seasonal streams and rising up into the grassland with marvelous views of the river and finally the ocean. To protect the wildlife no dogs are allowed. This campground is not on the reservation system and when open is on a first-come first -served basis only. You must self-register prior to occupying a campsite. Pomo Canyon Campground is a dry campground, there is no water available. Please pack in/pack out all trash.
Available Activities and Facilities at Sonoma Coast State Park
En route Campsites
Env. Learning/Visitor Center
Exhibits and Programs
Restrooms / Showers
Drinking Water Available