Gray Whale Cove State Beach

Update (Feb. 5, 2021) With the Regional Stay at Home Order lifted, State Parks is reopening campground sites for existing reservation holders. The department will be using a phased approach to reopen other campground sites for new reservations, starting January 28. The public is advised that not all campground sites are open to the public due to the pandemic, wildfire impacts and other issues. Additionally, group campsites remain closed. Day use outdoor areas of park units currently open to the public remain open.
As State Parks increases access to the State Park System, it is critical that Californians continue to recreate responsibly in the outdoors as the pandemic is far from over.

Please take the time to read the information contained on this webpage to find out what is open and closed, and the COVID-19 guidelines for this park unit.

What is open now?
  • Parking
  • Restrooms
  • Trails
  • Beach access

What is currently closed at this park and throughout the State Park System?
Statewide:
  • Some park units and campground sites continue to be temporarily closed due to the pandemic, impacts from wildfires or other issues. Please visit the webpage of your local outdoor destination to find out if it is open.
  • High public-use indoor facilities, including museums and visitor centers.
  • Special events and tours continue to be canceled until further notice.


Are there any new visitor guidelines?
State Parks has implemented the following guidelines to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in the outdoors:

  • Stay Local: Stay close to home during this pandemic period. If you or anyone in your household is feeling sick, please remain at home and plan your trip for another time. 
  • Plan Ahead
    • The ongoing pandemic response continues to be dynamic and fluid. Prior to leaving home, check the webpage of your outdoor destination you plan to visit to find out if it is open, if parking is available, and what visitor guidelines are in effect.
    • Learn what safety precautions you should take when exploring the outdoors at parks.ca.gov/SafetyTips.
    • SNO-PARKS: Make sure your vehicle is snow ready. A permit is required for each vehicle parked at a SNO-PARK site. Parking is on a first come, first-serve basis at all SNO-PARK sites. The public is advised that parking lots are filling up early in the day. Illegal parking is prohibited. More information can be found at ohv.parks.ca.gov/SNOPARKS.
  • Stay Safer at Six Feet: No matter the recreational activity, maintain a physical distance of six feet or more. Your guests should only include those within your immediate household. This means no guests or friends, and no gatherings or parties. If there are too many people to maintain the required physical distance, please visit us on a different day. 
    • Boating: Do not raft up to other boaters or pull up onto a beach next to other recreators.
    • Off-highway Vehicle Recreation: Do not ride next to others or pull up next to someone else as it could put you in close proximity to others. Stage 10 feet or more from each other during unloading and loading.
  • Keep Clean: Be prepared as not all services may be available. Some restrooms will be temporarily closed to keep up with cleaning schedules. Bring soap/hand sanitizer. Please pack out all trash. Park units are experiencing heavy use and you can help alleviate the impact on park facilities.
  • Stay Covered: The state requires you to wear a face covering when you cannot maintain a physical distance of six feet or more. Individuals must have a face covering with them at all times.

Although law enforcement entities have the authority to issue citations, the expectation is that the public is responsible for adhering to the advice of public health officials, visitor guidelines and closures.

California State Parks continues to work with local and state officials on a phased and regionally driven approach to increase access to state park units where compliance with state and local public health ordinances can be achieved. However, the situation remains fluid and park operations can change at any time. For information on statewide current closures and available services, please visit parks.ca.gov/FlattenTheCurve.

Phone Number

(650) 726-8819

Park Hours

Day-use Area 8am to Sunset

 

Dogs Allowed?

No

Driving Directions to Gray Whale Cove SB

On the San Mateo Coast, north of Montara on Highway One. The only available automobile parking is on the east side of Highway 1. Crossing to the ocean side of the highway can be both difficult and dangerous.

Online reservations are not available for this park.

Upcoming Park Events

No events scheduled at this moment.

BOATING
Boating
TRAIL USE
Hiking Trails
DAY-USE ACTIVITIES & FACILITIES
Fishing
Beach Area
Swimming
Vista Point
Nature & Wildlife Viewing
Windsurfing/Surfing
Geocaching
OTHER FACILITIES & VISITOR INFORMATION
Restrooms

Please be advised, Gray Whale Cove SB is one of the few California State Parks that does not accept the Annual Day Use Pass.

Visiting Gray Whale Cove

The beach (also known as Devil's Slide) features a sheltered cove surrounded by cliffs that drop abruptly into the Pacific Ocean. A steep trail leads down to the beach. There is a small picnic area on the bluff above. Gray whales can often be seen close to the shore.

DOGS are prohibited at all times. 
Where Can I Take My Dog.pdf

BEACH FIRES are not allowed.

COLLECTING is prohibited. Please refrain from removing shells, driftwood, and other natural beach features.

FIREWORKS are prohibited.

DRONES are not allowed in the park. To protect wildlife and cultural resources, and for the safety and welfare of visitors and staff, the park is closed to the use of Model Aircraft, Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), and Gliders in flight.

RESTROOMS: Chemical toilets are located in the upper parking lot at the Gray Whale Cove parking lot on the east side of Highway one.  There are no toilets on the west side of highway 1.

GARBAGE: Trash receptacles are located in the parking lot.  There is no trash pickup west of highway one. 

PERMITS

Wedding & Special Events Permits:
SMPermits@parks.ca.gov
(650) 726-8819

Film & Photography Permits:
For information on obtaining these permits please contact the park directly.