Half Moon Bay State Beach
In an effort to prevent visitation surges and help stop the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), State Parks has implemented the following safety measures to date:
- Closed some parks, meaning all trails and restrooms within these parks are closed.
- Closed vehicular access at remaining parks, including for off-highway vehicle riding.
- Closed all campgrounds, museums and visitor centers.
- Cancelled all events.
A list of closures is available online at parks.ca.gov/FlattenTheCurve. The list is dynamic and updated on a regular basis.
TEMPORARY FACILITY CLOSURES AND EVENT CANCELLATIONS
DAY USE AREAS (trails, beaches): Open; Please bring cash in exact change to pay fees at self-registration stations.
RESTROOMS: Open; Please bring soap for handwashing or hand sanitizer.
PARKING LOTS: All parking lots in San Mateo County-area parks and specific parking lots in Santa Cruz County-area parks are temporarily closed. Click here for the latest updates.
CAMPGROUNDS: Temporarily Closed
PARK STORES, VISITOR CENTERS & MUSEUMS: Temporarily Closed
EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS & GUIDED TOURS: Temporarily Suspended
LARGE EVENTS: Temporarily Suspended
SPECIAL EVENT PERMIT APPLICATIONS: Temporarily Suspended
California State Parks is taking steps to support state and local efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). As of March 23, 2020, State Parks has temporarily closed vehicular traffic to certain parks experiencing high visitation. This includes all San Mateo County parks. To see a current list of impacted parks, visit www.parks.ca.gov/flattenthecurve. For those wishing to take a break in the outdoors, public health officials are advising them to walk, run, hike and bike in their local neighborhoods and walk to parks. Most importantly, the public is being asked not to congregate in the outdoors.
Campgrounds are temporarily closed as of March 17, 2020. Camping reservation holders will be contacted via email for refunds. Visitor Centers, museums, and park stores are also temporarily closed.
Guided tours, educational programs, and large events are temporarily suspended as of March 14, 2020. Tour reservation holders will be contacted via email for refunds. Special event applications have been suspended until further notice as of March 14, 2020.
As of March 17, 2020, non-campground outdoor areas of parks, including trails and beaches, remain open. Visitors are reminded to practice social distancing and maintain at least six feet between other visitors and anyone who is coughing or sneezing. Restrooms also remain open, and visitors are advised to take soap for hand washing and alcohol-based hand sanitizers when water is not available.
State Parks recommends that everyone follow precautionary guidance issued by the California Department of Public Health, public local health agencies, the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention when recreating in the outdoors. Everyone has the responsibility to “flatten the COVID-19 curve at Parks” by maintaining a social distance of 6 ft. or more when recreating in the outdoors, and staying home if they are sick. If visitors cannot maintain social distancing, they need to leave the park.
For the most up-to-date information on how State Parks is supporting the state’s COVID-19 efforts, please visit www.parks.ca.gov/flattenthecurve and follow State Parks on its social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Half Moon Bay State Beach Campground is now on the new, ReserveCalifornia, reservation system. Campsite reservations must be made through ReserveCalifornia by calling 1-800-444-PARK (7275) or through their website at www.reservecalifornia.com.
Visiting Half Moon Bay
Four miles of broad, sandy beaches stretch out to welcome visitors to Half Moon Bay. This picturesque setting is ideal for sunbathing, fishing and picnicking. A campground provides accommodations for those who wish to visit longer.
The Half Moon Bay State Beach Visitor Center is open Saturdays and Sundays. Admission to the Visitor Center is free. The Visitor Center is completely accessible to those with disabilities. Come on in and learn about the exciting world of the beach and experience the cultural history of the Coastside.
Francis Beach has a campground with 52 individual sites, some suitable for tent camping, others for trailers or recreational vehicles. Some campsites have electrical hookups. Water and sewer hookups are not available, but there is a dump station and a water filling station. Rental RV’s are not allowed to be dropped off or picked up from the park.
Coin-operated hot showers are also available. (approximately 2 minutes per quarter)
Venice Beach has outside showers and flush toilets.
Coastside Trail runs along the eastern boundary of the four beaches providing close to a three mile stretch to walk, jog or ride bikes. The trail continues north to Pillar Point Harbor.
Basic Park Information
FIRES are NOT allowed on the beach.
HORSES are allowed on the dirt Coastside Trail from Venice Beach to Francis Beach. While in the state parks, horses are restricted to the designated horse trail and are not permitted on State Beaches.
DOGS are prohibited on the beaches at all times. Dogs are permitted in the campground, in the day-use picnic areas, and on the Coastal Trail. Dogs must be controlled with a leash of no more than six feet at all times.
Where Can I Take My Dog.pdf
BEACH WHEELCHAIR - The all-terrain beach wheelchair is available for use by the public at no cost, and may be checked out from the Francis State Beach entrance station on Kelly Avenue. Unlike street wheelchairs, this specially designed chair has large balloon tires which allow the chair to be used on the beach without sinking into the sand. With this chair, wheelchair users may access the beach at several locations along the Half Moon Bay coast. The purchase of the wheelchair was made possible, in part, from a grant by the local chapter of the Lions Club.
OCEAN SAFETY - Always use caution when you are in or near the ocean. The ocean water is very cold year round. Even a short swim can cause cramps or hypothermia (a life threatening condition which occurs when your body temperature drops below normal). In addition, strong rip currents can pull even the most experienced swimmers off shore.
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.
COLLECTING is not allowed. Please refrain from removing shells, driftwood, and other natural beach features.
FIREWORKS are prohibited.
SPECIAL EVENTS and weddings require a permits. For permit information contact: San Mateo Sector Office (650) 726-8819 or email SMPermits@parks.ca.gov.
FILM & PHOTOGRAPHY PERMITS: For information on obtaining these permits please contact the park directly at (650) 726-8815.
- Friendly Acres/Sea Horse Ranch (Horseback trail rides)
Schedule your class for a free field trip to the San Mateo coast and visit Half Moon Bay State Beach, Pescadero Marsh State Natural Preserve, or Bean Hollow State Beach. We offer a variety of hands-on programs for school groups K-12 focusing on shoreline habitats. All field trips are approximately 2 hours long. You are invited to stay and eat lunch at our picnic tables over-looking the beach.
Click here for more information.
Kids2Parks is an innovative park-equity program to bring students from Title 1 schools to State Park field trips. The program, a partnership between California State Parks and Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks, increases the number of students who have visited a state park or beach by reducing barriers to access. The program offers transportation funding for field trips to select Title 1 schools in Santa Cruz, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties. For more information, and to apply please visit www.thatsmypark.org/visit/k2p/.