Due note 1: Swimming:
The ocean in this location can be very dangerous and not recommended for
swimming, there are few swimming beaches on the protected side of the Russian
Due note 2: Goat
Rock beach is home to a colony of harbor seals, please stay 50 yards from the
Due note 3: At
summer month Sonoma Coast State Park and hwy 1 are the most visited beaches in
this region so it can be crowded (as any other attraction along the Russian
My thoughts: When
visiting here we did not have the time to explore and hike in this park and we
mainly drove all the way down to the end of the road parking lot near the large
Goat Rock Beach
is a subunit of the larger Sonoma Coast State Beach. At the northern section
is the mouth of the Russian River, in the middle you can see the massive Goat
Rock, an iconic outcrop of the Sonoma Coast, which is barely attached to the
mainland by a narrow isthmus, Blind Beach located south of the rock.
Along Goat Rock
Beach massive rock outcroppings are found both on the shore and protruding from
the Pacific Ocean as small skerries. Among these rugged structures are natural
arches formed by powerful wave action selectively eroding weaker strata of the
There are two
parking lots for beach access, one is at the north end of Goat Rock Road with an
access to the sand spit at the mouth of the Russian River and the other is
right below Goat Rock itself. From the last parking you can access Blind Beach
to the south. It’s a long narrow beach just underneath the rock cliffs. There
is an upper parking lot with a steep narrow trail that descends to Blind Beach
There are few
nice hiking options in the high planes above the cliffs. Walk along the cliff
edge, enjoy the ocean and sea stacks view and see the large boulders known as
You can start
your hike here at any parking along the park main road (Goat Rock Road) or you
can park at Kortum Trail Parking Lot, south on hwy 1.
One and a half
mile south on hwy 1 there is the beach access Wright's Beach Campground.
On the north
side of the Russian River you can find the small town of Jenner, a very small
coastal town (population of about 136), no more than few houses on the hwy 1.
You can find
here something to eat, coffee, gas station and also Kayaks renting is available.
Just north of
town you can stop on hwy 1 roadside and watch the sea lion rest place at the mouth
of the Russian River below.
summer months, a sandbar is built up along the beach and separates the Russian
River from the Pacific Ocean, during early winter river flow splits the beach
in two sections.
Less than a
mile north you can find on your right (going north) the Jenner Headlands
Preserve parking, here you can hike at the open landscape hills above the
ocean. Soon after there is the entrance to Russian Gulch State Beach, this time
the entrance is on your left.