What? : Glass Beach is
an ragged ocean beach section located at MacKerricher State Park near Fort
Bragg, California. The peach got its name from the colorful glass pebbles
covering the sandy coves.
The round shape
glass particles created from years of dumping garbage into this coastline area
of near the northern part of Fort Bragg.
Where? : Located at the
north west section of Fort Bragg. When driving highway 1 north, after the town
small center, turn left (west) into W. Elm St., after short drive you will see
the parking lot entrance on the left.
When? : Year round, in
order to see the glass and be able to go down to the beach you need to come at
low tide and when the ocean is calm and without waves.
Due note 1: It is illegal
to collect glass at this state park. As a result of the waves and people taking
the glasses it amount was diminished. It still has a lot, but nothing like it
used to. Please do not take even “only few pebbles”.
Due note 2: The glass beach
is close to the parking lot and there is a paved trail that leads to the cliff
above the glass coves. Anyone can do this short walk; it is also accessible to strollers
(not the lower beach).
Due note 3: The beach is very
popular sunset destination and visited by tens of thousands of tourists yearly.
It estimated that about 1,000 tourists visit Fort Bragg's glass beaches each
day in the summer. Finding a parking spot may be challenging.
Due note 4: This is a
great place to bring the kids, they can explore around but watch them when you
are going down to the beaches near the water. You can also have longer hiked on
the paved trail and enjoy this oceanfront park.
My thoughts: We visit here
at a warm easter day at 2022 with a calm sea, It was fun easy activity after
eating ice-cream at the town center to come here, enjoy the sunset and explore
the glass beaches and ocean coves.
How this glass covered beach was
In 1906, Fort
Bragg residents established an official “cliff to water” dump site. Back then
it was common practice and most water-fronted communities had water dump sites
discarding glass, appliances, and even vehicles.
original dump site filled up in 1943, another dump site was created and when the
second site reach max capacity in 1949 third site was created. This site was
active until 1967 when all oceanfront dumping was closed.
following years most of the large metal elements were removed. Over the years the
pounding waves broke down the glass and pottery into the small, smooth, colored
pieces, which cover Glass Beach. As a result of this rocky beach sections the glass
was “trapped” in the protected coves and did not move into the ocean.
completion of the cleanup, the California Department of Parks purchased the
38-acre property adjacent to Glass Beach, and it was incorporated into
MacKerricher State Park in October 2002.
Walk west and
here you have several beach options to explore.
You can do north,
and you will reach one beach, or you can go south on the main park trail and
after short walk on the paved road you will see a bench and a “unofficial” path
down to the beach level assets the waves, do not go down if it looks like big waves
are getting into the coves.
Climb down the
cliff and you will arrive to the beach that is covered with pebbles mixed with glasses.
Once you finish
exploring one beach you can go and visit the others.
spend here almost an hour, enjoying the ocean view, exploring the different
beaches. You can extend your visit here by walking south or north along the
A half a mile
to the north of the parking lot you can visit the Pudding Creek Trestle bridge.
Unfortunately, when visiting here I forgot about this nearby place and did not
visit here, now I have a reason to visit here again.
The trail keeps
going for 3 miles north in MacKerricher State Park all the way to the park main
beach and campgrounds.