North Coast of California: Palomarin Beach with Abalone Point

Palomarin Beach

View of Abalone Point with an elevation of 36 feet

Palomarin Beach is a pebbly strip between cliffs and ocean waves. This scenic beach a few miles north from Bolinas Bay becomes narrow at high tide, but is great for pebble beach combing and tidepooling at lower tides. On a clear day, you can see Drakes Bay and the Chimney-Rock-side of the Point Reyes headlands. Sand-deprived Palomarin Beach is cobbled with small and big pebbles—and occasional mollusk-sculpted rocks with pockets. Shorebirds like to browse the rocks alongside the tideline for barnacles, limpets, mussels and crabs. See the Critter List, attached to a 2012 Bay Nature article, and find out what else you may come upon while strolling around Abalone Point.

The splash zone of Palomarin Beach is accessible via a short trail—the Palomarin Beach Trail, which switchbacks through coastal scrubs and riparian thickets. After less than a mile downhill from its Coast Trail junction (just north of the parking area at the end of Mesa Road), it takes a few final steps down a steep and slippery trail section to “own” the shore.
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Point Reyes