Much of Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) borders the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay. Factors including rough surf, sneaker waves, rip currents and cold water can make coastal beaches in this area unsafe for beachcombing and swimming.
Stinson Beach is GGNRA’s only swimming beach and has a staffed lifeguard program part of the year. The park’s other beaches are not for swimming.
Whether you plan on swimming or just being near the water, follow these beach safety practices to ensure a safe visit.
Rip currents can also be a hazard to beachgoers. Remain calm if you are caught in a rip current. Swim parallel to the shore instead of fighting the rip current. When you are out of the current, follow incoming waves to make your way to shore.
If you cannot escape the current, float or tread water to conserve energy. Indicate you need help by shouting and waving your hands high in the air.
Last updated: December 4, 2023