Place

McClures Beach

Low-profile rocks rise from a sandy beach. Cliffs reflect afternoon golden light in the background.
Normally covered with sand, heavy winter surf exposes ancient rocks on McClures Beach.

NPS Photo / A. Kopshever

Quick Facts
Location:
McClures Beach, Point Reyes National Seashore. Geo-coordinates: 38.1884, -122.9643.

Beach/Water Access, Parking - Auto, Toilet - Vault/Composting, Trailhead, Trash/Litter Receptacles

A moderately-steep and sandy creek-side trail (0.4 miles [~600m] one-way) descends from the parking lot to McClures Beach. In spring and early summer, the trail is dotted with brightly colored wildflowers: wild radish, iris, gumplant, and more.

McClures Beach is an isolated and beautiful cove that is exposed to the Pacific Ocean surf. Thundering and unforgiving waves crash on shore. Swimming is not recommended on this beach.

Beach Safety

Never turn your back to the ocean. Due to the frequently large surf, this is not a beach at which it is safe to play close to the water's edge, much less to go for a swim. The ocean water may be as low as 50°F (10°C). Hypothermia, sneaker waves, and rip currents are just a few beach hazards of which visitors should be aware while visiting Point Reyes Beaches. Please visit our Safety Issues Associated with Beaches page for more information.

Take caution when exploring the rocky headlands to the south and north. Unknowing visitors have been trapped by an incoming high tide and some have died, either due to hypothermia or from being struck hard by sneaker waves. The south end of the beach and the adjacent beach through a gap at the south end of McClures Beach have good tide pooling at the lowest tides. This area should only be explored at a low or outgoing tide. Tide Predictions for Point Reyes may be found on NOAA's Tides and Currents site.

Park Regulations

  • Glass: Glass containers are prohibited on all Point Reyes Beaches.
  • Take only pictures; leave only footprints: Almost everything one finds at Point Reyes' beaches is protected by law, including shells, rocks, fossils, flowers, and artifacts.
  • Wildlife: Do not chase or feed the gulls (or any other birds) and keep your distance from seals and sea lions.
  • Drones: Launching, landing, or operating a drone from or on lands and waters within the boundaries of Point Reyes National Seashore is prohibited.
  • Metal-detectors: Metal-detectors are prohibited throughout the National Seashore.
  • Pets: Pets are not permitted on McClures Beach. Visit our Pets page for more information.
  • Camping: Camping on McClures Beach is prohibited. Parking your vehicle overnight at the McClures Beach or Tomales Point parking lots is prohibited. Visit our Backcountry Camping page for more information on camping at Point Reyes.
  • Wood fires: A permit is required to have a wood fire at any beach in Point Reyes National Seashore. Visit our Beach Fires page for more information.
  • Fishing: Fishing is permitted at McClures Beach. Please visit our Fishing page for more information and regulations.

Help Keep Your Beaches Clean!

Follow Leave No Trace Principles to reduce our impact on the places we love. Use the vault toilet at the trailhead before heading to the beach. Please help protect marine life and keep your park beaches clean by disposing of trash in the garbage cans located at trailhead. If you build any driftwood structures during your visit, please disassemble them before you leave.

Point Reyes National Seashore

Last updated: January 11, 2024