Sonoma Coast Coastal Features
Bodega Head is the rocky headland that forms the entrance into Bodega Harbor. The harbor side provides a popular crabbing area along the jetty, and the many hiking trails on the ocean side allow access to small, sandy coves and spectacular scenic bluff top views. The high cliffs offer excellent vantage points for observing migrating gray whales. During whale migration, State Park Whale Watch Program docents are available to teach you about the magnificent cetaceans that visit our coast.
Goat Rock, near the mouth of the Russian River, is known for its scenic shoreline and easily accessible sandy beach. Picnic tables and restroom facilities are also available. Goat Rock beach is home to a colony of harbor seals. Note: For your safety and that of the animals, please stay 50 yards from the seals, especially during pupping season (March-August). State Park Seal Watch Program docents can be found here on weekends during the pupping season. Due to the protected status of the seals, NO DOGS are allowed on Goat Rock Beach.
Shell Beach is a favorite location for beachcombing and tidepooling. Stewards' School Group Tide Pool Education Program offers docent-led tour tidepool tours for schools as an outdoor classroom for the study of tidal pool marine life. State Park Roving Naturalist Program docents can be found on this an other beaches to help you safely learn about the flora and fauna of our coast.
Duncan's Landing is famous for two things: as an early-day landing for loading small coastal ships with lumber and food products and for being the most dangerous point along the Sonoma Coast due to large and unpredictable surf. Warning: Stay off the rocks, the waves have come up to the parking lot and people have been swept off the rocks. In the spring the wildflower displays are spectacular.
Portugese Beach & Schoolhouse Beach
Portuguese Beach and Schoolhouse Beach are beautiful sandy beaches surrounded by rocky headlands.
Salmon Creek Beach
Salmon Creek Beach, where a lagoon forms as sand closes the mouth of Salmon Creek, is a popular summer destination. Nearly two miles of unbroken, scenic, sandy beach make this an excellent place for surf fishing, beachcombing and picnicking. The surfers are here when the waves are good. NO DOGS and NO FIRES are allowed on Salmon Creek Beach due to the protection of the western snowy plovers. These shorebirds are listed under the Federal Endangered Species Act as a threatened species because of loss of nesting habitat due to human development, invasion of European beach grass and predation by ravens, foxes and domestic pets.