North Salmon Creek is the first of the Sonoma Beach State Park beaches you’ll encounter after passing the small coastal town of Bodega Bay and continuing north along scenic Highway 1. A popular spot for surfing, kite flying, picnics, and beach combing, North Salmon Creek offers visitors easy beach access via a short walking path from the parking area. The broad, two-mile stretch of sand here is actually referred to as two separate beaches, North Salmon Creek and South Salmon Creek. North Salmon Creek is the smaller of the two and stretches from Salmon Creek north to Miwok Beach. On a clear day the scenery from here is fantastic. Sonoma coast is known for its craggy, haystack-laden shoreline, and North Salmon Creek marks the beginning of this area.
This is Sonoma County’s most frequented surf spot, due in part to the ease of accessibility, but also because of the consistent surf. The beach is exposed to swell from all angles, so there always seems to be something to surf here, even in the summer. Summer surf is generally user-friendly, while winter surf can be fierce and the paddle out difficult. Surfers tend to congregate at the peaks just out from the parking area, and there can be decent peaks up and down the beach. Mid-tide to high-tide seems to hold better shape, but it's dependent on the sandbars. A note of caution: North Salmon Creek is located at the northern tip of the red triangle, meaning sharks are known to frequent the area. There are regular great white shark sightings here, and three attacks have occurred since 2000.
In case you are not looking to surf, the beach makes for a lovely stroll, and Salmon Creek is also a great spot for birdwatching. A number of migrating bird species spend part of their winter here, including tundra swans and sandpipers. The snowy plover (a federally listed threatened species) nests in the lower stretches of the creek watershed. Dogs and fires are not permitted on the beach to help protect this critical habitat.
Restrooms are available at the parking area.