Sharp Park Beach is a quick, 15-minute trip from downtown San Francisco. One of California’s few black sand beaches, Sharp Park Beach gets its charcoal coloring from a high concentration of the iron oxide magnetite. The sand ranges from fine grains inland to pebbles at the water’s edge.
A sea wall prevents waves from breaching Laguna Salada, the nearby freshwater marsh, during heavy winter storms. A beach promenade runs atop the levee for about a half mile as it connects the trails of Mori Point with Pacifica Pier.
The pier is known for some of the Bay Area’s best fishing and crabbing. Summer months see salmon and striped bass, while winter brings the dungeness crab season. A fishing license is not required to fish from the pier, although one is mandatory for surf fishing at Sharp Park Beach. The Department of Fish and Game monitors catch limits and other rules. Consult a local bait shop or the DFG directly for specific regulations before fishing.
A large picnic area and public restrooms are available near the pier on Beach Bolouvard. Adjacent parking is free and plentiful. Dogs are allowed on leash at the beach, although they are prohibited from entering the pier.
The costal town of Pacifica can be chilly, especially in summer months when the fog prevails.