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Panther Beach

Coast Dairies State Park

San Francisco Peninsula + Santa Cruz, California

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Panther Beach

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  • Night reflections at Coast Dairies State Park.- Panther Beach
  • Shoreline at Coast Dairies State Park.- Panther Beach
  • Sunrise on Panther Beach.- Panther Beach
  • The climb down to the beach.- Panther Beach
  • A view of the beach from the top.- Panther Beach
  • Railroad crossing from the parking lot.- Panther Beach
  • Coast Dairies State Park.- Panther Beach
  • Walkways on the cliff overlooking the ocean.- Panther Beach
  • Coast Dairies State Park.- Panther Beach
  • Panther Beach from the top of the cliffs.- Panther Beach
  • Standing on top of the arch at Coast Dairies State Park.- Panther Beach
  • View from the top of the arch.- Panther Beach
  • Parking lot at Coast Dairies State Park.- Panther Beach
  • Sunset from Coast Dairies State Park.- Panther Beach
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Fantastic location to watch sunrise and sunsets. Close drive.
Cons: 
No bathrooms or water.
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Region:
San Francisco Peninsula + Santa Cruz, CA
Congestion: 
High
Pets allowed: 
No
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Contributor

The coastline along Highway 1 through Central California is arguably one of the most picturesque coastal landscapes in the state. One of the better places to experience this is the beaches at Coast Dairies State Park. From sunrise to sunset, you will find a slice of heaven here. Although windy at times, this is a great place for photographers and plein air painters to find some local inspiration. 

Access to the beach is just a short 9-minute drive north of Santa Cruz. The parking lot is a long, poorly maintained dirt road that ends at the park entrance. From here, a moderately difficult climb down to the beach is required. You can also catch some great views from the cliff that separates the north and south ends of Panther Beach (the south end is sometimes called Team Beach). Below this point on the beach level you will find a naturally carved arch that gives access to either side. 

On the beach, water runoff from Yellow Bank Creek pools up and flows out into the ocean. Depending on the flow, you may or may not need to walk through this runoff to get to the main part of the beach. Just follow the cliff face to where the water flows out for the easiest access. This spot makes for some great photography as well. If the wind is minimal, you can get some nice reflections in this water. 

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Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(20 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(111 within a 30 mile radius)

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