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Sandy beach
Yes
Hike-in Required
No
Surfing
Yes
Snorkeling / SCUBA
No
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

A short walk through wind-beaten redwoods and bull pines leads to small cove with a sandy beach. The short trail makes this an ideal beach for packing a picnic and watching the sunset or taking an impromptu trip to the beach as you pass through the area. Before you descend the trail to the beach, spend a few minutes on the bluff overlooking the ocean. Various species of whales are often seen here during their winter migrations, and keep an ear out for the loud barks of sea lions as they come and go from the Fish Rock Rookery located a few miles to the north.

Located in a "banana belt" of warmer climate trends, Cooks Beach is often sunny and free of wind, making it a perfect place to hang out and enjoy the warm sand. This is a great beach to let the dogs stretch their legs, as well, and the beach gets plenty of traffic from friendly locals playing fetch with their dogs on weekday mornings. You'll find dog waste bags, but no trash cans; please help keep the beach "dog friendly" by picking up after your pet.

Visiting the beach during low tide exposes tide pools, another beach, and a cave on the south side of the cove that is often full of treasures delivered by the previous high tide. Use caution when traveling on the south side of the cove because there are no exit trails once the tide comes in.

Logistics + Planning

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

Not Required

Pros

Great whale and storm whatching. Dog friendly. Sandy beach.

Cons

Limited parking.

Features

Fishing
Surfing
Tide pools
Wildlife
Whale watching
Wildlife
Bird watching
Tide pools

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Adventures

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Mendocino Coast + Clear Lake Area, California
Mendocino Coast + Clear Lake Area, California

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