Rocky Beaches

Pillar Point

Really varied tidepools with great Nudibranch potential!

Pillar Point is awesome! there is a lot of variety in the types of pool left by the tide. The left hand side (looking out to sea) has some small pocket pools and a wide flat seagrass bed. there are lots of accessible little pools near the beach and there's a small cut parallel to the beach which is a good place to spot fish.

The pools along the deeper ravine at a 90% angle to the beach have giant green anemones, acorn barnacles and is where you'll want to head to find nudibranchs. There are some sea palms and varied fauna on the rocks next to this ravine also.

This area is a popular surfing spot, also known as Mavericks when the tide is high and the waves can come in fast and strong so you'll need to watch your back and don't underestimate the tide. The smaller cut parallel to the beach fills in first so do wear water shoes!

Good times to visit in the next 30 days

To get the most out of tidepooling, you'll want to go when the tide is low so that the rocks of the beaches are visible and as the ocean tide gets lower it leaves behind little pools of water in which you can see lots of fun critters!

Try to arrive before the lowest tide time, so that you can have some fun on the tidepools before the tide rises again. Below are the four best low tides for Really varied tidepools with great Nudibranch potential! in the next 30 days during daylight hours.

Saturday 31st October 2020 at 5:36pm for a low tide of 0.11ft. sunrise is 7:34am and sunset is 6:11pm

Friday 13th November 2020 at 3:12pm for a low tide of -0.56ft. sunrise is 6:48am and sunset is 4:59pm

Saturday 14th November 2020 at 4:00pm for a low tide of -1.16ft. sunrise is 6:49am and sunset is 4:59pm

Sunday 15th November 2020 at 4:48pm for a low tide of -1.51ft. sunrise is 6:50am and sunset is 4:58pm

See more good times to visit

Low tides today

The lowest tide in daylight today is 3.18ft at 9:24am

9:24am 3.18ft 11:00pm -0.16ft

What you could see

Tidepooling tips

Stay safe

  • Never turn your back on the ocean.
  • Wear water shoes and watch your step.
  • Pack water and sunscreen.

Respect the reef

  • Don't take anything from the reef, leave it for others to enjoy.
  • Leave the reef as you found it, careful where you step and try not to break the reef or step on living things'
  • Take all your litter back home with you.

Have fun!

  • Take lots of photos, upload to iNaturalist for help identifying.
  • If you don't see anything, sit very still, wait and watch!

How to get there

Parking

Parking available at the radar station and in the overflow carpark. Parking is often full, best to arrive at least an hour before low tide to leave enough time to park and also walk the half mile to the tide pools.

Directions to tidepools

Park in the parking lot at the bottom of the radar station if possible, follow the trail at the sea-end of the carpark straight out and along as the path swings to the right around the bluff. The tide pools, shallow-water sea grass beds and a secluded beach are about half a mile or so from the carpark after you pass the jetty on the left.

Keep an eye out for shorebirds in the marsh to the left, harbor seals in the secluded harbor before the jetty and nesting great blue herons in the trees on the walk to the tide pools.

About Pillar Point

Pillar Point Harbor CA

  • (650) 726-5727
  • Get directions
  • Open to the public: Yes
  • Bathrooms nearby: Yes
  • Visitor center: No
  • Docents and guides: No
  • Dogs allowed: Yes

When to visit

As a general rule it is always a good idea to get to the tidepool site before the lowest tide so that you can have a good time looking at critters before the tide starts to come in.

Low tides in the next 30 days

Friday 23rd October 2020

The lowest tide in daylight today is 3.21ft at 11:06am

lowest tide is 3.21ft
11:54pm 0.02ft 11:06am 3.21ft

Saturday 24th October 2020

The lowest tide in daylight today is 2.93ft at 12:30pm

lowest tide is 2.93ft
12:06am 0.04ft 12:30pm 2.93ft

Sunday 25th October 2020

The lowest tide in daylight today is 2.49ft at 1:42pm

lowest tide is 2.49ft
1:06am 0.21ft 1:42pm 2.49ft

Monday 26th October 2020

The lowest tide in daylight today is 1.98ft at 2:36pm

lowest tide is 1.98ft
1:54am 0.38ft 2:36pm 1.98ft

Tuesday 27th October 2020

The lowest tide in daylight today is 1.49ft at 3:18pm

lowest tide is 1.49ft
2:42am 0.57ft 3:18pm 1.49ft

Wednesday 28th October 2020

The lowest tide in daylight today is 1.03ft at 4:00pm

lowest tide is 1.03ft
3:18am 0.79ft 4:00pm 1.03ft

Thursday 29th October 2020

The lowest tide in daylight today is 0.64ft at 4:30pm

lowest tide is 0.64ft
3:54am 1.05ft 4:30pm 0.64ft

Friday 30th October 2020

The lowest tide in daylight today is 0.33ft at 5:06pm

lowest tide is 0.33ft
4:18am 1.34ft 5:06pm 0.33ft

Saturday 31st October 2020

The lowest tide in daylight today is 0.11ft at 5:36pm

lowest tide is 0.11ft
4:48am 1.67ft 5:36pm 0.11ft

Sunday 1st November 2020

4:12am 2.01ft 5:12pm -0.02ft

Monday 2nd November 2020

4:42am 2.35ft 5:48pm -0.06ft

Tuesday 3rd November 2020

5:12am 2.68ft 6:24pm -0.03ft

Wednesday 4th November 2020

5:42am 2.97ft 7:06pm 0.04ft

Thursday 5th November 2020

6:18am 3.22ft 7:54pm 0.14ft

Friday 6th November 2020

The lowest tide in daylight today is 3.42ft at 7:06am

lowest tide is 3.42ft
7:06am 3.42ft 8:54pm 0.23ft

Saturday 7th November 2020

The lowest tide in daylight today is 3.52ft at 8:24am

lowest tide is 3.52ft
8:24am 3.52ft 10:00pm 0.26ft

Sunday 8th November 2020

The lowest tide in daylight today is 3.31ft at 10:18am

lowest tide is 3.31ft
10:18am 3.31ft 10:54pm 0.28ft

Monday 9th November 2020

The lowest tide in daylight today is 2.76ft at 11:36am

lowest tide is 2.76ft
11:36am 2.76ft 11:48pm 0.33ft

Tuesday 10th November 2020

The lowest tide in daylight today is 2.01ft at 12:42pm

lowest tide is 2.01ft
11:54pm 0.33ft 12:42pm 2.01ft

Wednesday 11th November 2020

The lowest tide in daylight today is 1.14ft at 1:36pm

lowest tide is 1.14ft
12:42am 0.45ft 1:36pm 1.14ft

Thursday 12th November 2020

The lowest tide in daylight today is 0.24ft at 2:24pm

lowest tide is 0.24ft
1:30am 0.66ft 2:24pm 0.24ft

Friday 13th November 2020

The lowest tide in daylight today is -0.56ft at 3:12pm

lowest tide is -0.56ft
2:12am 0.94ft 3:12pm -0.56ft

Saturday 14th November 2020

The lowest tide in daylight today is -1.16ft at 4:00pm

lowest tide is -1.16ft
2:54am 1.30ft 4:00pm -1.16ft

Sunday 15th November 2020

The lowest tide in daylight today is -1.51ft at 4:48pm

lowest tide is -1.51ft
3:36am 1.70ft 4:48pm -1.51ft

Monday 16th November 2020

4:18am 2.10ft 5:42pm -1.58ft

Tuesday 17th November 2020

5:06am 2.49ft 6:30pm -1.43ft

Wednesday 18th November 2020

6:00am 2.82ft 7:24pm -1.09ft

Thursday 19th November 2020

The lowest tide in daylight today is 3.09ft at 7:00am

lowest tide is 3.09ft
7:00am 3.09ft 8:24pm -0.65ft

Friday 20th November 2020

The lowest tide in daylight today is 3.24ft at 8:12am

lowest tide is 3.24ft
8:12am 3.24ft 9:24pm -0.21ft

Saturday 21st November 2020

The lowest tide in daylight today is 3.15ft at 9:54am

lowest tide is 3.15ft
9:54am 3.15ft 10:24pm 0.18ft

Recent observations at Pillar Point

Other considerations

Rules

Please be respectful of the reef and leave anything that is alive or could have alive things in it where they are. Don't move animals between pools, put them back where you found them, it's their home. If you want to fish or collect seaweed or shellfish you need a fishing license.

Information on rules for this location

Accessibility and Safety

As tide pools go, this is pretty accessible. It's a bit of a walk on the flat path and there is a bit of beach to navigate to get to the pools, but the pools also have a reasonably flat section. That said, there are some fast flowing cut-throughs to get over if you want to go further out and seasonally some quite slippery seaweed, so a walking stick makes a good companion.

The edge of the tide pools nearest to the open ocean on the furthest right hand side (if you are facing out to sea) can be heavily affected by wind and swell, so as always, keep an eye out on the ocean, particularly so if it looks choppy.

If you go far out, make sure to watch your exit route to ensure that you don't get cut off by the incoming tide.

If you are setting up a picnic don't sit too near to the base of the cliff because erosion can cause dangerous falling rocks.

Pet Policy

Dogs are allowed on-leash on the beach here.

Food options

There are lots of restaurants in the nearby town of Granada or in Half Moon Bay.

Picnics

Lots of space on the beach for picnics, no fires allowed though. Be careful not to sit too close to the cliffs because rock fall is common.