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.

Wednesday 7th December 2022 at 4:30pm for a low tide of -0.83ft. sunrise is 7:11am and sunset is 4:51pm

Wednesday 21st December 2022 at 3:18pm for a low tide of -1.15ft. sunrise is 7:21am and sunset is 4:54pm

Thursday 22nd December 2022 at 4:06pm for a low tide of -1.59ft. sunrise is 7:21am and sunset is 4:55pm

Friday 23rd December 2022 at 4:54pm for a low tide of -1.80ft. sunrise is 7:22am and sunset is 4:55pm

See more good times to visit

Low tides today

The lowest tide in daylight today is -0.73ft at 3:54pm

2:30am 2.27ft 3:54pm -0.73ft

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

Tuesday 6th December 2022

The lowest tide in daylight today is -0.73ft at 3:54pm

lowest tide is -0.73ft
2:30am 2.27ft 3:54pm -0.73ft

Wednesday 7th December 2022

The lowest tide in daylight today is -0.83ft at 4:30pm

lowest tide is -0.83ft
3:06am 2.56ft 4:30pm -0.83ft

Thursday 8th December 2022

3:42am 2.80ft 5:12pm -0.82ft

Friday 9th December 2022

4:18am 3.01ft 5:48pm -0.70ft

Saturday 10th December 2022

4:54am 3.18ft 6:24pm -0.52ft

Sunday 11th December 2022

5:30am 3.32ft 7:06pm -0.30ft

Monday 12th December 2022

6:18am 3.42ft 7:42pm -0.03ft

Tuesday 13th December 2022

The lowest tide in daylight today is 3.46ft at 7:18am

lowest tide is 3.46ft
7:18am 3.46ft 8:24pm 0.26ft

Wednesday 14th December 2022

The lowest tide in daylight today is 3.40ft at 8:30am

lowest tide is 3.40ft
8:30am 3.40ft 9:06pm 0.56ft

Thursday 15th December 2022

The lowest tide in daylight today is 3.09ft at 10:06am

lowest tide is 3.09ft
10:06am 3.09ft 9:54pm 0.89ft

Friday 16th December 2022

The lowest tide in daylight today is 2.55ft at 11:18am

lowest tide is 2.55ft
11:18am 2.55ft 10:36pm 1.22ft

Saturday 17th December 2022

The lowest tide in daylight today is 1.85ft at 12:12pm

lowest tide is 1.85ft
11:54pm 1.51ft 12:12pm 1.85ft 11:18pm 1.56ft

Sunday 18th December 2022

The lowest tide in daylight today is 1.06ft at 1:06pm

lowest tide is 1.06ft
11:54pm 1.62ft 1:06pm 1.06ft

Monday 19th December 2022

The lowest tide in daylight today is 0.25ft at 1:54pm

lowest tide is 0.25ft
12:06am 1.91ft 1:54pm 0.25ft

Tuesday 20th December 2022

The lowest tide in daylight today is -0.51ft at 2:36pm

lowest tide is -0.51ft
12:54am 2.22ft 2:36pm -0.51ft

Wednesday 21st December 2022

The lowest tide in daylight today is -1.15ft at 3:18pm

lowest tide is -1.15ft
1:42am 2.46ft 3:18pm -1.15ft

Thursday 22nd December 2022

The lowest tide in daylight today is -1.59ft at 4:06pm

lowest tide is -1.59ft
2:30am 2.64ft 4:06pm -1.59ft

Friday 23rd December 2022

The lowest tide in daylight today is -1.80ft at 4:54pm

lowest tide is -1.80ft
3:18am 2.76ft 4:54pm -1.80ft

Saturday 24th December 2022

4:06am 2.83ft 5:42pm -1.79ft

Sunday 25th December 2022

5:00am 2.87ft 6:30pm -1.56ft

Monday 26th December 2022

6:00am 2.87ft 7:24pm -1.13ft

Tuesday 27th December 2022

7:12am 2.80ft 8:12pm -0.55ft

Wednesday 28th December 2022

The lowest tide in daylight today is 2.62ft at 8:36am

lowest tide is 2.62ft
8:36am 2.62ft 9:00pm 0.10ft

Thursday 29th December 2022

The lowest tide in daylight today is 2.21ft at 10:06am

lowest tide is 2.21ft
10:06am 2.21ft 9:54pm 0.77ft

Friday 30th December 2022

The lowest tide in daylight today is 1.62ft at 11:24am

lowest tide is 1.62ft
11:54pm 1.66ft 11:24am 1.62ft 10:48pm 1.39ft

Saturday 31st December 2022

The lowest tide in daylight today is 0.98ft at 12:30pm

lowest tide is 0.98ft
11:54pm 1.66ft 12:30pm 0.98ft 4:00pm 2.63ft 11:30pm 1.99ft

Sunday 1st January 2023

The lowest tide in daylight today is 0.32ft at 1:30pm

lowest tide is 0.32ft
11:54pm 2.02ft 1:30pm 0.32ft

Monday 2nd January 2023

The lowest tide in daylight today is -0.14ft at 2:18pm

lowest tide is -0.14ft
12:18am 2.42ft 2:18pm -0.14ft

Tuesday 3rd January 2023

The lowest tide in daylight today is -0.47ft at 3:00pm

lowest tide is -0.47ft
1:12am 2.72ft 3:00pm -0.47ft

Wednesday 4th January 2023

The lowest tide in daylight today is -0.65ft at 3:42pm

lowest tide is -0.65ft
2:06am 2.89ft 3:42pm -0.65ft

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.