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.

Monday 15th August 2022 at 7:48am for a low tide of 0.26ft. sunrise is 6:26am and sunset is 8:01pm

Tuesday 30th August 2022 at 7:06am for a low tide of 0.89ft. sunrise is 6:39am and sunset is 7:41pm

Sunday 11th September 2022 at 6:12pm for a low tide of 0.92ft. sunrise is 6:49am and sunset is 7:23pm

Monday 12th September 2022 at 7:00pm for a low tide of 0.74ft. sunrise is 6:49am and sunset is 7:21pm

See more good times to visit

Low tides today

The lowest tide in daylight today is 0.26ft at 7:48am

7:48am 0.26ft 8:18pm 1.51ft

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

Monday 15th August 2022

The lowest tide in daylight today is 0.26ft at 7:48am

lowest tide is 0.26ft
7:48am 0.26ft 8:18pm 1.51ft

Tuesday 16th August 2022

The lowest tide in daylight today is 0.96ft at 8:24am

lowest tide is 0.96ft
8:24am 0.96ft 9:24pm 1.41ft

Wednesday 17th August 2022

The lowest tide in daylight today is 1.66ft at 9:00am

lowest tide is 1.66ft
9:00am 1.66ft 10:36pm 1.28ft

Thursday 18th August 2022

The lowest tide in daylight today is 2.28ft at 9:42am

lowest tide is 2.28ft
9:42am 2.28ft 11:48pm 1.09ft

Friday 19th August 2022

The lowest tide in daylight today is 2.77ft at 10:42am

lowest tide is 2.77ft
10:42am 2.77ft

Saturday 20th August 2022

The lowest tide in daylight today is 3.08ft at 11:48am

lowest tide is 3.08ft
12:48am 0.86ft 11:48am 3.08ft

Sunday 21st August 2022

The lowest tide in daylight today is 3.20ft at 12:54pm

lowest tide is 3.20ft
1:54am 0.61ft 12:54pm 3.20ft

Monday 22nd August 2022

The lowest tide in daylight today is 3.15ft at 1:54pm

lowest tide is 3.15ft
2:42am 0.35ft 1:54pm 3.15ft

Tuesday 23rd August 2022

The lowest tide in daylight today is 3.00ft at 2:54pm

lowest tide is 3.00ft
3:30am 0.11ft 2:54pm 3.00ft

Wednesday 24th August 2022

The lowest tide in daylight today is 2.79ft at 3:36pm

lowest tide is 2.79ft
4:06am -0.07ft 3:36pm 2.79ft

Thursday 25th August 2022

The lowest tide in daylight today is 2.57ft at 4:12pm

lowest tide is 2.57ft
4:42am -0.17ft 4:12pm 2.57ft

Friday 26th August 2022

The lowest tide in daylight today is 2.36ft at 4:48pm

lowest tide is 2.36ft
5:12am -0.17ft 4:48pm 2.36ft

Saturday 27th August 2022

The lowest tide in daylight today is 2.15ft at 5:30pm

lowest tide is 2.15ft
5:42am -0.07ft 5:30pm 2.15ft

Sunday 28th August 2022

The lowest tide in daylight today is 1.94ft at 6:06pm

lowest tide is 1.94ft
6:12am 0.15ft 6:06pm 1.94ft

Monday 29th August 2022

The lowest tide in daylight today is 1.70ft at 6:48pm

lowest tide is 1.70ft
6:36am 0.48ft 6:48pm 1.70ft

Tuesday 30th August 2022

The lowest tide in daylight today is 0.89ft at 7:06am

lowest tide is 0.89ft
7:06am 0.89ft 7:36pm 1.46ft

Wednesday 31st August 2022

The lowest tide in daylight today is 1.37ft at 7:30am

lowest tide is 1.37ft
7:30am 1.37ft 8:24pm 1.22ft

Thursday 1st September 2022

The lowest tide in daylight today is 1.89ft at 8:00am

lowest tide is 1.89ft
8:00am 1.89ft 9:24pm 1.00ft

Friday 2nd September 2022

The lowest tide in daylight today is 2.39ft at 8:36am

lowest tide is 2.39ft
8:36am 2.39ft 10:42pm 0.74ft

Saturday 3rd September 2022

The lowest tide in daylight today is 2.84ft at 9:24am

lowest tide is 2.84ft
9:24am 2.84ft

Sunday 4th September 2022

The lowest tide in daylight today is 3.16ft at 10:42am

lowest tide is 3.16ft
10:42am 3.16ft

Monday 5th September 2022

The lowest tide in daylight today is 3.22ft at 12:12pm

lowest tide is 3.22ft
1:06am -0.01ft 12:12pm 3.22ft

Tuesday 6th September 2022

The lowest tide in daylight today is 3.02ft at 1:30pm

lowest tide is 3.02ft
2:12am -0.39ft 1:30pm 3.02ft

Wednesday 7th September 2022

The lowest tide in daylight today is 2.61ft at 2:42pm

lowest tide is 2.61ft
3:06am -0.68ft 2:42pm 2.61ft

Thursday 8th September 2022

The lowest tide in daylight today is 2.11ft at 3:42pm

lowest tide is 2.11ft
3:54am -0.81ft 3:42pm 2.11ft

Friday 9th September 2022

The lowest tide in daylight today is 1.62ft at 4:30pm

lowest tide is 1.62ft
4:36am -0.73ft 4:30pm 1.62ft

Saturday 10th September 2022

The lowest tide in daylight today is 1.22ft at 5:24pm

lowest tide is 1.22ft
5:18am -0.44ft 5:24pm 1.22ft

Sunday 11th September 2022

The lowest tide in daylight today is 0.92ft at 6:12pm

lowest tide is 0.92ft
5:54am 0.02ft 6:12pm 0.92ft

Monday 12th September 2022

The lowest tide in daylight today is 0.74ft at 7:00pm

lowest tide is 0.74ft
6:30am 0.59ft 7:00pm 0.74ft

Tuesday 13th September 2022

The lowest tide in daylight today is 1.22ft at 7:06am

lowest tide is 1.22ft
7:06am 1.22ft 7:54pm 0.69ft

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.