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 22nd June 2024 at 6:00am for a low tide of -1.31ft. sunrise is 5:49am and sunset is 8:34pm

Sunday 23rd June 2024 at 6:42am for a low tide of -1.37ft. sunrise is 5:50am and sunset is 8:34pm

Monday 24th June 2024 at 7:24am for a low tide of -1.29ft. sunrise is 5:50am and sunset is 8:34pm

Saturday 6th July 2024 at 6:06am for a low tide of -1.28ft. sunrise is 5:55am and sunset is 8:34pm

See more good times to visit

Low tides today

The lowest tide in daylight today is 2.94ft at 4:18pm

5:18am -1.13ft 4:18pm 2.94ft

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 21st June 2024

The lowest tide in daylight today is 2.94ft at 4:18pm

lowest tide is 2.94ft
5:18am -1.13ft 4:18pm 2.94ft

Saturday 22nd June 2024

The lowest tide in daylight today is -1.31ft at 6:00am

lowest tide is -1.31ft
6:00am -1.31ft 5:00pm 3.00ft

Sunday 23rd June 2024

The lowest tide in daylight today is -1.37ft at 6:42am

lowest tide is -1.37ft
6:42am -1.37ft 5:54pm 3.03ft

Monday 24th June 2024

The lowest tide in daylight today is -1.29ft at 7:24am

lowest tide is -1.29ft
7:24am -1.29ft 6:48pm 2.99ft

Tuesday 25th June 2024

The lowest tide in daylight today is -1.05ft at 8:06am

lowest tide is -1.05ft
8:06am -1.05ft 7:54pm 2.86ft

Wednesday 26th June 2024

The lowest tide in daylight today is -0.65ft at 8:48am

lowest tide is -0.65ft
8:48am -0.65ft 9:06pm 2.60ft

Thursday 27th June 2024

The lowest tide in daylight today is -0.12ft at 9:36am

lowest tide is -0.12ft
9:36am -0.12ft 10:30pm 2.13ft

Friday 28th June 2024

The lowest tide in daylight today is 0.50ft at 10:24am

lowest tide is 0.50ft
10:24am 0.50ft 11:48pm 1.45ft

Saturday 29th June 2024

The lowest tide in daylight today is 1.12ft at 11:12am

lowest tide is 1.12ft
11:12am 1.12ft

Sunday 30th June 2024

The lowest tide in daylight today is 1.71ft at 12:00pm

lowest tide is 1.71ft
1:00am 0.69ft 12:00pm 1.71ft

Monday 1st July 2024

The lowest tide in daylight today is 2.20ft at 12:54pm

lowest tide is 2.20ft
2:06am -0.04ft 12:54pm 2.20ft

Tuesday 2nd July 2024

The lowest tide in daylight today is 2.55ft at 1:48pm

lowest tide is 2.55ft
3:00am -0.66ft 1:48pm 2.55ft

Wednesday 3rd July 2024

The lowest tide in daylight today is 2.76ft at 2:48pm

lowest tide is 2.76ft
3:54am -1.10ft 2:48pm 2.76ft

Thursday 4th July 2024

The lowest tide in daylight today is 2.85ft at 3:42pm

lowest tide is 2.85ft
4:36am -1.33ft 3:42pm 2.85ft

Friday 5th July 2024

The lowest tide in daylight today is 2.89ft at 4:30pm

lowest tide is 2.89ft
5:24am -1.38ft 4:30pm 2.89ft

Saturday 6th July 2024

The lowest tide in daylight today is -1.28ft at 6:06am

lowest tide is -1.28ft
6:06am -1.28ft 5:18pm 2.91ft

Sunday 7th July 2024

The lowest tide in daylight today is -1.06ft at 6:48am

lowest tide is -1.06ft
6:48am -1.06ft 6:06pm 2.92ft

Monday 8th July 2024

The lowest tide in daylight today is -0.74ft at 7:24am

lowest tide is -0.74ft
7:24am -0.74ft 7:00pm 2.91ft

Tuesday 9th July 2024

The lowest tide in daylight today is -0.35ft at 8:00am

lowest tide is -0.35ft
8:00am -0.35ft 7:48pm 2.87ft

Wednesday 10th July 2024

The lowest tide in daylight today is 0.11ft at 8:36am

lowest tide is 0.11ft
8:36am 0.11ft 8:48pm 2.76ft

Thursday 11th July 2024

The lowest tide in daylight today is 0.61ft at 9:06am

lowest tide is 0.61ft
9:06am 0.61ft 9:54pm 2.56ft

Friday 12th July 2024

The lowest tide in daylight today is 1.13ft at 9:36am

lowest tide is 1.13ft
9:36am 1.13ft 11:06pm 2.21ft

Saturday 13th July 2024

The lowest tide in daylight today is 1.64ft at 10:12am

lowest tide is 1.64ft
10:12am 1.64ft

Sunday 14th July 2024

The lowest tide in daylight today is 2.10ft at 10:54am

lowest tide is 2.10ft
12:12am 1.75ft 10:54am 2.10ft

Monday 15th July 2024

The lowest tide in daylight today is 2.50ft at 11:36am

lowest tide is 2.50ft
1:12am 1.23ft 11:36am 2.50ft

Tuesday 16th July 2024

The lowest tide in daylight today is 2.80ft at 12:30pm

lowest tide is 2.80ft
2:06am 0.69ft 12:30pm 2.80ft

Wednesday 17th July 2024

The lowest tide in daylight today is 2.99ft at 1:24pm

lowest tide is 2.99ft
2:54am 0.15ft 1:24pm 2.99ft

Thursday 18th July 2024

The lowest tide in daylight today is 3.07ft at 2:24pm

lowest tide is 3.07ft
3:36am -0.35ft 2:24pm 3.07ft

Friday 19th July 2024

The lowest tide in daylight today is 3.04ft at 3:18pm

lowest tide is 3.04ft
4:18am -0.78ft 3:18pm 3.04ft

Saturday 20th July 2024

The lowest tide in daylight today is 2.94ft at 4:06pm

lowest tide is 2.94ft
5:00am -1.10ft 4:06pm 2.94ft

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.