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 3rd October 2020 at 6:30pm for a low tide of 0.77ft. sunrise is 7:08am and sunset is 6:48pm

Thursday 15th October 2020 at 4:24pm for a low tide of 0.34ft. sunrise is 7:18am and sunset is 6:31pm

Friday 16th October 2020 at 5:12pm for a low tide of -0.29ft. sunrise is 7:19am and sunset is 6:30pm

Saturday 17th October 2020 at 6:00pm for a low tide of -0.72ft. sunrise is 7:20am and sunset is 6:28pm

See more good times to visit

Low tides today

The lowest tide in daylight today is 2.00ft at 3:30pm

3:24am 0.05ft 3:30pm 2.00ft

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 28th September 2020

The lowest tide in daylight today is 2.00ft at 3:30pm

lowest tide is 2.00ft
3:24am 0.05ft 3:30pm 2.00ft

Tuesday 29th September 2020

The lowest tide in daylight today is 1.64ft at 4:12pm

lowest tide is 1.64ft
4:00am 0.17ft 4:12pm 1.64ft

Wednesday 30th September 2020

The lowest tide in daylight today is 1.33ft at 4:48pm

lowest tide is 1.33ft
4:30am 0.38ft 4:48pm 1.33ft

Thursday 1st October 2020

The lowest tide in daylight today is 1.08ft at 5:24pm

lowest tide is 1.08ft
5:00am 0.67ft 5:24pm 1.08ft

Friday 2nd October 2020

The lowest tide in daylight today is 0.89ft at 6:00pm

lowest tide is 0.89ft
5:30am 1.01ft 6:00pm 0.89ft

Saturday 3rd October 2020

The lowest tide in daylight today is 0.77ft at 6:30pm

lowest tide is 0.77ft
6:00am 1.40ft 6:30pm 0.77ft

Sunday 4th October 2020

6:24am 1.81ft 7:06pm 0.70ft

Monday 5th October 2020

6:48am 2.21ft 7:48pm 0.69ft

Tuesday 6th October 2020

The lowest tide in daylight today is 2.59ft at 7:18am

lowest tide is 2.59ft
7:18am 2.59ft 8:30pm 0.73ft

Wednesday 7th October 2020

The lowest tide in daylight today is 2.93ft at 7:48am

lowest tide is 2.93ft
7:48am 2.93ft 9:24pm 0.78ft

Thursday 8th October 2020

The lowest tide in daylight today is 3.22ft at 8:24am

lowest tide is 3.22ft
8:24am 3.22ft 10:36pm 0.75ft

Friday 9th October 2020

The lowest tide in daylight today is 3.43ft at 9:36am

lowest tide is 3.43ft
9:36am 3.43ft 11:48pm 0.61ft

Saturday 10th October 2020

The lowest tide in daylight today is 3.39ft at 11:30am

lowest tide is 3.39ft
11:30am 3.39ft

Sunday 11th October 2020

The lowest tide in daylight today is 3.06ft at 12:48pm

lowest tide is 3.06ft
12:48am 0.40ft 12:48pm 3.06ft

Monday 12th October 2020

The lowest tide in daylight today is 2.52ft at 1:54pm

lowest tide is 2.52ft
1:36am 0.19ft 1:54pm 2.52ft

Tuesday 13th October 2020

The lowest tide in daylight today is 1.83ft at 2:48pm

lowest tide is 1.83ft
2:30am 0.05ft 2:48pm 1.83ft

Wednesday 14th October 2020

The lowest tide in daylight today is 1.07ft at 3:36pm

lowest tide is 1.07ft
3:12am 0.03ft 3:36pm 1.07ft

Thursday 15th October 2020

The lowest tide in daylight today is 0.34ft at 4:24pm

lowest tide is 0.34ft
3:54am 0.17ft 4:24pm 0.34ft

Friday 16th October 2020

The lowest tide in daylight today is -0.29ft at 5:12pm

lowest tide is -0.29ft
4:30am 0.48ft 5:12pm -0.29ft

Saturday 17th October 2020

The lowest tide in daylight today is -0.72ft at 6:00pm

lowest tide is -0.72ft
5:12am 0.91ft 6:00pm -0.72ft

Sunday 18th October 2020

5:48am 1.43ft 6:48pm -0.94ft

Monday 19th October 2020

6:30am 1.96ft 7:48pm -0.93ft

Tuesday 20th October 2020

7:18am 2.46ft 8:42pm -0.73ft

Wednesday 21st October 2020

The lowest tide in daylight today is 2.88ft at 8:12am

lowest tide is 2.88ft
8:12am 2.88ft 9:48pm -0.43ft

Thursday 22nd October 2020

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

lowest tide is 3.18ft
9:24am 3.18ft 11:00pm -0.16ft

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

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.