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 29th January 2022 at 2:54pm for a low tide of -1.22ft. sunrise is 7:15am and sunset is 5:30pm

Sunday 30th January 2022 at 3:42pm for a low tide of -1.49ft. sunrise is 7:15am and sunset is 5:31pm

Monday 31st January 2022 at 4:30pm for a low tide of -1.53ft. sunrise is 7:14am and sunset is 5:33pm

Tuesday 1st February 2022 at 5:12pm for a low tide of -1.34ft. sunrise is 7:13am and sunset is 5:34pm

See more good times to visit

Low tides today

4:06am 2.95ft 5:30pm -0.61ft

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 18th January 2022

4:06am 2.95ft 5:30pm -0.61ft

Wednesday 19th January 2022

4:48am 2.93ft 6:00pm -0.48ft

Thursday 20th January 2022

5:30am 2.87ft 6:30pm -0.25ft

Friday 21st January 2022

6:18am 2.77ft 7:00pm 0.08ft

Saturday 22nd January 2022

7:12am 2.59ft 7:30pm 0.52ft

Sunday 23rd January 2022

The lowest tide in daylight today is 2.31ft at 8:12am

lowest tide is 2.31ft
8:12am 2.31ft 8:06pm 1.04ft

Monday 24th January 2022

The lowest tide in daylight today is 1.89ft at 9:30am

lowest tide is 1.89ft
9:30am 1.89ft 8:48pm 1.60ft

Tuesday 25th January 2022

The lowest tide in daylight today is 1.30ft at 10:48am

lowest tide is 1.30ft
10:48am 1.30ft 9:42pm 2.13ft

Wednesday 26th January 2022

The lowest tide in daylight today is 0.61ft at 11:54am

lowest tide is 0.61ft
11:54am 0.61ft 10:42pm 2.57ft

Thursday 27th January 2022

The lowest tide in daylight today is -0.09ft at 1:00pm

lowest tide is -0.09ft
11:54pm 2.80ft 1:00pm -0.09ft 11:48pm 2.85ft

Friday 28th January 2022

The lowest tide in daylight today is -0.73ft at 2:00pm

lowest tide is -0.73ft
11:54pm 2.85ft 2:00pm -0.73ft

Saturday 29th January 2022

The lowest tide in daylight today is -1.22ft at 2:54pm

lowest tide is -1.22ft
1:00am 2.94ft 2:54pm -1.22ft

Sunday 30th January 2022

The lowest tide in daylight today is -1.49ft at 3:42pm

lowest tide is -1.49ft
2:06am 2.84ft 3:42pm -1.49ft

Monday 31st January 2022

The lowest tide in daylight today is -1.53ft at 4:30pm

lowest tide is -1.53ft
3:06am 2.64ft 4:30pm -1.53ft

Tuesday 1st February 2022

The lowest tide in daylight today is -1.34ft at 5:12pm

lowest tide is -1.34ft
4:00am 2.42ft 5:12pm -1.34ft

Wednesday 2nd February 2022

4:54am 2.22ft 5:54pm -0.96ft

Thursday 3rd February 2022

5:48am 2.06ft 6:36pm -0.42ft

Friday 4th February 2022

6:42am 1.93ft 7:12pm 0.23ft

Saturday 5th February 2022

The lowest tide in daylight today is 1.83ft at 7:42am

lowest tide is 1.83ft
7:42am 1.83ft 7:42pm 0.92ft

Sunday 6th February 2022

The lowest tide in daylight today is 1.72ft at 8:48am

lowest tide is 1.72ft
8:48am 1.72ft 8:18pm 1.59ft

Monday 7th February 2022

The lowest tide in daylight today is 1.54ft at 10:00am

lowest tide is 1.54ft
10:00am 1.54ft 9:00pm 2.19ft

Tuesday 8th February 2022

The lowest tide in daylight today is 1.27ft at 11:12am

lowest tide is 1.27ft
11:12am 1.27ft 9:48pm 2.67ft

Wednesday 9th February 2022

The lowest tide in daylight today is 0.96ft at 12:12pm

lowest tide is 0.96ft
12:12pm 0.96ft 10:54pm 2.99ft

Thursday 10th February 2022

The lowest tide in daylight today is 0.61ft at 1:12pm

lowest tide is 0.61ft
11:54pm 3.08ft 1:12pm 0.61ft

Friday 11th February 2022

The lowest tide in daylight today is 0.27ft at 2:06pm

lowest tide is 0.27ft
12:00am 3.13ft 2:06pm 0.27ft

Saturday 12th February 2022

The lowest tide in daylight today is -0.03ft at 2:48pm

lowest tide is -0.03ft
1:06am 3.12ft 2:48pm -0.03ft

Sunday 13th February 2022

The lowest tide in daylight today is -0.27ft at 3:24pm

lowest tide is -0.27ft
2:00am 2.99ft 3:24pm -0.27ft

Monday 14th February 2022

The lowest tide in daylight today is -0.42ft at 3:54pm

lowest tide is -0.42ft
2:42am 2.81ft 3:54pm -0.42ft

Tuesday 15th February 2022

The lowest tide in daylight today is -0.47ft at 4:30pm

lowest tide is -0.47ft
3:24am 2.62ft 4:30pm -0.47ft

Wednesday 16th February 2022

The lowest tide in daylight today is -0.40ft at 5:00pm

lowest tide is -0.40ft
4:00am 2.42ft 5:00pm -0.40ft

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.