Gray Whale Cove State Beach
When you hear that Gray Whale Cove State Beach is on an area of coastline known as “Devil’s Slide” this should help convey that the descent to the beach is steep and tricky.
Just 18 miles south of San Francisco, situated between Pacifica and Montara, this state beach is popular for whale watching during the spring migratory season, hence its name. Great white sharks have also been seen in the chilly waters.
It can be windy and swimming is not recommended although surfers occasionally brave the rocks and rip currents. Grey Whale Cove is also well-known as a clothing-optional beach, despite nudity being banned in state beaches, so bear that in mind. Another local name for the beach is Edun Cove which gives you a clue to its use (the word Edun is Nude backwards).
There are some basic restrooms, a picnic area and a parking lot on the opposite side of Highway 1 to the beach. You can then descend the steep path and 146 steps carefully to the beach. Generally, families go left while naturists go right for the clothing optional beach.
While you’re visiting Grey Whale Cove you might be interested to look for the old WW2 bunker visible from the beach on the north headland known as Bunker Point. There is also a scenic hiking trail from the parking lot that heads south along the bluffs to Montara State Beach about 1.4 miles away.
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