The Point Reyes National Seashore is a hidden beach that is home to a stunning gem of nature in California. Walking along the south end will bring you to the Secret Beach in Point Reyes. California already has many hidden beaches, so what’s unique about this one? This secluded beach is filled with incredible sea caves and rock formations and its tide pools are filled with amazing marine life. The beach is not the catch as there’s more. The highlight is a perfect spherical amphitheater.
The Low Tide Amphitheater at Secret Beach is only accessible at very low tide; you’ll have to monitor the tide charts to get to the Amphitheater. To find it, you must go through a sculptured beach and a couple of arches.
The Secret Beach in Point Reyes
California is no doubt a place packed with lots of fantastic beaches. The Secret Beach in Point Reyes is one of them. What distinguishes this gem from other beaches is that the Secret Beach Amphitheater is located at the south end of the sculptured beach. It is a unique natural phenomenon and is remarkable and almost perfectly spherical.
Another highlight of the Secret Beach is a small waterfall. This freshwater waterfall flows into the sand and disappears right there. It doesn’t flow into the ocean.
Fun Facts About Point Reyes
The Point Reyes National Seashore has a lot of attractive tide pools. One of them is the Duxbury Reef which is managed by the Marin County Department of Parks and Open Space. There are many hidden beaches at Point Reyes; you’d have an adventure exploring as many as possible.
Another fabulous beach in Point Reyes is Agate Beach, which has the gentlest return of the high tide and the most extensive tidepool area. The beach is also excellent if you’ve got kids with you.
There are many beautifully sculpted rocks and arches here, including the entrance to Secret Beach, which you will need a minus tide to find.
Why you Should Visit
There are many reasons why the Point Reyes national seashore is great for a weekend getaway. If you’re wondering why you should pick it out of all other beaches in California, here’s why. Apart from the exhilarating hike to a secret cave which is only a 2.8-mile hike from the Point Reyes Hostel off Limantour Road, you could pitch a tent too.
However, Coast Camp requires a reservation for all its fourteen campsites. Make your reservations three months in advance. Unlike other coastal areas in California, the beaches at Point Reyes are seldom packed with tourists who want to enjoy a fantastic experience.
Locating the Amphitheater
Secret Beach is only accessible at low tides. This means it must be a negative tide. To get to the Secret Beach, you must go through Sculptured Beach via the Coastal trail. It’s a three-mile hike. Sculptured Beach has a fantastic view of sand-colored cliffs and sandstone formations. If you’re lucky, you will spot a seal or a whale.
The tidepools on this beach are full of sea anemones, mussels, and starfish. You can change trail anytime as the coast trail runs on the bluffs above and parallel to the beach. The landscape at the end of the sculptured beach is rocky and leads to Secret Beach through some arches.
Due to the cliffs and brush, there is no other access here, so take time to plan your entry and exit. You’ll have to walk miles of sandy beach to get there. There are many caves on this small beach but what you’re looking for is the secret cave. This secret cave is just around a tall rocky point and you can walk or crawl through it depending on the sand level.
You can, however, access the Ampitheater through a narrow tunnel known as the blow hole in the rock wall. This natural amphitheater is a natural bowl with colossal vertical cliffs. The golden cliffs juxtaposed with the shaded floor are a breathtaking sight to behold.
The beach ends at Point Resistance which has a couple of rock arches.
Preparing For Your Visit
You’ll have to walk some distance to get to Secret Beach, so you should prepare for a hike beforehand. Get a pair of waterproof, sturdy boots if you don’t already own one. These are the best kind of shoes for your hike.
Parking space is usually available in the morning and more scarce during the afternoons. The trailhead parking is located south of the Limantour Beach parking lot. From the parking lot, a sandy path that will take you to the south end of Limantour Beach starts. It’s easy to walk here because the sand close to the water is packed.
The signal in this area is also very sketchy, so you should download a map of the area before your trip. Keep in mind that there are no dogs allowed on the beach. You can take your dog on a leash up to Sculptured Beach but no farther than that.
Fun Activities at Point Reyes
There are loads of fun activities for you to engage in at Secret Beach. Number one is the hike you must take to get to the beach. Hiking is a fun opportunity to sightsee and exercise at a go. Asides from hiking, you could also beach comb. There are always lots of beautiful shells, rocks, and keepsakes on beach sand; you can pick up some of them as souvenirs.
If you’re not a big fan of finding interesting shells, you can also explore the beach, find exciting nooks and take amazing pictures while at it.
Remember, you have to time the waves at the entrance to make it across safely since waves usually block it. Once the sun sets, it’s time to start heading back. The trickiest part of getting off the beach is scaling the rock wall to get off Secret Beach.
Carefully find a strong foothold and somewhere to grab. You’ll probably get scraped knees and palms from the climbing but it’s worth it. The hike back to your car is three miles long. There’s a high chance you’ll be starving from all your walking and climbing. There are several great spots along the way for you to stop for a quick bite.