Hard to find, secluded beach north of Santa Cruz. A beautiful hike-in beach surrounded by sandstone cliffs. Tidepools, caves, and bouldering. Great photography.

Panther Beach's white sand, clear water, and interesting rock formations make it one of the most stunning beaches along this stretch of CA1. But this is a hidden gem for a reason - there are no signs along CA1 for Panther Beach. You need to keep you eyes peeled for cars parked along the side of the road. Once you park, you'll walk across the railroad tracks, and hike down to the beach. The hike is not long, but it's just a bit slippery and steep at points. Keep this in mind if you're hauling a bunch of picnic supplies (it's doable, just grab a friend to help).

Once you get down to the beach, we recommend that you continue around to the left and head through the natural arch in the cliff and set up camp at Hole in the Wall Beach. The extra work is worth it - it's a bit more secluded and a pretty amazing spot.

There is no public restroom at this beach. Also, nudity is allowed, but alcohol and fires are not, so use your best judgement...on all counts.

Pack List

  • Decent walking shoes
  • Sandals for the beach
  • Camera
  • Picnic supplies
  • Water
  • Beach games
  • Sunblock
  • Swimsuit (if you dare the cold water)
  • Sunglasses/ hat
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Activities Chillin
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Features
Beach
Family Friendly
Scenic
Wildflowers

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Great for Sunset Photos!

A very cool spot especially at low tide when you can go through the arch. It was high tide when we went, so we'll definitely be back to explore some more!

Beautiful hike, not too crowded usually.


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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