Explore Panther Beach


Added by Conor Barry

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.

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Worth it

Great beach to have a beach day at. Getting down to the beach is a little steep but the beach is worth it

about 1 year ago

Avoid Crowds

This is a beach north of Santa Cruz and is a good place to go if you want to avoid the crowds of town.

Beautiful hike, not too crowded usually.

700 total saves


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Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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