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.
- Decent walking shoes
- Sandals for the beach
- Picnic supplies
- Beach games
- Swimsuit (if you dare the cold water)
- Sunglasses/ hat
More Adventures Nearby
Hike the Tabor Nature Trail
San Francisco / Taber Nature Trail, Standish-Hickey State Recreation Area
Signs at the trail head for the Tabor Trail state it is 1.1 miles long. That is much shorter than the actual 1.8 miles my GPS put it at. The trail sign also claims it is wheelchair accessible.
Hike through the Founder's Grove in Humboldt Redwoods State Park
San Francisco / Founders Grove Nature Trail
The Founder's Grove is easily accessed from Highway 101 in northern California. The grove is also on the Avenue of the Giants Scenic Highway.