Picnic on a Black Sand Beach
San Francisco › Black Sand Beach (Marin)
Added by Marcello Pantuliano
- A secluded black sand beach just minutes outside of SF
- A quieter alternative to other popular beaches in the area
- Sweeping views of the Bay Area coastline and SF
Black Sand Beach is a beautiful, mile-long stretch of black sand just north of the Golden Gate Bridge. On a sunny day, it’s best to try and arrive in the morning, as the parking lot can fill up quickly. To get down to the beach, you’ll need to hike for about 10 minutes down 250 or so wooden steps. You’ll feel it in your legs on the return trip to the car, so keep that in mind when considering how elaborate you want to make your picnic (tip: don’t plan on taking a big cooler).
Once you’re down on the beach, spread out your picnic blanket, relax, and explore the shoreline. Because of the hike-in nature of this spot, it tends to be much less crowded than other beaches in the area. Please note, this is technically a “clothing optional” beach, but most of the nudists hang out on the south end. Regardless, be prepared to see a naked body or two.
This parking lot can be a bit tricky to find, but it's directly off of Conzelman Road, past Hawk Hill, and down the hill along the coast. There will be a dirt parking lot on your left. Look for Upper Fishermans trail signage.
- Picnic supplies
- Dress in layers (it can get breezy)
- The ability to un-see things that shouldn’t be seen
Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.
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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This is a great find. We saw it on the map it was on the way from Mendocino to our next stop, Napa Valley. So glad we took the time to visit.