Crescent City’s Pebble Beach Drive takes you along spectacular coastline with beach walking/hiking opportunities and beautiful vistas of rocky islands in the Pacific Ocean. Read on to find out how to access Pebble Beach Drive and where to stop to get the best views and also access the beach itself. There’s also info on hiking at Point St. George, which lies just north of Pebble Beach.
Mountaineers Books, one of the premier world publishers of outdoor books, recently released my latest guidebook, Hike the Parks: Redwood National & State Parks (see it on Amazon, and more info here on the NCHT website). It’s a compact and lightweight all-color guide to the top 38 hiking trails in Redwood National & State Parks and nearby, plus everything else you’d want to do in the outdoors in the region: beach walks, whale watching, tide pool exploration, and camping.
It covers Redwood National Park, Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park, Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, Patricks Point State Park, and more along and near Highway 101.
Starting Your Exploration of Pebble Beach Drive
Pebble Beach Drive to Point St. George in Crescent City is one of the most spectacular shoreline drives on the West Coast; it includes vista points and beach access, and a paved trail along much of its length.
Begin on US Highway 101 in Downtown Crescent City…
Start at US Highway 101 and Fifth Street in downtown Crescent City, 0.2 mile northwest of Front Street and 0.5 mile southeast of Northcrest Drive. Head southwest toward the Pacific Ocean for 0..6 mile until Fifth Street ends at Taylor Street, and then curve right and immediately left onto Pebble Beach Drive.
Driving Pebble Beach Drive
From here on the road runs beside the shore. Several parking areas allow a full panorama of ocean, cliff, and rock, with Brother Jonathan Vista Point one of the best. Drive slowly and stop frequently to take in the full beauty.
Walking/Hiking Pebble Beach
You’ll easily spot several places to access Pebble Beach, where you can take an extended walk/hike. (Check tide charts first, and always keep your eye on the ocean for unexpected large waves.) Parts of the beach have an extensive assortment of multihued wave-rounded rocks, especially in winter.
When tides are relatively low, you can wander a mile or more, all the way to the end of the beach at the southern terminus of the Point St. George trail. (This area, known as Garth’s Beach, is popular with surfers.)
End of Pebble Beach Drive: On to Point St. George
Pebble Beach Drive meets Washington Boulevard 2.6 miles from Fifth Street and Highway 101. A right turn here will eventually lead through Crescent City to Highway 101; however, turn left and head for Point St. George.
You’ll quickly pass a parking area on the left that leads to the northern end of Pebble Beach (also known as Garth’s Beach) and a trail running up to the bluff and on to Point St. George. This spot also affords a full view of Castle Rock, the heart of the Castle Rock National Wildlife Refuge.
Continue on for a mile to Point St. George, the trailhead for Hike 27 of Hike the Parks: Redwood National & State Parks. You have three excellent options here:
One, take in the views, which, on clear days, include St. George Reef Lighthouse (six miles offshore to the northwest), along with forest and distant high mountains to the east;
Two, head north down a dirt road to a beach that runs for miles to the north;
Three: do Hike 27 (Point St. George).
Explore Redwood National & State Parks!
My compact, all-color guidebook has it all:
- Hiking trails and beach walks
- Scenic drives and campgrounds
- Redwood National Park
- Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park
- Del Norte Redwoods State Park
- Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park
Buy it at Northern California REI and Barnes & Noble stores (call first), and at park visitor centers.