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About Black Sands Beach in Sausalito, California

Black Sands Beach is a south-facing dark sand beach below the Marin Headlands in Golden Gate National Recreation Area. There are great city views to be had just a few paces down the trail from the parking lot, but it is worth hiking the rest of the way down to this amazing black sand beach.

To get to Black Sands Beach, drive north across the Golden Gate Bridge into Marin County. Head west on Conzelman Road until it becomes a one way road then continue about a half-mile to a parking lot on the left side. This lot is signed for the Upper Fisherman’s Trailhead but it’s the access for Black Sands Beach. Unfortunately this parking lot only has room for about a dozen cars so it might be full when you get there unless you go early. There is a small bike rack at the trailhead if you wanted to pedal to this beach from Sausalito or San Francisco.

From the parking lot a steep dirt path descends the hillside to the beach which is on the east side of Bonita Cove, a broad cove formed by Point Bonita at the mouth of the Golden Gate. The hike down has been made easier with wooden steps, but it’s still a steep grade.

At high tide Black Sands Beach can be narrow so check tide charts before your trip (or head to Rodeo Beach which is a short drive away and is a stunning beach even at high tide). Also nearby is Point Bonita Lighthouse, a highly recommended attraction, which is visible from Black Sands Beach.

Note that the area to the west over the rocks is considered a clothing-optional beach so be forewarned if you venture that way.

Conzelman Rd
Sausalito, CA 94965
Park Name
Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Upper Fishermans Trailhead
Other Names
Bonita Cove Beach, Point Diablo
Pet Details
No dogs allowed
Free parking
Hiking, Photography, Sunbathing, Beach Exploration, Fishing
Restrooms, Trails, Viewpoint, Black Sand
Map of Black Sands Beach
Sausalito, US
3:20 pm, June 14, 2024
temperature icon 64°F
L: 50° H: 64°
Feels like 63.5 °F clear sky
Wind gusts: 9 m/s
UV Index: 8.19
Precipitation: 0 inch
Visibility: 10 km
Sunrise: 5:47 am
Sunset: 8:33 pm
Humidity 68 %
Pressure1015 mb
Wind 9 m/s

Nearby Beaches

Kirby Cove Beach

0.9 miles away

Kirby Cove Beach is at the base of the Marin Headlands north of the entrance to San Francisco Bay....

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South Rodeo Beach

1.2 miles away

South Rodeo Beach is a small beach in a secluded cove south of Rodeo Beach in the Marin Headlands. It...

View beach

Nearby Attractions

Nearby Lodging


1 review(s)
Very good0%
February 28, 2024

We couldn’t get a parking spot first time we went there. It’s a sweet beach but don’t expect to get a parking spot. after visiting the beach consider hiking the trail across the street which leads up to the Headlands Lookout. Stay left on that trail then turn right on a rough trail after the hilltop comes into view (short hike). Stunning 360 views from the summit and a couple of big boulders to rest on.