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
- National Park
- Pet Details
- No dogs allowed
- Free parking
- Hiking, Photography, Sunbathing, Beach Exploration, Fishing
- Restrooms, Trails, Viewpoint, Black Sand
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.