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About Glass Beach in Fort Bragg, California

Glass Beach is a well-known beach in Fort Bragg and might be the most-searched beach in all of California. Glass Beach gets its name from the smooth colorful glass that is mixed into the pebbly beach. It is the best of the California beaches with sea glass.

This site was once a trash dump and the broken bottles from garbage cans of local residents have been transformed into little treasures to be found and photographed. It is illegal to remove any glass from Glass Beach, but this hasn’t stopped people from taking what seems like a harmless amount. Over the years visitors have pilfered it piece by piece and depleted the beach of its namesake glass. Sea glass is still abundant, but nothing like it used to be.

Photographers will love this beach not only for the colorful beach, but also for the countless rocks, coves, and tidepools. There is so much to see and explore here. Kids will find Glass Beach interesting and want to wander around, but watch them near the water which can be dangerous.

A flat paved path called Noyo Headlands Trail (formerly Noyo Point Road) meanders south following the rugged shoreline to other beaches that have sea glass, but in lower amounts. In about half a mile, a side trail goes out onto a point with a compass rose and wooden benches. Beyond that the path continues for 2.5 miles to Noyo Bay Beach.

Dirt footpaths on the bluff lead north to Pudding Creek Beach where a paved multi-use trail crosses over an old train trestle. The scenic trek to that beach is about 3/4 of a mile. All of these trails on the bluffs are part of the California Coastal Trail.

Access to Glass Beach is from a wide path starting from the parking area on Glass Beach Road a couple blocks west of Highway 1 on West Elm Street. The lot is signed Noyo Headlands Park and is managed by the city although most of this land is part of MacKerricher State Park.

Address
Glass Beach Dr & W Elm St
Fort Bragg, CA 95437
Phone
707-964-9112
Park Name
Noyo Headlands Park & Preserve, MacKerricher State Park
Other Names
Fort Bragg Landing, Soldier Point, Otsuchi Point, Noyo Headlands Trail
Owner
City & State
Pet Details
Dogs allowed on leash
Fees
Free parking
Activities
Beachcombing, Hiking, Tidepooling, Sightseeing, Walking, Biking, Photography
Amenities
Sea Glass, Tide Pools, Restroom, Picnic Tables, Paved Path, Trails, Interpretive Signs
Map of Glass Beach
Fort Bragg, US
3:15 pm, December 2, 2023
temperature icon 58°F
L: 53° H: 58°
Feels like 57.9 °F overcast clouds
Wind gusts: 4 m/s
UV Index: 0.17
Precipitation: 0.04 inch
Visibility: 10 km
Sunrise: 7:17 am
Sunset: 4:52 pm
Humidity 98 %
Pressure1021 mb
Wind 4 m/s

Nearby Beaches

Pudding Creek Beach

0.5 miles away

Pudding Creek Beach is next to an old wooden train trestle that now is a multi-use recreational trail bridge...

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Old Haul Road Beach

0.7 miles away

This popular beach in MacKerricher State Park doesn’t have an official name. Locals just call it the beach next...

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Virgin Creek Beach

1.3 miles away

Virgin Creek Beach is sandy shoreline tucked away in the middle of MacKerricher State Park. It’s only reachable by...

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Nearby Attractions

Nearby Lodging

Reviews

5.0
Rated 5.0 out of 5
7 review(s)
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Rated 5.0 out of 5
April 22, 2023

My husband and I loved glass beach! You can’t remove the glass pebbles but you can enjoy their beauty. The beach has many areas to explore so plan to spend some time there.

Janet S
Rated 5.0 out of 5
April 14, 2023

My kids had a great experience! My mom enjoyed being able to reproduce a childhood memory of being taken there by her grandparents with her own grandchildren. Lovely day all around.

Derek Ashauer
Rated 5.0 out of 5
April 12, 2023

If people keep taking glass pebbles from the areas outside the state park, eventually there won’t be any glass left.

I wonder if there’s any way to *add more* glass to a glass beach. Obviously, breaking a bunch of glass bottles and scattering the shards around the beach so that Mother Nature can repeat herself would be frowned on (especially if there are any barefooters roving about), but maybe getting a rock tumbler and running the broken glass through *that* beforehand might be a step in the right direction.

Edward H
Rated 5.0 out of 5
March 2, 2023

My family used to go to Glass Beach years ago when there was a lot more glass. Now we go to walk the bluffs and laugh about how many more people go there. The new paved parking lot is a huge improvement at least. Take photos of the glass you find, but don’t leave with any so there will be some left for our grandkids.

Lisa G
Rated 5.0 out of 5
March 20, 2022

Edward H, at the Sea Glass Museum, just south of Fort Bragg they give away bags of “sea glass seeds” glass that has been tumbled for people to throw in the sea just for that reason.

Adrienne T