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.
- Glass Beach Dr & W Elm St
Fort Bragg, CA 95437
- Park Name
- Noyo Headlands Park & Preserve, MacKerricher State Park
- Other Names
- Fort Bragg Landing, Soldier Point, Otsuchi Point, Noyo Headlands Trail
- City & State
- Pet Details
- Dogs allowed on leash
- Free parking
- Beachcombing, Hiking, Tidepooling, Sightseeing, Walking, Biking, Photography
- Sea Glass, Tide Pools, Restroom, Picnic Tables, Paved Path, Trails, Interpretive Signs
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.