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About Jenner Beach (Driftwood Beach) in Jenner, California

Driftwood Beach, aka Jenner Beach, is the main beach at the north side of the Russian River mouth in the town of Jenner. Not surprisingly, this beach is covered in driftwood and logs that have been cast ashore. People use the logs and sticks to build structures up and down the shore.

The beach is about a half mile long depending on where the river is breaching the sand at the mouth. This is a superb place to walk at the water’s edge, but always keep your eyes on the water as sneaker waves are common.

Getting to the beach requires hiking down one of several steep paths from various pullout parking spots on Highway 1. The safest access is behind four yellow bollards (steel posts) that mark the trailhead next to the highway. It’s also possible to get down to the north end of Jenner Beach from the trail at Fish Head Beach.

The beach across the river mouth is Goat Rock Beach which has an access from Hwy 1 south of the river bridge. Both of these beaches near the river often have harbor seals and sea lions resting on the sand, but stay back 50 yards if they are present. Pelicans, seagulls and other seabirds are usually hanging out in that same area.

Offshore from Driftwood Beach there are many picturesque rocks including a huge one located at the north end that has a small arch in the bottom.

This entire area is popular for whale watching January through May during migration. Jenner Headlands Preserve is just north on the inland side of the highway and it has elevated views of the ocean which is best for spotting whales. A trail there ascends, in less than a mile, to the top of Sentinel Point at 572 feet above the ocean. We recommend this hike any time of year if it’s not foggy and you want to enjoy a spectacular 180 degree view of the Sonoma County Coast. The point even has a fixed monocular for viewing whales and the scenery.

Driftwood Beach is part of Sonoma Coast State Park so park rules apply. Camping and bonfires are not allowed on the beach. The Jenner Visitor Center in town is open on weekends in the summer and is worth a stop. It has a boat launch if you plan to boat, kayak, or canoe on the river. Driftwood Beach is a good pull-out location when exploring the river by small watercraft. WaterTreks is the best resource if you want to paddle on the Russian River. If you want to stay nearby, the River’s End Restaurant & Inn is just south of the beach and the Jenner Inn is downtown.

It should be noted that this beach has always been known as Driftwood Beach by Jenner locals. In recent years it has been labeled as “Jenner Beach” in Google Maps and other places online so that’s the name that has been adopted by visitors.

11048 Hwy 1
Jenner, CA 95450
Park Name
Sonoma Coast State Park, Russian River State Marine Conservation Area
Other Names
Drift Wood Beach, Jenners Beach
State Park
Pet Details
No dogs allowed on the beach
Free parking along highway
Beachcombing, Birdwatching, Wildlife Watching, Canoeing, Kayaking, Boating, Beach Walking, Surfing, Whale Watching, Hiking (to Sentinel Point)
Driftwood, River, Sea Stacks, Rock Arch, No Facilities
Map of Jenner Beach (Driftwood Beach)
Monte Rio, US
10:21 pm, April 23, 2024
temperature icon 48°F
L: 48° H: 56°
Feels like 47.66 °F scattered clouds
Wind gusts: 1 m/s
UV Index: 0
Precipitation: 0 inch
Visibility: 10 km
Sunrise: 6:24 am
Sunset: 7:56 pm
Humidity 94 %
Pressure1017 mb
Wind 1 m/s

Nearby Beaches

Fish Head Beach

0.4 miles away

Fish Head Beach is a narrow driftwood-covered beach about two miles north of the visitor center in Jenner, California...

View beach

Goat Rock Beach

0.7 miles away

Goat Rock Beach is located between Goat Rock Point and the Russian River along the Sonoma County shore near...

View beach

Blind Beach

1.2 miles away

Blind Beach is located south of Jenner and the Russian River in Sonoma County. It’s a long narrow beach...

View beach

Nearby Attractions

Nearby Lodging


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