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About Panther Beach in Santa Cruz, California

Panther Beach is a popular sandy beach north of Santa Cruz near the hamlet of Davenport. It’s part of the Coast Dairies State Park land acquisition and will eventually be a California state beach.

At low tide another beach called Hole-In-The-Wall becomes accessible through an opening in a rock wall on the south end of Panther Beach. If you don’t mind getting your feet wet this route is safe except at highest tides or during extreme surf. Both beaches are considered clothing-optional, but Hole In The Wall more so because of its seclusion.

The official US government name of Panther Beach according to USGS is Yellow Bank (or Yellowbank) Beach – named after Yellow Bank Creek that curves through the sand here. A man-made tunnel through the bluff wall can be found at the back of the beach. The creek enters the cove through this tunnel.

Swimming at Panther Beach can be dangerous because of rip currents and climbing on the rocks is equally dangerous due to sneaker waves and strong surf.

Look for the unsigned parking lot entrance off Highway 1 about one mile south of Bonny Doon Road and Bonny Doon Beach. The trail to the beach can be found at the far north end of this lot. This steep trail to Panther Beach can get eroded and make for a difficult hike to the beach especially when it’s wet.

Cabrillo Hwy
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Park Name
Coast Dairies State Park
Other Names
Yellow Bank Beach
State Parks
Pet Details
No dogs allowed on the beach
Free parking
Sunbathing, Beach Exploration, Rock Climbing
Rock Arch, Caves, No Facilities
Bonny Doon, US
12:58 pm, March 26, 2023
temperature icon 55°F
L: 43° H: 55°
Feels like 51.93 °F clear sky
Wind gusts: 2 m/s
UV Index: 5.84
Precipitation: 0 inch
Visibility: 10 km
Sunrise: 7:03 am
Sunset: 7:25 pm
Humidity 48 %
Pressure1024 mb
Wind 2 m/s

Nearby Beaches

Hole-in-the-Wall Beach

0.1 miles away

Hole-in-the-Wall Beach is located immediately south of Panther Beach between Santa Cruz and the town of Davenport. The only access...

View beach

Bonny Doon Beach

0.7 miles away

Boony Doon Beach is a stunning beach backed by dunes and otherwise surrounded by high cliff walls. A creek,...

View beach

Laguna Creek Beach

0.9 miles away

Laguna Creek Beach, near Santa Cruz, is a remote and wide sandy beach with a creek, wetlands, unique rocks,...

View beach

Nearby Attractions

Nearby Lodging


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