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About Salinas River National Wildlife Refuge in Salinas, California

Salinas River National Wildlife Refuge has a long remote sandy beach at the mouth of the Salinas River north of Monterey, CA. The refuge is managed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. It protects dunes and natural habitat while providing the general public hiking trails to explore and access to the beach just south of the Salinas River.

A little over half-mile north of the beach access there is a large beached barge in the surf. It’s one of the shipwrecks in California that you can see from shore. Near the barge the waves are exposing old metal munitions from past military training exercises. Warnings are posted but say they pose no threat. The park is working to remove them all over time.

To get to Salinas River National Wildlife Refuge drive north to the end of Del Monte Boulevard from the city of Marina or take the Del Monte Blvd exit off Highway 1 and head west (the road becomes Neponset Road).

There is a small “day-use only” parking lot at the edge of a farm with a double-track trail that is your 3/4-mile walk to the beach. It takes you past the wetlands, then through the dunes on the way to the beach. The dunes are off limits to humans to protect bird habitat. Another trail at the parking lot leads to the river’s edge and forms a loop back to the beach trail. Note that waterfowl hunting is allowed on the River Trail approximately mid-October to mid-January.

200 Neponset Rd
Salinas, CA 93908
Park Name
Salinas River National Wildlife Refuge
Pet Details
No dogs allowed on the trails or the beach
Free parking
Hiking, Birdwatching, Beachcombing, Wildlife Watching, Fishing, Hunting, Beach Walking
River, Wetlands, Dunes, Shipwreck
Map of Salinas River National Wildlife Refuge
Castroville, US
1:18 pm, June 17, 2024
temperature icon 65°F
L: 51° H: 65°
Feels like 64.8 °F clear sky
Wind gusts: 6 m/s
UV Index: 8.7
Precipitation: 0 inch
Visibility: 10 km
Sunrise: 5:48 am
Sunset: 8:28 pm
Humidity 66 %
Pressure1013 mb
Wind 6 m/s

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