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About Thornton State Beach in Daly City, California

Thornton State Beach is a remote beach below tall bluffs just south of San Francisco. The park is known for the hiking and equestrian trails on the bluff terraces high above the waterline. Erosion has eaten away at the cliffs creating access problems to the beach below. The state has therefore closed the park to the general public. Now this property is operated by Daly City as Thornton Beach Vista, an overlook platform with views out over the Pacific. All around the vista are signs saying the area is unsafe and not to go beyond the cordoned off pavement. However, there is still a safe route down. If you step over the cords and walk north to the Mar Vista Stables there are wide trails for horseback riders to make it down to the beach (about 3/4-mile from the parking lot). Hikers can do the same! Thornton Beach is best at low tides as during higher tides the entire beach can be wet. If you walk north on the beach you’ll be at Phillip Burton Beach and eventually get to the access at Fort Funston. Walking south the beach stretches with no access or exit until Mussel Rock Park. Bring a coat if you plan a trip down here as it can be windy, foggy, and cold. The Thornton Beach Vista parking lot is at the west end of John Daly Boulevard at Skyline Boulevard (Hwy 35). Parking spaces are limited so get here early if possible.

John Daly Blvd and Skyline Boulevard
Daly City, CA 94015
Park Name
Thornton State Beach, Thornton Beach Vista
State Park
Pet Details
Dogs allowed on leash
Free parking
Hiking, Equestrian Use, Fishing, Beachcombing
Overlook Platform, Benches, Trails, No Facilities
Map of Thornton State Beach
Broadmoor, US
1:42 pm, October 4, 2023
temperature icon 82°F
L: 64° H: 82°
Feels like 82.15 °F clear sky
Wind gusts: 5 m/s
UV Index: 5.28
Precipitation: 0 inch
Visibility: 10 km
Sunrise: 7:07 am
Sunset: 6:49 pm
Humidity 44 %
Pressure1014 mb
Wind 5 m/s

Nearby Beaches

Fort Funston Beach

1.2 miles away

Fort Funston is the southernmost beach on the Pacific Coast side of San Francisco and is part of Golden...

View beach

Mussel Rock Park Beach

1.4 miles away

Mussel Rock Park is made up of interconnected trails with paragliding launch points on a hillside in south Daly...

View beach

Nearby Attractions

Nearby Lodging


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