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California Coastal National Monument was originally created to protect the many islands, rocks, pinnacles, and exposed reefs that had not been appropriated or reserved in other ways. This includes over 20,000 named and unnamed places off the coast within 12 nautical miles. President Bill Clinton established the national monument in the year 2000 and it has been expanded a couple times since then. California Coastal National Monument is managed by the BLM rather than the National Park Service like most national monuments. Finding information on California Coastal National Monument is difficult so we wanted to create a map and share it.

Most of this national monument is visible from the shoreline but is not easily accessible (the offshore places are off-limits to visitation anyway). However, many of the lands added to the national monument in recent years can be visited. See the map of the beaches above and the list of each area below.

Piedras Blancas Point At Sunset On The Central California CoastThe Haystack at Point Piedras Blancas

California’s Rocks and Islands

With 20,000 locations there are too many to list of course, but some are better-known and easy to photograph. Just drive coastal Highway 1 and you’ll see many.

 

Stornetta Public Lands, Point Arena

The Point Arena Stornetta Public Lands includes property all around the Point Arena Lighthouse. To the north this includes the land and beach at the Garcia River Estuary. South of the lighthouse is comprised of rocks (including Sea Lion Rocks), several natural arches, and the beaches of Stornetta. President Obama added Stornetta to California Coastal National Monument in 2014. The rest of the areas listed below were added by him in 2016.

 

Orange County Rocks and Islands

The US Congress reserved these offshore rocks and islands in the 1930s for their scenic beauty and for potential public use as lighthouse locations. Now they are part of the national monument. They stretch from Dana Point Headlands up to Little Corona Del Mar. In between most of the rocks are at beaches in Laguna Beach. The BLM has created a map that shows all these rocks.

little Corona Del Mar At Low Tide 2Arch Rock and other rocks at Little Corona Del Mar Beach

Piedras Blancas

This portion of the California Coastal National Monument is at Point Piedras Blancas, site of the lighthouse at Piedras Blancas Light Station Outstanding Natural Area. Several visible rocks, such as the Haystack, De La Cruz Rock, and Boot and Slipper (just offshore from the Elephant Seal Rookery), are part of the monument.

 

Cotoni-Coast Dairies Properties

This area north of Santa Cruz includes many beaches and old ranch properties. It is the inland portion of the public property (east of Highway 1) that was added to the national monument in 2017. The waterfront properties are still owned and managed by the state of California. See our map of Coast Dairies State Park to see the beaches near the Cotoni-Coast Dairies Properties.

 

Lost Coast Headlands

The area of the newly expanded national monument, which has been generically named the “Lost Coast Headlands,” is a hidden gem. The Lost Coast is a vast area in northern Mendocino County and southern Humboldt County, and this new property is a tiny fraction of the whole. That said, it needs to be discovered! Two beaches and trails make up the “headlands” – Guthrie Creek Beach and Fleener Creek Beach. Both have a short steep hike down to the shore from well-signed trailheads on a scenic dead-end road near the town of Ferndale.

 

Waluplh-Lighthouse Ranch

This small property is the former site of a lighthouse and other buildings perched high above the beach at Table Bluff County Park near the small town of Loleta in Humboldt County. There is currently nothing to see at this location, but it has amazing views of the ocean and Humboldt Bay when it’s not foggy.

 

Trinidad Head

Trinidad Head is a tall peninsula next to Trinidad State Beach in the Northern California coastal town of Trinidad. The head has hiking trails and a small beach just below it. On the far side of Trinidad head facing the ocean there’s a small hard-to-see lighthouse protecting mariners from the rocky coast in this often foggy locale.

Trinidad Head from the north

Beaches on this map

  • Dana Point Headlands Beach

    Dana Point Headlands Beach is located below the high crumbling cliffs of the Dana Point Headlands. This is a sandy beach covered with rocks and boulders that has excellent tide […]

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  • Treasure Island Beach

    Treasure Island Beach is south of the Montage Resort in Laguna Beach, CA. This sandy beach is the north end of the same large cove that begins at Aliso Beach […]

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  • Rockpile Beach

    Rockpile Beach is the southern beach of Heisler Park in Laguna Beach, CA. Rockpile Beach is in a south-facing cove with rocky outcroppings at each end. At high tide this […]

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  • Crescent Bay Beach

    Crescent Bay Beach is a large popular beach in northern Laguna Beach, CA. The main public access is on Cliff Drive one block from where it begins at North Coast […]

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  • Crystal Cove State Park – Reef Point Beach

    Reef Point in Crystal Cove State Park has a large day-use parking area at Reef Point Drive and Pacific Coast Highway. This large state park offers 3.5 miles of beaches […]

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  • Little Corona Del Mar Beach

    Little Corona Del Mar Beach is a popular small beach at the end of a ravine called Buck Gully in the Newport Beach neighborhood of Corona Del Mar. This is […]

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  • Piedras Blancas Light Station Natural Area

    Piedras Blancas Light Station Natural Area is located seven miles north of San Simeon along the San Luis Obispo Coast. The lighthouse, which was established in 1875, is missing its […]

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  • Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery

    Elephant seals crowd these two sandy San Luis Obispo County beaches at different parts of the year but especially during their mating rituals in February. The other peak periods include […]

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  • Arroyo De La Cruz Beach

    The Arroyo De La Cruz Beach Access is another one of the state-owned properties included in Hearst San Simeon State Park. This is a sandy beach at the mouth of […]

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  • Laguna Creek Beach

    Laguna Creek Beach, near Santa Cruz, is a remote and wide sandy beach with a creek, wetlands, unique rocks, and wild waves. It is located just north of the infamous […]

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  • Panther Beach

    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 […]

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  • Bonny Doon Beach

    Boony Doon Beach is a stunning beach backed by dunes and otherwise surrounded by high cliff walls. A creek, Liddell Creek, flows through a tunnel in the rock wall at […]

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  • Davenport Cove & Shark Fin Beach

    This is a sandy beach in a small but deep cove south of the town of Davenport. Davenport Cove is locally known by several different names including Shark Fin Cove […]

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  • Davenport Beach

    Davenport Beach, a.k.a. San Vicente Beach, is the southern beach of two beaches right in the little town of Davenport, California. This beach is easily accessible and the other one […]

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  • Davenport Landing Beach

    Davenport Landing Beach is a short drive from Highway 1 on Davenport Landing Road just north of Davenport, CA. Parking spots can be found along this loop road next to […]

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  • Stornetta Public Lands

    Stornetta Public Lands is an open area next to the ocean north of the town of Point Arena. These lands are managed through a partnership with the Bureau of Land […]

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  • Point Arena Lighthouse

    Point Arena Lighthouse is located on rocky Point Arena where the beaches are inaccessible. The lighthouse offers tours daily including a hike up the stairs to the top. This is […]

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  • Garcia River Beach

    The Garcia River Beach is in the northern part of Stornetta Public Lands, a BLM-managed recreation area north of the town of Point Arena. In 2014 President Obama added the […]

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  • Fleener Creek Beach

    Fleener Creek Beach is a wonderful hiking and beachcombing spot not far from Eureka. The Fleener Creek Trail is about a half-mile hike down switchbacks to the beach below high […]

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  • Guthrie Creek Beach

    Guthrie Creek Beach is an off-the-beaten-path destination near Eureka. It’s a little-known sandy strip with a creek sometimes flowing through the driftwood and sand to meet the Pacific Ocean. The […]

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  • Table Bluff County Park Beach

    Table Bluff County Park has beach access south of Humboldt Bay and west of the small town of Loleta. South of the parking lot is the Eel River Wildlife Area and […]

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  • Trinidad Head Beach

    Trinidad Head Beach, a.k.a. Pier Beach, is on Trinidad Bay below the huge rocky point called Trinidad Head in the town of Trinidad. It’s really two beaches in one with […]

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  • Trinidad State Beach

    Trinidad State Beach is on the waterfront in the small Humboldt County town of Trinidad. Two sandy beaches fill the gap between Trinidad Head and Elk Head in this park […]

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