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Stinson Beach

Stinson Beach and its 3.5 miles of sandy oceanfront are very popular during summer. Part of the beach is maintained by the National Park Service, which provides volleyball equipment free of charge, runs a snack bar (open in summer) through a concessionaire, and staffs several lifeguard towers between late May and mid-September. A wooden path with a large...
Stinson Beach and its 3.5 miles of sandy oceanfront are very popular during summer. Part of the beach is maintained by the National Park Service, which provides volleyball equipment free of charge, runs a snack bar (open in summer) through a concessionaire, and staffs several lifeguard towers between late May and mid-September. A wooden path with a large viewing deck leads over 100 feet to the high tide line. A beach wheelchair is available if you call ahead.

For a great view of the beach in a partially enclosed deck head over to the Siren Canteen at the base of the main lifeguard tower. The path up to the café is steeper than 1:12 (the ratio of a ramp that meets accessibility codes) but it is easily manageable in a motorized wheelchair; there is very limited accessible seating at the tables.

Across the entrance road from the central parking lot, a short path and bridge over a creek (cracked asphalt can make this difficult to negotiate) lead to a nearby snack bar and restaurant, and, one block east, to the town's shops, restaurants, galleries, and small grocery store. There are no sidewalks and many of the businesses have steps.

Accessibility Details

The facilities listed below meet all of our access criteria unless otherwise noted.

Beach Wheelchair: Yes

Two beach wheelchairs (not self-operated) are available to loan but you must make prior arrangements to get the code to the locker where it is stored by the accessible parking spaces in the center parking lot. Reserve calling the accessibility program manager at 415-561-4958 or emailing via the NPS website: http://www.nps.gov/goga/planyourvisit/beach-wheelchairs.htm
If you haven’t made a reservation and a lifeguard is on duty (May to mid-September), they may be able to retrieve it. The park has three paved lots that all have designated accessible spaces. The center lot is the closest to the beach access pathway. Accessible restrooms and changing rooms are by the northernmost and central parking lots; the turnaround space may be tight in the stalls near the central lot because of a bench inside the stall.
Accessible tables are at the center parking lot, between the northern and center lot and at the southernmost end; there is one table that has several wheelchair spaces .

Other Things of Interest

If you're planning to drive to Stinson Beach, consider taking the Panoramic Highway as an alternative to Highway 1. This is an exhilarating ride: The road climbs and winds along the side of Mount Tamalpais, through rolling meadows and forest, then descends steeply into Stinson Beach. The views are so breathtaking it's hard to keep your eyes on the road.
Accessible beach mat by central lot restrooms
Accessible beach mat by central lot restrooms (Bonnie Lewkowicz)

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Features icon key

  • Beach Wheelchairs Available
  • picnic
  • swimming

Additional Information

Website: http://www.nps.gov
Managing Agency: Golden Gate National Recreation Area
Address: Highway 1, Stinson Beach
Nearest City: Stinson Beach
Phone: (415) 868-1922 (weather and information recording); (415) 388-2596 (Muir Woods visitor center)
Hours: Entrance gates open at 9 am and close at various times depending on the season; check the sign posted at the parking lot entrance.
Fees: None
Dogs: In restricted areas
Dogs are allowed on leash in the parking lot, picnic areas, and on the county beach (north of the northernmost parking lot); they are not allowed on the National Park Service section of the beach.
Public Transportation: Golden Gate Transit, West Marin Stagecoach
Useful Links:  GGNRA access guide to Marin County
Reviewed by Eileen Ecklund, April 4, 2013
Access Norhtern California This web guide is a project of Access Northern California.  
California Coastal Conservancy Thanks to our partner the California Coastal Conservancy

DISCLAIMER: Although the information contained in this web-guide was believed to be correct at the time of publication, neither Access Northern California nor California Coastal Conservancy shall be held responsible or liable for any inaccuracies, errors, or omissions, nor for information that changes or becomes outdated. Neither Access Northern California nor California Coastal Conservancy assume any liability for any injury or damage arising out of, or in connection with, any use of this guide or the sites described in it.

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Accessible Wheelchair Icon looks like a wheelchair with balloon wheelsBeach Accessible
Wheelchairs Available
  Hiking icon is silhouette of a hikerHiking & Trails
Biking icon looks like person riding a bikeBicycling   Good for Familis icon is a child on a swing'Particularly Good for Families
Boating Icon is a boatBoating   Picnic Area Icon is a picnic tablePicnic
Camping icon is a tentCamping   Swimming Icon is a person swimmingSwimming
Fishing Icon is a fish biting a hookFishing   Wildlife Viewing Icon is a pair of binocularsWildlife Viewing
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