Glass Beach

Frequently Asked Questions
West Elm Street
Fort Bragg 95437 CA US
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It is hard to imagine this happening today, but back in 1906 when Fort Bragg’s streets were filled with rubble from devastation caused by the San Francisco Earthquake, using the ocean as a dump made perfect sense. Seaside towns around the world have done it for centuries. However, it was finally in 1967, the North Coast Water Quality Board realized the mistake, the impact on water quality and plans were begun for a new dump away from the ocean.

If the sea glass is actually trash — from broken bottles and car tail lights, isn’t it free for the taking? Yes and no. Outside the state park, yes. Inside, no.

Frequently Asked Questions

A Handful of Glass at Glass Beach1. May I take the sea glass from Glass Beach? As we mention above, Glass Beach is now part of MacKerricher State Park. Tim Quandt, supervising ranger for MacKerricher and other Mendocino Area State Parks, told us this when we asked about taking glass: “The truth of the matter is that it is a misdemeanor to remove any artifacts from State Park property.  Park rangers have not begun citing offenders…yet, but that day will eventually arrive.

“Rangers are currently working to educate and inform the public and we confiscate and return collected sea glass to the beach whenever possible. Signage has now been placed on the property to inform visitors of the protected status of the resource and educational and interpretive panels/displays will eventually be placed as well.

Handful of glass at Glass Beach“State Parks has a mission to protect natural, cultural and historical resources…so that they can continue to be present for future generations to enjoy.”

2. Is there any glass left? Yes, plenty. The churning ocean is constantly depositing sea glass on Glass Beach. It a fun place to explore, pick up the glass, look for different colors and just enjoy the area without taking it home.

3. Where can I find samples of the many kinds of glass found over the years at the many glass beaches along Fort Bragg’s coast? The Sea Glass Museum, which is free admission, has beautiful display cases of every color and size of glass to be found on our glass beaches. The museum is located on Highway, just south of Fort Bragg.

Find Glass Beach at the end of West Elm Street at Old Haul Road; Park at end of Elm and walk to beach

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  1. How cold is Fort Bragg and the beaches around Oct 22 ? What type of weather?

    1. Usually October stays pretty warm, November is when it starts to cool down. We most likely won’t get any rain but the fog is always ready to roll in.

  2. What type of pudding is pudding creek beach?

    1. Depending on the season there are many different kinds, but mostly chocolate! 😉

  3. Would you say it’s safe to swim in?

    1. Most people use a wetsuit up here as the ocean temperatures are quite cold. Also, the ocean can be a bit rough at Glass Beach. There are several other area beaches that are safer for swimming, such as Pudding Creek Beach.

  4. I had read earlier in the year that glass beach was inaccessible due to protected sea species (abalone? Sea urchin?). Is this correct, or will the beach/state park be open at the end of October?

    1. Cristen,

      Glass Beach is accessible to the public and will be open.


  5. does anyone know if i can fish on glass beach or where I can fish in the fort bragg, mendocino area.

    1. Hi Sam, fishing is allowed anywhere in Fort Bragg, except for Point Cabrillo Lighthouse area and Ten Mile Beach because there are reserves at both of those locations.

  6. Is it pet friendly?

    1. Yes Carla, it is pet friendly.

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