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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 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 leads to a  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 for free. Advance arrangements are suggested since you will need an access code for the locker where they are stored; adjacent to the accessible parking spaces in the center lot, and cell reception at the beach may be limited. Reserve by calling the accessibility program manager at 415-561-4958. If you haven’t made a reservation and a lifeguard is on duty (May to mid-September), they may be able to retrieve it. Beach chairs can only be used while visiting Stinson Beach, NPS property, and they cannot be taken away from the park to use elsewhere.

Accessible Parking: Yes

The park has three paved lots that all have designated accessible spaces. The center lot is the closest to the beach access pathway.

Accessible Restroom: Yes

Accessible restrooms and changing rooms are by the central and northernmost parking lots; the northernmost one is only open during summer. Both restrooms have a changing bench: the central one has a wider bench.

Accessible Picnic Tables: Yes

Accessible tables are at the center parking lot, between the northern and center lot and at the southernmost end; there are a few tables with several wheelchair spaces at them.

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.

Features icon key

  • Beach Wheelchairs Available
  • picnic
  • swimming

Additional Information

Managing Agency: Golden Gate National Recreation Area
Address: Highway 1, 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, 2017
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.

Accessible Restrooms Icon looks like a women and men restroom signBeach Accessible
Wheelchairs Available
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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