BLACK SANDS BEACH
A BEACH WELL WORTH DISCOVERING
This is a large, mostly west-facing, black sand beach with offshore reefs just north of the town of Shelter Cove. Black Sands Beach is a picturesque and relaxing.
THE ENTIRE AREA IF APPROACHED CORRECTELY CAN MAKE FOR AN INEXPENSIVE FAMILY VACATION OR CHEAP WEEKEND GETAWAY. THE BEAUTIFUL SCENERY IS COMPLIMENTARY!
The black sand that covers the beach and has given the spot its name is very unusual.
The beach is a 3.5-mile stretch of coastline 45 miles south of Eureka in Northern California.
SHELTER COVE, CA
Gateway to California’s famous “Lost Coast.”
Located on Northern California’s most remote coastline, Shelter Cove is a gateway to the Lost Coast.
From here you can hike the Lost Coast
and venture into the vastness of the King Range Conservation Area,
whether it be a day or a week. Fish, spend time investigating tidepools or stroll on nearby Black Sands Beach.
Camp or stay at one of the local resorts or B&B. There is also an airstrip and the Shelter Cove Golf Course available to the public.
Shelter Cove is an access point to California’s Lost Coast, Black Sands Beach and the Lost Coast Hiking Trail, popular for day hikes or backpacking. Or visit the Cape Mendocino Lighthouse, at Mal Coombs Park.
Exit Hwy 101 at any of the Shelter Cove/Redway/Garberville exits. Follow road signs to the town of Redway. The road to Shelter Cove is just north of the grocery store in Redway. Time from Garberville to Shelter Cove is approximately 45 minutes.
ABOUT HUMBOLDT COUNTY
Humboldt County is on the north coast of California, about 200 miles (four hours) north of San Francisco and 50 miles from the Oregon border. The county seat is the City of Eureka on Humboldt Bay, around which most of the county’s small population resides.
Humboldt is best known for its magnificent coastal redwoods, the tallest trees in the world, and two of its major attractions are Redwood National & State Parks, and Humboldt Redwoods State Park along the Avenue of the Giants.
But the county also includes dozens of other parks, forests, beaches and preserves, making it a paradise for every kind of outdoor recreation.
Many small towns including Eureka, Victorian Ferndale and coastal Trinidad offer the visitor fine dining, accommodations, arts and entertainment.
As visitors decend down the road into Shelter Cove they will need to turn right onto Beach Rd, which dead ends at Black Sands Beach. There is a sign indicating they are at the King Range NCA and the main parking is up top. Visitors will need to walk down the sidewalk to the beach access.
Disabled parking is located immediately at the beach access point. The main parking lot has restrooms, a drinking fountain, and interpretive panels about the geology and other information about the area.
WITH MANY NOT WANTING TO FLY IN THESE UNCERTAIN TIMES WHY NOT CONSIDER A CAMPER RENTAL. IT’S A GREAT WAY TO SEE THE COUNTRY FROM A NEW PERSPECTIVE AND IT’S A GREAT WAY TO BRING THE FAMIL TOGETHER
Where to Rent A Camper
Seal Rock in Shelter Cove is a nice stopping point for a picnic, reading or just relaxing. Be mesmerized by the views of the beautiful coastline from the picnic tables or enjoy some of the open areas as the waves crash on the rocks around you.
This will lead you down to the coast. Drive past Mal Coombs Park which will be on your left and Seal Rock will be on your left in a residential neighborhood not much further.
California gray whales can be spotted from Seal Rock during the migrating season. Look for them to pass within 100 yards of shore as they migrate; especially during January and February.
Other things to do in the area:
Walk on the beach and look for whales at Mal Coombs Park; the home of the Cape Mendocino Lighthouse. Play a few holes on Shelter Cove’s unique Golf Course and don’t miss an opportunity to walk the beautiful coastline at Black Sands Beach.
*Click on the photos below to enlarge them
CLAMMING YOUR WAY THROUGH HUMBOLDT BAY
Clamming is done at low tide which occurs twice daily, but the best conditions come around only a few days each month when the tide is at its lowest point, sometimes referred to as minus tide.
This is when clammers get out there with their gear and get to work. “What kind of equipment is required for such an activity?” you may ask. Well not that much really. A good pair of waders or tall rubber boots to keep your lower body dry. A shovel for digging of course. A nice pair of gloves with good grip. Oh, and don’t forget a net in which to collect your harvest.
So, you have studied the maps and the tides and gathered all necessary equipment, now it’s time to head out on your Humboldt Bay clamming adventure. What exactly are you to look for when hunting clams? Well clams are not really that hard to find. Once you are out there on the flat expanse of beach that is exposed at minus tide you can basically just look for a few signs. Clams have distinctive siphons or long tube-like structures that stretches to the surface of the sand and occasionally they even squirt water making the clams that are buried below super easy to locate.
Another telltale sign of clams below is holes in the wet sand which are created by the clam’s siphon when entering and existing the surface.
Once you do locate a group of clams it is time to set up for the dig. You must act somewhat quickly in order to dig up the clam before it burrows itself back into the depths. Use the shovel to dig straight down always starting on the ocean side of the indentation or hole left behind by the clam’s siphon.
Then you simply reach on into the “muddy” mixture with your hand to snatch the clam out. Gather the clam into your net and repeat. Although this sounds rather straight forward it can be somewhat of a feat. Don’t worry though, after a few tries you are sure to perfect your technique and will most definitely come home with a good amount of clams to enjoy.
Clamming could be a really fun activity for all ages and the resulting bounty from the day’s hunt could provide for an excellent pot of clam chowder for the entire family to enjoy.
Whether you are clamming or sport fishing, wind sailing or surfing, hiking or biking, etc, there is never a dull moment for outdoor recreation on the Redwood Coast.
However clamming your way through Humboldt Bay is definitely a unique and fun experience as well as a great way to sample one of the many delicacies provided by the bountiful nature surrounding the region.
Visit Humboldt Bay today!
THINGS TO DO IN HUMBOLDT
Nature lover…sportsman…history buff…foodie…family traveler…patron of the arts. No matter what form your recreation takes, Humboldt County has something for you. Of course, your experience begins and ends with the redwoods, but in between is a rich mosaic of public lands, beaches and waterways where outdoor adventures rule, and of picturesque small towns where the art of living is being perfected.
Try your luck at the tables or on the links.
Whatever it is that brings someone to a place like Humboldt County, we all like to shop…
Camping in Humboldt County
Camping in the redwoods, camping at the beach, camping in the redwoods at the beach! Humboldt County has some of the best camping in California. Whether you’re looking for family-friendly campgrounds or some that are a bit more remote, check out the list below for some of our favorites.
Spread the word about the amazing camping to be found in Humboldt.
Where to Rent A Camper
Carlotta – Camping at Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park
16949 Highway 36
Carlotta, California 95528
Located off of Highway 36, the Grizzly Creek Campgound is a small campground but in a pretty incredible location. Surrounded by dense and beautiful redwood trees, its five miles of trails…
Carlotta – Camping at Pamplin Grove
Carlotta, California 95528
Pamplin Grove is the group campground within Van Duzen County Park . The campground can be rented for weddings, birthdays and other special events and is open from early May to late…
Carlotta – Camping at Swimmer’s Delight
Carlotta, California 95525
Located on Highway 36 in the beautiful redwoods, Swimmer’s Delight is a locals’ favorite for camping, swimming, picknicking and just relaxing. The campground, within Van Duzen County Park ,…
Eureka – Redwood Acres Fairgrounds RV Park
3750 Harris Street
Eureka, California 95503
The Redwood Acres RV Park is conveniently located in Eureka, making it central to all of the things that the Eureka area has to offer as well as regional beaches and parks. The park itself…
2600 6th Street
Eureka, California 95501
The Shorleline RV Park accomodates RVs of all sizes and is conveniently located off of Highway 101 in North Eureka. Some of the amenities include; on-site laundry, hot showers, wifi and…
Ferndale – Humboldt County Fairgrounds RV Park
Ferndale, California 95536
If you’re looking to experience Historic Ferndale while staying close to the beach and the beautiful mountains, this is the place for you. Quiet and convenient, this 60-space park offers…
Fortuna – Riverwalk RV Park & Campground
2189 Riverwalk Drive
Fortuna, California 95540
With full RV hook-ups, cabins and a variety of tent sites, this RV Park and Campground offers the convenience of being close to the highway and near some of Humboldt County’s most popular tourist…
Garberville – Benbow KOA Campground and RV Park
7000 Benbow Drive
Garberville, California 95542
Some of the amenities include; a new splash park, cottage rentals and a new playground which features basketball, volleyball, paddle tennis and dodge ball. Cable TV and WiFi are available and…
Garberville – Camping at Benbow Lake State Recreation Area
1600 Highway 101
Garberville, California 95542
Have fun and enjoy the peaceful environment while camping within the 1200-acre Benbow Lake State Recreation Area in Southern Humboldt. The park offers 45 tent spots and a hike-and-bike…