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Zmudowski State Beach

Zmudowski State Beach sign and sand dunes

The road to Zmudowski State Beach (Highway 1 to Stuve Road and turn to Giberson Road) zigzags through the farm fields north of Moss Landing, at coordinates 36° 50′ 28.28″ N, 121° 48′ 16.13″ W. The beach, located 20 miles northwest of Monterey, is operated by the California Department of Parks and Recreation, and there was still no fee (shhhhhh….) when we were there on Labor Day Weekend. If you are looking for a long sandy beach (1, 2) with few other people, this is it! (Limantour Beach, especially toward the northwest end of Limantour Spit may have fewer people at times, which is perhaps explained by the strong winds there! :-) )

To get to the beach from the parking lot (there are two porta-potties), you must climb a substantial sand dune. The dunes were beautiful with flowering plants and harbored a number of bird species when we visited. Inland from the dunes, a natural preserve has been set aside in the Pajaro River estuary.

The Zmudowski State Beach Web site says that the beach is a popular fishing spot for perch, kingfish, sole, flounder, halibut, bocaccio (tomcod), jacksmelt, lingcod, cabezon, salmon, steelhead and occasional rockfish.

The beach is also popular with birdwatchers and equestrians. We saw a woman on horseback as we first descended the dune to the beach. Horses are allowed only near the waterline.

Strong rip currents exist at the beach, making swimming and water sports dangerous!

-Bill at Cheshire Cat Photo™

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