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McGrath State Beach

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McGrath State Beach
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Quick Facts
Reservation Status: Accepted Campground reservations can be made online or by calling (800) 444-7275.

General Information

Marshlands at McGrath State Beach
Copyright: - California State Parks
Marshlands at McGrath State Beach
Description - McGrath State Beach is one of the best bird-watching areas in California, with the lush riverbanks of the Santa Clara River and sand dunes along the shore. More than 200,000 species of birds can be found in the area.

Attractions - McGrath State Beach is one of the best bird-watching areas in California, with the lush riverbanks of the Santa Clara River and sand dunes along the shore. More than 200,000 species of birds can be found in the area.

Recreation - A nature trail leads to the Santa Clara Estuary Natural Preserve. Two miles of beach provide surfing and fishing opportunities, however, swimmers are urged to use caution because of strong currents and riptides. The park offers campsites by the beach.

Climate - Climate in the Central Coast varies greatly with elevation and the amount of coastal influence. Areas with more coastal influence experience moderate temperatures year round with fog likely from June through mid-August. Plan your coastal visit in the late summer or fall to ensure the best conditions for viewing the scenery. Also, occasional clear days between winter and spring storms are incomparable. Areas further inland experience greater temperature extremes, with relatively cooler winters and hot summers. Inland areas often receive frost on winter nights. As throughout most of California most of the precipitation comes in the winter months, with April through October normally very dry.

Location - The beach is five miles south of Ventura off Highway 101 via Harbor Boulevard.

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Trip Reports:
Add your own trip Report! Newly re-released feature. One of the most popular features on Wildernet, trip reports allow you to share your experiences with others. This is an invaluable resource for determining what to expect on your outdoor adventure, so please participate! To prevent spamming, you must be a registered user of Wildernet in order to submit a trip report

Filed By: Christina (Monterey Park, Ca)
Number of People Encountered: 25-50 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: I have been to this campsite many different times and each time is always different. Believe me when I say even your teens will like it. The last time I went, which was middle of July of last year, was a completely different experience from the year before that. It never gets boring and for me and my family we sometimes never want to leave. Although it is a bit difficult to get to the beach with a whole lot of items it would be easier to only take a towel adn sunscreen and plop yourself on the soft sand and relax for a bit. The nature trails have of course changed over time but they are still fun to explore, just make sure you know your plants, no one wants any accidents with an encounter with poison ivy/oak. There are so many differents trails to take to the beach so dont't always go the same way when going towards the beach on a little walk. For the younger children there are junior ranger shows that give the little ones information about the beach and different animals. Make sure you pack enough quarters for a warm shower, unless you are willing to take one cold. For any other needs you may need there is a Vons about a couple of miles away.

Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly

Number of People Encountered: 25-50 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: This was our first visit to this beach and it was great. The restrooms were clean, showers were hot (bring quarters), and the weather was awesome. The beach was about 100 yrds. from our site, with too many things to carry a little strenuous. The currents were strong as well as the riptides in the water. Biggest reward was watching the dolphins play in the surf right in front of us. You can see them frolicking up and down the beach. We had 8 people in our group, 5 being children. I did notice it started getting busier in the camp sites on Friday for the weekend. We went during the week and had no problems with waiting for restroom or showers. Paved roads gave access to ride bikes or scooters. Staff was friendly and nice.

Filed By: jay
Number of People Encountered: 50+ ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: perfect for anyone interested in visiting the channel islands which is a short boat ride away via ventura harbour. cool and foggy in summer months.great for sunsets , but recommend surfing at the rincon area.some campsites are secluded by trees which i reall

Filed By: Mary Bussio
Number of People Encountered: 25-50 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Neutral
Report: I rate this a 7 on a scale of 1 to 10. 10 being highest. We had a nice campsight (including table and fire pit) with some trees for the kids to climb. It's a medium walk to the beach. Don't carry too much stuff. The surf is rough for kids though and we ended up taking the kids to another beach with with better waves. Make sure to bring boogy boards. We went Aug 11-14, 2002 and weather was nice. Bike riding of back of the sand dunes was fun, but boring after a day. Restrooms were were pretty good with hot showers (for a quarter or two).

Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Camping The park offers campsites by the beach. Campsites reservable year-round.

More Information

Contact Information:
Channel Coast District Headquaters, Gaviota Sector Office, #10 Refugio Beach Rd. , Goleta, CA, 93117, Phone: 805-968-1033, Fax: 805-968-5195

Additional Information:
California Beaches -
Central Coast State Parks and Beaches - The Central Coast Region, located between Los Angeles and San Francisco, features the Big Sur Coast and Hearst Castle as well as numerous state park sites.

California State Parks - Official agency website.
Campground Reservations - Reserve your campground online here with reserveamerica.com


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