Rodeo Beach is a beach in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area located in Marin County, California, two miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge. It is characterized by a spit of around 50 meters width at the mouth of a long embayment, known as Rodeo Lagoon; for much of the year the lagoon is cut off from the ocean, making the beach spit a baymouth bar. Part of the beach is sheltered by cliffs. Rodeo Beach is known for its dark, pebbly sand, its uses for surfing and sunbathing, and its locale as a place for viewing, but not collecting, semi-precious stones. This beach is unique among California beaches in that it is largely made up of coarse, pebbly chert grains, both red and green in color. Its mineral composition sets it apart from every other beach in the state Surfing is possible throughout the year and at all tidal stages, but is best in summer — although there is a risk of shark attacks. Due to the North bar offshore of this beach it results in big waves in the winter months with the big swells that come in. Strong currents make swimming dangerous.
The beach features free entrance, free parking, wheelchair-accessible public restrooms, showers, and picnic tables. Dogs are allowed, but must be leashed or voice-controlled.
In November 2007, oil from the wreck of the Cosco Busan washed up on Rodeo Beach, prompting its closure for several weeks.
- GGNRA Rodeo Beach Trailhead Marin Headlands, National Park Service, Marin County (2006)
- [California Coastal Access Guide, California Coastal Commission, University of California Press (2003)]
- Rodeo Beach Surfing Information (2005)
- San Francisco Estuary Institute Wetland Habitat Changes in the Rodeo Lagoon Watershed, Marin County, CA, October 2004.
- [Wakeley, J.R., 1970. The unique beach sands at Rodeo Cove. Mineral Information Service 12 (vol. 12): 238-241]
- abc7news.com: Shark sighting off Rodeo Beach prompts closure 11/20/07
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