Goat Rock Beach

North America, United States, Sonoma County

Goat Rock Beach is a sand beach in northwestern Sonoma County, California, United States. This landform is a sub-unit of Sonoma Coast State Beach, owned and managed by the State of California. At the northern terminus of Goat Rock Beach is the mouth of the Russian River and the southern end of this crescent shaped expanse is the massive Goat Rock, an iconic outcrop of the Sonoma Coast, which is barely attached to the mainland by a narrow isthmus. Goat Rock Beach is frequented by beachcombing visitors, but usually not in high numbers except in mid-summer; there is some wading and surfing activity, although these uses are moderated by the rip current generated by a steep gradient into the water that leads to an underwater trench parallel to the waterline. The beach is also a regular resting ground for seagulls, sea otters, elephant seals, harbor seals, and sea lions, the latter three species often hauling out of the Pacific Ocean. The state of California recommends that a 50-yard (46 m) distance be preserved between human visitors and the seasonal marine mammals, especially in the pupping season.