GLASS BEACH FORT BRAGG UPDATE: GLASS BEACH IS CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC UNTIL THE RESTORATION PROJECT IS COMPLETED IN SUMMER 2015
During the middle of August 2014, the path to Glass Beach off Elm Street has No Trespassing signs Also, the chain-link fence along the main path has been removed. The city of Fort Bragg is renovating the area on the cliffs above Glass Beach.
The grand opening of Fort Bragg’s Glass Beach is scheduled for August 2015.
I spoke with several locals in Fort Bragg during my last visit in August, and many said that the city is restoring the natural plants and building safer paths, which may include stairs, to all three Sea Glass Beach sites.
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Glass Beach in Fort Bragg is one of the most famous beaches for finding sea glass in the United States. The beach is located in Northern California a few hours north of San Francisco along the rocky shoreline, and it’s literally full of sea glass.
As with most sea glass finding odds, the most common colors of sea glass you’ll find on Fort Bragg’s sea glass beaches are clear, brown and green, but a few rarer colors still lie on the shore and in the water. You just need to have a little sea glass luck. If you visit Glass Beach after a storm, you’ll have a better chance of finding rare sea glass as the bigger waves tend to wash up more sea glass.
There are three main glass beaches in Fort Bragg. Two are accessible by foot, and the third is accessible through the water by boat or kayak.
Here’s how to find the most popular Glass Beach in Fort Bragg, California.
Directions to Glass Beach
Follow Highway 1 in California to Fort Bragg, and head west on Elm Street.
At the end of Elm Street, you’ll see a sandy path. Follow the path straight towards the ocean. Don’t go to the right at the fork in the path. Keep heading straight.
There’s a fence on the left side of the path, and towards the end of the path is a “No Trespassing” sign hanging on the fence. The “No Trespassing” sign is for the area above the beach behind the fence.
Go to the left around the fence, and walk until you can look down and see a large cove. There will probably be a few people down on the beach collecting sea glass. Climb down the cliff carefully.
Looking Down on Glass Beach from Cliffs
There is plenty of sea glass on Glass Beach. It’s not necessary to find sea glass at low tide. You should, however, be aware that there is a warning to be careful of dangerous surf.
Warning signs at the beginning of the path to Glass Beach
Path to Glass Beach
“No Trespassing” Warning Sign – You can walk around the outside of the fence above the water.
Small Section of Glass Beach
There is not as much sea glass on this cove compared to the larger cove.
Larger Section of Glass Beach
History of Fort Bragg Sea Glass
After the big San Francisco earthquake in 1906 and up until 1967, the beaches surrounding Fort Bragg were used as dump sites for the city’s trash. The big earthquake caused a lot of damage to Fort Bragg, so much of the refuse and debris from the quake was dumped into the ocean around the beach near Pine Street.
Over the years the glass was recycled by ocean and made its way back to the shore in a beautiful changed form of sea glass or mermaids’ tears.
Eventually, the city hauled trash to two more sites on the beach, and Glass Beach became a popular place for sea glass lovers to visit. On most other beaches, sea glass is hard to find, but on Glass Beach much of the shoreline is covered in sea glass.
Sea Glass Museum in Fort Bragg
If you’re planning a trip to Glass Beach in Fort Bragg, be sure to check out The International Sea Glass Museum. The address is 17801 North Highway 1, Fort Bragg, California. The museum has a lot of information about Fort Bragg sea glass and maps to help you find sea glass in the area. You’ll also see plenty of sea glass on display at the museum.