I’ve lived in Northern California for the past 15 years and never knew this place existed! It’s called Glass Beach and its origins are nearly as fascinating as the millions of colorful glass stones lying on its beach.
In 1949, the area now known as Glass Beach, became a public dump; old cars, appliances, glass objects, every kind of imaginable refuse was pitched straight into the ocean. By the early sixties, the dumping of toxic items was banned. In 1967, the North Coast Water Quality Board prohibited further dumping in the area and performed a series of cleanups to reverse the environmental damage. However there was one item too costly to gather/clean: the large amount of glass shards churning in the surf. Now, over 30 years later, decades of pounding waves have deposited tons of polished glass onto the beach. Hence Glass Beach, with its sparkling, multicolored bed of smooth glass stones, was born.
This dazzling ocean front phenomena is now part of the MacKerricher State Park. Thank you Mother Nature for reclaiming this beach!
Location: Glass Beach, end of West Elm Streeet at Old Haul Road; Park at end of Elm and walk to beach, Fort Bragg, CA 95437
See the official Fort Bragg website for more information on Glass Beach.