Samples of what the sand at glass beach looks like.
Glass Beach on the Mendocino coast is one of the most unique beaches in the world, not because nature created it that way, but because time and the pounding surf have beautified the mistake humankind had made.
Beginning in 1949, the area around Glass Beach became a public dump known locally as “the dump”. It is hard to believe during these days, that people all dumped all kinds of refuse straight into the ocean, including old cars, and their hosehold garbage, which of course included lots of glass. By the early 60′s, some attempts were made to control what was dumped, and dumping toxic items was banned. Then finally in 1967, the North Coast Water Quality Board realized what a mistake it was and plans were begun for a new dump site away from the ocean.
30 years later, and now Mother Nature has reclaimed this beach. Years of pounding wave action have deposited tons of polished glass onto the beach. You can still occasionally see reminders of its earlier life, such as rusted metal, but for the most part what you will see is millions of pieces of glass sparkling in the sun. For many years, a steady stream of visitors collected glass to take home. Finally, before this unique sight was lost forever, the State Parks took it over, and removing glass is now prohibited.
Also Glass Beach has a very interesting array of tide pools to explore. Crabs, mollusks, and many aquatic plants make their homes in these ever changing environments.
There are no fees such as entrance fee or parking fee to visit this unique beach.