Crown Memorial State Beach,
East Bay Regional Park District,
Alameda County
In brief:
3.2 mile out and back on paved sidewalks and the beach.

Distance, category, and difficulty:
This 3.2 mile out and back walk is very easy. Trail and beach are flat.

Totally exposed.

Trail traffic

Trail surfaces
Paved sidewalks and sandy beach.

Walking time
1 hour.

Nice year round.

Getting there
From Interstate 880 in Alameda County, exit Broadway/Alameda (exit 42). Follow the signs for the Webster Tunnel, and when you come above ground again, stay to the left on Constitution Way. Constitution Way changes to 8th Street at Lincoln Avenue -- proceed on 8th Street to Otis Way and the park entrance on the right. Once past the entrance kiosk, continue to the last parking lot.

Get driving or public transit directions from Transit and Trails:

GPS Coordinates* for Trailhead:
Latitude 3745'48.60"N
(* based on Google Earth data, shown as degrees, minutes, seconds)

Gas, food, and lodging:
Gas, stores, and restaurants back along Webster (runs parallel to Constitution Way), and in a shopping center off Shoreline Drive. No camping.

Trailhead details:
$5 entrance fee -- no charge when kiosk is unattended. $2 dog fee. There is plenty of parking in a series of paved lots, with pit toilets, drinking water, and pay phones in the park as well as along the beach. There are designated handicapped parking spots, wheelchair accessible pit toilets, and a flat paved trail suitable for wheelchairs. This beach is accessible by public transit. Visit for details.

Beach is open from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m., unless otherwise posted. Dogs are permitted on leash on the paved trail, but not on the beach.

The Official Story:
EBRPD's Crown Memorial Beach page

Map Choices:
• Use AAA's San Francisco Bay Region map to get there.
Map from EBRPD

Crown Memorial Beach in a nutshell -- a printable, text-only guide to the featured hike.

View photos from this hike.

Go to Bay Area Hiker Home page


Alameda is surrounded by water yet miles from the coast, but at the southwestern edge of the island, locals stroll a sandy shoreline and enjoy the sound of waves at Crown Memorial Beach. Trailhead Although the beach mimics an ocean shoreline, the waves and wildlife are pretty tame. The park's paved trail runs parallel to Shoreline Drive, and is more a sidewalk than nature path. Dog walkers, parents with strollers, cyclists, and folks in wheelchairs will likely get the most from this paved Bay Trail segment. A leisurely walk along the beach is much more enjoyable, but you'll likely see some garbage, and plenty of squirrels, seagulls, and geese along the route. The beach is probably at its best on a hot summer day, when cool breezes drop the ambient temperature significantly.
      Begin at the edge of the parking lot. Start walking on a paved path, past the sailboard concession building. The broad paved trail bends left and follows along Shoreline Drive. Low dunes, planted with buckwheat, fuchsia, gumplant, sages, rockrose, primrose, and ceanothus, create a buffer between the path and beach -- unfortunately there is no such obstacle between the path and the street. Paved trail along the beachOccasionally paths connect the trail and beach. Squirrel burrows are common in the dunes. At 1.38 miles the paved path enters Elsie Roemer Bird Sanctuary. On the right the beach fades into a marsh, where fennel blooms in summer. Just before the end of Shoreline Drive, at 1.52 miles, turn right onto an elevated overlook. The dead-end boardwalk permits a glimpse into the marsh, where egrets and clapper rails nestle in the aquatic grasses. Airplane traffic from Oakland and SFO is constant. When ready, head back to the paved trail and turn left, returning north.
     As you leave the bird sanctuary, turn left at one of the beach access points (note that dogs are not permitted on the beach). Seagulls bob on the gentle waves or snooze on the sand, but you may also catch a glimpse of a traveling pelican, sweeping over the bay. Returning on the beachThere are fantastic views across the water to San Francisco and San Bruno Mountain. When the wind is really blowing most of the attendant city noises are obliterated. At 3.13 miles a sandy path breaks off to the right, skirting the sailboard concession and returning to the parking lot. Turn right and walk the short distance to the trailhead. Option: you can continue along the beach to the northern section of the park, where there are picnic areas and a visitor center.

Total distance: 3.20 miles
Last visit: Tuesday, September 3, 2002