Hidden Beach in Northern California- Panther Beach



I FREAKING love this beach. I think I discovered this hidden gem about 4 years ago and has been my major goto place ever since. Tugged far away from the highway, this beauty is 10 miles to the north of Santa Cruz. This beach used to be called the Yellow Bank beach due to the yellow colored rock formations. Later on, specifically after the 1960s it acquired the name Panther Beach after some hikers found the rock formations to remind them of a large panther. If you are so bored in this lockdown and dream about taking a tropical vacation, search no more. This place could easily be the most beautiful beaches in the Northern California due to various reason. The dark layered rocks, rugged terrain, water carved caves and tunnels makes you feel like you are in a movie scene.

         To get to this place use google maps and search for panther beach parking, Scotts Valley. Once you get into CA-1 N drive towards the Half Moon Bay. Make sure you are attentive when you are about 0.2 miles away from the location because if you don’t you can drive right past it. The place does not have any signs but I’m sure you will see a bunch of cars parked in the location. If you see the Fambrini’s produce on the left you have crossed the Panther Beach Parking. Make sure you are driving extremely slow into the parking lot as it  is rough and has steep ups and downs. Parking is very limited and this place is a bit crowded on weekends so make sure to go on a weekday or very early on a weekend. Once you Park and get down you will immediately see a railway track and right across the board “ Coastal Diaries”. I highly recommend walking past the board to see the edge of the beach. The view is breathtaking, you can see the entire beach from this point.  During Spring, this path is covered with so many colorful flowers and green grass. Now to get to the actual beach go back to the sign( Costal Diaries) and you will find a path that leads down to the beach. Now, this is where it gets little tricky. You need to hike down an extremely steep, narrow path.  The hike itself lasts only 5 mins but I would say it is a difficult hike. There are some places where you need to use both your hands as a support to avoid skidding and falling. For the same reason, I would not recommend hiking down during the wet rainy season. It could be extremely slippery. 

          Ocean always reminds me of something powerful, mysterious and the fact that we know so little about it makes it intriguing.  Being near the ocean makes me feel small and believe in the higher universe. Once you hike down you will find the beach so serene with no sound of traffic or outside world, just the sound of the waves crashing against the rocks. Look to your left when you enter the beach and you will find a natural cave that almost looks like an arch. When you enter you will see more rocks and a beautiful curve.The water is blue and the sand is golden and the rocks all around the ocean makes it very secluded. This side has high tides that comes so close to the shore and it is absolutely necessary make sure to check the tides before going into this arch because if you are caught inside it during a surge, you will trapped and there is no alternate way out.  The other side of the beach is safe to hang out and ever more beautiful. Again, due the rip tides and rocky nature of this beach it is not ideal for swimming but you can pop open a blanket and read a book, picnic, play some music( make sure to charge and bring your bluetooth speaker!) or just sit and enjoy the breathtaking view in front of you. Due to its secluded nature this beach is only known  through word of mouth and that makes it a popular location for rave parties and psychedelic activities. If you are curious to see the rave parties, visit the place during a Friday or Saturday evening between the months June- September and you will find campfires trippy lights and a lot of tents. Most of the beaches in Santa cruz have cold wind even during summers, so make sure to pack a blanket or a jacket if you are planning to stay ithrough the evening. Due to less air pollution this beach makes an awesome place to star gaze or try your exposure shots of the Milky Way. During the dark nights, staring at the sky full of stars makes it so magical. I have also camped here on a full moon day and the high current and the powerful moonlight definitely makes you feel very empowered.


The only CON that could I find in this place is the litter situation. People who come here, mostly stay for a long time due to the fact that you get a nice private place to hang out with friends or family. That involves a lot of food or alcohol. Its sad to see that waste is not being carried back or thrown into the garbage. So if you ever visit this place make sure to bring a trash cover to avoid littering the place.

        I hope you all enjoyed seeing my video and know about this hidden beach. If you like this blog, please do not forget to like, share and comment and hey if you ever find the panther shaped rock formation I would love to see a picture!