Sand Dollar Beach
Sand Dollar Beach is the first place you'll run into if you're traveling south on Highway 1
through Big Sur. It is located about 9 miles past Lucia in Los Padres National Park. At the top of SDB is a small
parking lot on the right (left if going north) with a trail leading to the beach. I personally have not had much luck
there but I know some who have "scored".
Also called North Jade Cove, it is located about a quarter mile south of Sand Dollar Beach.
WARNING: if you are out of shape, or have back or knee problems, DO NOT visit Gem Cove. The trail to the beach
is very steep and can be slippery from loose rock. However, jade is rampant here. Search at your own risk.
Gem Cove has no signs showing its location. Its only marker is a stepladder that scales
the barbed-wire fence protecting the fields. There are no trail markers either. Best if you go with someone who
has been there before.
If you're going south, Jade Cove is about 100 yards beyond Gem Cove, again on the right.
Only this time, there is a sign on the left naming the turnoff. There will be another stepladder. As
far as I know, the path goes straight to the beach.
This trail zigzags down the cliff by the beach and is much easier to navigate than its nothern
counterpart. However, it would still be unwise to take your chances here if you don't know the trail
Once you pass Jade Cove, drive about a mile or so (I guess) and you will cross a bridge.
As you're crossing the bridge you'll notice a parking lot on the right with a road that seems to go down under the bridge.
This is Willow Creek.
There is limited parking down by the beach, but not enough people go there all at once that
you shouldn't be able to get a spot. Once you're on the beach the north end is the hot spot (to the right if you're
facing the water).