Road Trip #13: Rodeo Beach

Today’s road trip was not meant to be titled Rodeo Beach, but that is where we ended up, as we knew we would. The first stop on the trip was meant to be the nearby Marine Mammal Center, but it seems they are closed either due to COVID or for renovations (unclear from the website, and in fact it was unclear from the website that they were even closed when I looked from my phone).

Disappointing as it was to miss the Marine Mammal Center, Rodeo Beach is always a part of our trips there, and we had a good walk up on to the cliffs on the north side of the beach that we had not explored previously.

Cliff Walk

We had packed sandwiches for lunch, so we walked along the beach towards the northern end, then up the trail onto the top of the cliffs there before finding a spot where we could sit away from the path, and not too near the cliff edge to sit and eat lunch.

The Pacific coastline here is quite rugged, with sheer cliffs and rocks standing out a little way from the base of them. There are also a few small inlets with beaches at the bottom, most of which are inaccessible, at least without special equipment, from land (and probably difficult to reach even by water because of the rocks and currents).

Beach Walk

After lunch, despite attempts to persuade the kids to hike further along the trail to the north, they wished to return to the beach and play in the sand, so we walked back down the trail, and then as far along the beach as we could. When we had arrived, the southern end of the beach was cut off by the tide, but by the time we walked back the tide had gone out far enough that it was accessible without hiking over the top and down (and the return was even easier as the tide was almost all the way out by then)..

The kids managed to dig up several crabs while they were playing in the sand, and I spent some time playing with the macro feature on the iPhone 13 Pro and exploring the beach for things to photograph.


Around 3pm, looking out to the west over the Pacific we could see dark clouds rolling in, and since there was rain forecast for the late afternoon we thought that would be a good time to head back to the car. The wind had also picked up, and there were a lot of pelicans flying overhead, taking advantage of the stronger wind to just float above the edge of the water, before soaring off again to the south and climbing up over the cliffs.


More surprisingly, we managed to catch site of what we believe were California condors also enjoying the strong wind and cruising over the cliff tops.

California Condor


A quick stop in Sausalito, mainly for ice cream (and a much needed hot coffee), also gave us a chance to sit on the edge of the bay and enjoy the view over San Francisco. The pigeons we also happy to clean up the waffle cone crumbs that the kids dropped, and even took on some ice cream that another group spilled. Unlike the smaller birds, they were happy coming within a few feet of the people sitting there eating.

Just after we left Sausalito the rain started, but it was only a very light shower, and was finished before we reached the bridge back to the east side of the bay.

Car Stats

This was not a long trip, though a little further than the Oakland Zoo trip we did previously. The trip was captured in two halves, the outbound (via San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge) being 24 miles, and averaging just 2.7 miles/kWh, the return (via Sausalito and the Richmond Bridge) being 36 miles and averaging 2.9 miles/kWh.

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