Location: Hwy 1, Sonoma Coast
Points of Interest: Goat Rock and Goat Rock Beach
On a whim, while exploring Highway 1 along the Sonoma Coast, we made a turn onto Goat Rock Road. We were looking for rocks that looked like goats, that’s how clueless we were. We assumed that the road was for getting to a parking lot for a coastal hiking trail we saw from the main road. The road kept continuing though, and when it curved northward we were rewarded with some breath taking views…but which rock was Goat Rock?
Is that Goat rock? Is THAT Goat Rock? Is that Goat Rock? You get the picture. Apparently, I read later that Goat Rock was given this name because goats grazed on the top which is flat and grassy (though this naming seems to be disputed). Ohhhhh! The views were ever changing with several parking lots for you to park and explore along the way. This road actually takes you to the bottom near beaches with more parking lots.
Goat Rock Road ended at two places depending on which way you turned at the fork. If you went left then down a one lane road, you ended up at a large parking lot with many rock formations to ogle at, the largest one at the end of the parking lot being Goat Rock (which I found out about later). Of course, it’s the gigantic one I didn’t take any pictures of when I was standing right in front of it. Of course.
South of the parking lot is Blind Beach, which didn’t feel as inviting as Goat Rock Beach, maybe because of the huge waves.
The stretch of land in the middle of the picture below is where the parking lot is, and Goat Rock is on the right (this picture is taken North of Goat Rock).
If you drive down the opposite way from Goat Rock, you end up at Goat Rock Beach at the mouth of the Russian River. Below is a picture of the beach, but taken after we left the area and looked at it from up North (past Jenner).
Just amazing! Goat Rock Beach had soft sand and seemed like a place you could spend the day experiencing both the river and ocean side (although swimming in the ocean is prohibited due to strong rip currents). Don’t pass up Goat Rock Road like we almost did. It’s definitely worth exploring!