Approaching sunset over the Pacific at Glass Beach in northern California - glassbeach01
Glass Beach near Fort Bragg, CA. Driving up the coast from Point Arena to the small town of Fort Bragg -- a tiny outpost of civilization hugging the rugged northern coastline in the middle of nowhere. Cut off from the rest of the world by coastal mountains, the only way to reach Fort Bragg is by driving a couple hours on twisty two-lane roads, or by boat. Well off the beaten path.
Glass Beach is not an official park or attraction - there are no signs pointing the way to the shoreline. Its origins date back to the early part of the twentieth century, when the nearby city of Fort Bragg used the spot as its municipal landfill. For decades, tons of trash were dumped into the ocean, or burned at the shoreline, until 'The Dump' was closed in 1967. Over the years, the glass bottles were smashed to pieces, then worn into colorful clear beads that mixed in with the course sand and gravel at the beach. Families come from all over California to collect the colored pebbles, although you're not supposed to take any away. But that doesn't stop the constant flow of collectors, leaving the shoreline with less and less color with each passing year. In addition to the polished glass, Glass Beach provides an excellent point of access to the rocky northern California shoreline, with the furious waves crashing against the craggy outcrops. For more information on Glass Beach, see www.mendocino.com/?id=257.
November 18, 2007. Photo #1 of 52.