Glass Beach, Fort Bragg is a popular attraction in the world, where the beach is covered with small glasses. The glass comes from the fact that this area was a sanitary landfill from the beginning to the middle of the 20th century and over the year’s when the sea softened and the glass gave way to what it is today. The area is constantly changing and people are taking it every day. It is therefore difficult to say what the departure will look like, but this is what we saw during our last visit at the end of 2018.
Glass Beach Address
W Elm Street, Glass Beach Dr, Fort Bragg, CA 95437. To get to Glass Beach, turn onto Elm Street, next to Dennys, on the north side of Fort Bragg. From there, take the intersection with Glass Beach Road and follow the signs to the new car park, created in 2017. There are two dozen places here and it is much narrower than before. You can follow the Google map below :
History of Glass Beach
At the beginning of the 20th century, the inhabitants of Fort Bragg threw their garbage on the cliffs of the current Playa de Cristal. They rejected the glasses, the devices and even the cars in the country below. At the time, the area belonged to the Union Lumber Company, and the locals called it “The Dumps.” It was lit to reduce the size of the trash when the beach began to collect a lot of waste.
In 1967, the area was closed by the North Coast Water Quality Board and other municipal leaders. Over the years, several cleaning programs have been put in place to repair the damage. In the decades that followed, the incessant waves of the Pacific eroded the discarded glass into the jewels of soft and beautiful colors that now cover the beach. In 2002, the California State Park system acquired the 16-hectare Glass Beach property prior to joining MacKerricher State Park. Although many people go to the beach to look for glass and a washed treasure, this refusal is actively denied, and signs in the area warn that glass extraction is prohibited.
How much sea glass there?
Glass Beach is literally covered by a glass of sea and lava more each day. The sea is constantly shaking the treasure, especially during storms and heavy rain or after storms. There are many secrets in site two (the “intermediate site”). I also heard that Site One, the original site, is full of secrets, but a little harder to reach. The tide was higher than normal during our visit, so we could not dare to return to the original location. There are some possibilities of climbing or accessible at low tide.
See Glass Museum
It is a small museum and a souvenir shop, which opens every day from 10h to 17h. It provides an excellent overview of the history of Glass Beach and shows a wide selection of sea crystals. You can see all the different colors of washed glass on the beach and how they have arrived over the years. We were 45 minutes to the Glass Beach Museum. The museum is free but they ask for a donation.
Captain Cass Forrington, the owner, is a retired Merchant Navy captain. He has great knowledge and incredible stories. The museum has many sea crystals and other treasures it has discovered over the years. She also produces and sells her own earrings, necklaces, and other crystal jewelry. In this small museum, we learned a lot about ecology and geology. I should say, it was a good time.