Hot days, cool beaches – Locals losing their exclusive summertime spots in Point Loma and Ocean Beach
by THOMAS MELVILLE
Published - 07/19/18 - 01:46 PM | 1628 views | 1 1 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
During the oppressive heatwave a couple weeks ago, beachgoers filled nearly every inch of sand at No Surf Beach at Sunset Cliffs. / THOMAS MELVILLE / PENINSULA BEACON
During the oppressive heatwave a couple weeks ago, beachgoers filled nearly every inch of sand at No Surf Beach at Sunset Cliffs. / THOMAS MELVILLE / PENINSULA BEACON
slideshow
Emily, who’s from Indiana, and here visiting a friend in Ocean Beach, takes her first leap off The Arch. / THOMAS MELVILLE / PENINSULA BEACON
Emily, who’s from Indiana, and here visiting a friend in Ocean Beach, takes her first leap off The Arch. / THOMAS MELVILLE / PENINSULA BEACON
slideshow
The pocket beach at the end of Santa Cruz Avenue in Ocean Beach. /  THOMAS MELVILLE / PENINSULA BEACON
The pocket beach at the end of Santa Cruz Avenue in Ocean Beach. / THOMAS MELVILLE / PENINSULA BEACON
slideshow
An empty Garbage Beach on a Sunday morning. /  THOMAS MELVILLE / PENINSULA BEACON
An empty Garbage Beach on a Sunday morning. / THOMAS MELVILLE / PENINSULA BEACON
slideshow
People climb down the rope to Garbage Beach on a recent Sunday. /  THOMAS MELVILLE / PENINSULA BEACON
People climb down the rope to Garbage Beach on a recent Sunday. / THOMAS MELVILLE / PENINSULA BEACON
slideshow
Shelby (on the right), who grew up on Orchard Avenue, prefers the pocket beach at the end of Santa Cruz Avenue. /  THOMAS MELVILLE / PENINSULA BEACON
Shelby (on the right), who grew up on Orchard Avenue, prefers the pocket beach at the end of Santa Cruz Avenue. / THOMAS MELVILLE / PENINSULA BEACON
slideshow
People climbing up and down from No surf Beach on the dangerous trail. /  THOMAS MELVILLE / PENINSULA BEACON
People climbing up and down from No surf Beach on the dangerous trail. / THOMAS MELVILLE / PENINSULA BEACON
slideshow
More youngsters jumping off The Arch last Sunday at Sunset Cliffs. /  THOMAS MELVILLE / PENINSULA BEACON
More youngsters jumping off The Arch last Sunday at Sunset Cliffs. / THOMAS MELVILLE / PENINSULA BEACON
slideshow
A surfer prepares to head into the water at a small hidden beach at Sunset Cliffs. /  THOMAS MELVILLE / PENINSULA BEACON
A surfer prepares to head into the water at a small hidden beach at Sunset Cliffs. / THOMAS MELVILLE / PENINSULA BEACON
slideshow
There was a huge crowd at No Surf Beach at Sunset Cliffs two weeks ago during the heatwave. /  THOMAS MELVILLE / PENINSULA BEACON
There was a huge crowd at No Surf Beach at Sunset Cliffs two weeks ago during the heatwave. / THOMAS MELVILLE / PENINSULA BEACON
slideshow
The ways down to No Surf Beach are harrowing. Steep sandstone grooves with jagged edges and narrow ledges, and ominous rocks looming 50 feet below, keep most curious onlookers from attempting the trail down.

To access Garbage Beach, which is a long and narrow sandy strip nestled under 80-foot-high bluffs, one has to negotiate an extremely steep and slippery trail along a broken drainage trough and then use a fixed rope for the last 10 feet.

“Look at that beach, it looks awesome. How do you get down there?” is what’s often overheard from visitors to Sunset Cliffs as they stop to peer over the bluff.

Locals love to hear that. Because the beach is awesome, and getting down to it is a dangerous trek, which means fewer interlopers, no rules, and more freedom. It’s worth it.

Like New Break Beach to the south, and the pocket beaches to the north in OB, and Kellogg’s Beach on the bay side, the fewer visitors who know where they are, and how to get there, gives locals exclusivity and makes these beautiful beaches a favored destination.

But unfortunately for locals, the word is out.

“I like the quiet and I like the privacy,” said Shelby, a millennial, who grew up on Orchard Avenue and frequents the pocket beach at the end of Santa Cruz Avenue. Last weekend, with heat and humidity soaring, the beach at Santa Cruz, and its sister beach off Bermuda Avenue, were lightly attended, which suited Shelby just fine.

“Nobody owns the beach, everyone is welcome,” she said. “But be respectful. Clean up after yourself and don’t be rude. These little beaches can get overrun with people. I think social media is one of the main reasons.”

That same sentiment was expressed by Stephen, a La Jolla resident who has been coming to Ocean Beach for 20 years. On Sunday, he and his girlfriend were hiking through the ravine south of Garbage Beach to a secret spot below Point Loma Nazarene University that’s only accessible during low tide.

“I want to show people these hidden hikes and beaches, but I don’t want them to end up crowded. It’s a conundrum,” he said. “No Surf Beach and Garbage Beach never used to be crowded, but now, especially in the summer, the millennials have taken them over.”

He also blames social media for bringing out more beachgoers. “Now everyone knows where they are and how to get down to them. Years ago, I don’t remember these beaches even having names. Then they named them, and everyone found them.”

Jumping off The Arch at Pappy’s Point has been a rite of passage for locals for generations. It still is. But they have a lot of company. Last weekend, dozens of teenagers gathered to watch and film video of their friends taking the 35-foot plunge off The Arch.

“I used to jump off The Arch when I was younger, but it got too crowded, and that brought out the police and people started getting tickets,” said Shelby. “Social media has exposed everything.”

During the heatwave two weeks ago, Ocean Beach resident Sarah and her three friends, who were visiting from out of town, took turns jumping off The Arch. Why take that chance of receiving an expensive ticket, or even worse, of getting hurt?

“It’s sick. It’s an incredible adrenaline rush,” she said. “When my friends visit me, I bring them here to jump.”

Her friend Emily, from Indiana, said she wanted to test her boundaries. “It’s about making every day an adventure,” she said. “When you jump and you’re in the air, it’s sweet – just remember to close your mouth before you hit the water.”

But smile for the Instagram post.

Comments
(1)
Comments-icon Post a Comment
No Surf Local
|
July 19, 2018
Please remove these photos as it only brings more tourists and injures more of the public trying to access these dangerous beaches, rip currents and unstable cliffs. Saved a girl last week! Thanks!
Comments are back! Simply post the comment (it'll complain about you failing the human test) then simply click on the captcha and then click "Post Comment" again. Comments are also welcome on our Facebook page.
Trending