If you’re planning on making your annual summer trek up to Muir Beach, you better pack your 12-pack of PBR and suntan lotion before the beach closes in late June.
Yep, you heard right, the National Park Service has announced Muir Beach will close in mid to late June for environmental reasons.
While you can’t entirely close a beach, the parking lot and pedestrian access will be closed from late June until November. The National Park Service is asking visitors to steer clear of the area while they help restore the natural tidal flow for endangered species living in the area.
If you do decide to venture to the shore, you’ll have to hike from areas like Tennessee Valley along the Coastal Trail. Howard Levitt, spokesman for the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, told the Marin IJ:
“People can hike in, but it will be pretty much impossible to park and walk in. People should generally avoid the beach.”
It may seem like the Park Service chose an inconvenient time to complete this project, they decided to start working during the summer in hopes of avoiding the rainy season and further disturbing local wildlife.
When the beach reopens in November, you can expect to find a new parking lot, restrooms, and picnic areas. The parking lot will be paid for by part of a $13 million project set to restore Redwood Creek.
The project will help restore the natural creek alignment, create new backwaters, and expand the tidal lagoon by fixing the area’s current poorly-designed infrastructure.
The improvements will create better habitats for coho salmon, steelhead trout and threatened California red-legged frogs.
Sharon Farrell, the associate director of park projects, resource conservation and project implementation for the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, explained the project to SFGate back in 2010:
“Over the past century there has been a lot of agricultural use in this area, which has degraded the creek. A levee and a road were built and they pinched the creek. Because it is so confined, the water moves very rapidly through here and there is very little backwater habitat, which the fish need.”
Have no fear, if you still need to get your fill of Marin sunshine this summer, stop by the ever-popular Muir Woods for a nice jaunt through the forest.