Beach/Ocean Safety

Welcome to the Crystal Cove State Park beaches.  They are on one of the most beautiful and natural shorelines in California.  To help you safely enjoy your visit to these beaches, there are a few recommendations and rules you should consider.

Safety In and Around the Water

Swim near a lifeguard.  Lifeguards are here to protect you and to help you safely enjoy the beach.  Please follow their instructions.

Call and wave for help if you are having difficulty.  Never swim alone.

Supervise children closely, even when lifeguards are present.

Don’t rely on flotation devices, such as rafts; you may lose them in the water.

If caught in a rip current, swim parallel to the shore until free. Click here for more detailed information on rip tides.

Walk into water, don’t dive into unfamiliar waters.

When near the water, face the waves to avoid being caught off balance.

Barbeques that are elevated off the sand are permitted.  All other beach fires are against regulations.

Use water recreational devices safely.  It is unlawful to use these devices, such as surfboards, boats, etc., in a manner which endangers others.


The park and beaches closes at sundown.  Plan a safe and timely departure.


Exploring the Tidepools Safely

Tidepool rocks are sharp and slippery.  Wear firm sole, non-slip shoes.  Walk slowly and carefully, trying not to injure the animals, plants or yourself.

Please do not collect or remove anything, including animals, shells, rocks, plants or kelp, from Crystal Cove State Park.  All natural resources are protected by law.



Never pick up animals or pry them from the rocks.  If they are disturbed, it will make a difference in their struggle for survival in this harsh environment.


Avoid moving or disturbing rocks.  There is usually some animal relying on each rock for shelter and protection.


The native wildlife and their habitats will be disturbed and damaged by domestic pets.  Domestic dogs are prohibited on the beaches and on unpaved surfaces



Human food products are detrimental to the health and eating habits of wild animals and birds.  Please help keep the beaches clean.


Water Use Areas — Water areas off the major beaches are divided into swimming and surfing zones to separate these users. A black and yellow checker flag will normally be posted between zones. Check signs or ask a lifeguard for the proper zone for your activity.
Unsafe Behavior — Regardless of the area of use, it is unlawful to use any water recreational device (surfboard, boat, etc.) in a manner which endangers others.