The mission of California State Parks is
to provide for the health, inspiration and
education of the people of California by helping
to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological
diversity, protecting its most valued natural and
cultural resources, and creating opportunities
for high-quality outdoor recreation.
Named for the
delicate tracery of tiny,
silvery seashells that
line its white sands,
the strand offers
stunning views of both
California State Parks supports equal access.
Prior to arrival, visitors with disabilities who
need assistance should contact the park
at (619) 435-5184. This publication can be
made available in alternate formats. Contact
firstname.lastname@example.org or call (916) 654-2249.
CALIFORNIA STATE PARKS
P.O. Box 942896
Sacramento, CA 94296-0001
For information call: (800) 777-0369
(916) 653-6995, outside the U.S.
711, TTY relay service
Discover the many states of California.™
Silver Strand State Beach
5000 Highway 75
Coronado, CA 92118
© 2006 California State Parks (Rev. 2014)
gentle San Diego Bay
and the more turbulent
These groups were
hunter-gatherers who also
though only about
processed acorns from
15 minutes south
several species of oaks for
nourishment. They obtained
San Diego, has
some foods and obsidian by
a rather wild,
trading with native groups
to the east, and the Tipai
people quickly learned to
flat beach of this
incorporate Spanish crops,
A typical day at Silver Strand State Beach livestock and tools into
area, a sand spit
their way of life.
that connects Coronado with Imperial Beach,
The arrival of Europeans and Americans
stretches for miles. Views from the level
ended the native people’s way of life.
of the beach or alongside San Diego Bay
Access to traditional lands and sources of
include Coronado Island, Point Loma, the
food was soon restricted or totally lost to
Coronado Bridge and the Naval shipyards.
them. Over ensuing years some Indians were
The weather at Silver Strand is
“relocated” to several inland reservations
characterized by warm, dry summers and
established around 1875, but thousands
cool winters. Summer fog is part of the
more died from European-introduced
Mediterranean climate here. Extremes of
diseases to which they had no immunity.
heat or cold are rare, with average maximum
Today’s Kumeyaay Nation — extending
temperatures ranging from near 65 degrees
from San Diego and Imperial Counties to
in January to nearly 78 degrees in August.
60 miles south of the California-Mexico
border — shares their ancestral heritage
through community outreach and education.
It is believed that humans first came to the
The Spanish and Mexicans in San Diego
San Diego coast as far back as 20,000 years,
had little interest in the narrow strip of sand
and to inland areas about 12,000 years ago.
between what they called “San Diego Island”
The native people were known by many
names, some bestowed by the Europeans,
who called them Diegueños or Mission
Indians. The names preferred by the people
themselves included Kumeyaay (the inland
group), Ipai (the northern group), and Tipai
stunning views of
(the southern group).
San Diego Bay.
(Coronado Island) and the mainland, and
in 1846 Pedro C. Carrillo received it as part
of a land grant. In 1885 its resort potential
was first noted. E.S. Babcock and H.L. Story
bought the land, established the Coronado
Beach Company, and built a road and a rail
line over the peninsula. Three years later,
Babcock and Story sold the land to John D.
and Adolph B. Spreckels.
In 1931 the Spreckels holding companies
presented 42 acres of the peninsula
between the U.S. Naval Amphibian Base and
the U.S. Naval Communication Station to the
State Park Commission, establishing Silver
Strand Beach State Park (now Silver Strand
The type of vegetation here is called coastal
strand, though much of it has disappeared
due to development. Coastal strand consists
of bare, wind- and spray-whipped sand
and an inland section with only sparse
growth. East of this area, along the highway,
scattered vegetation includes golden bush,
lemonadeberry and sage.
Coastal strand habitat is home to Brandt’s
cormorants, gulls, terns, sanderlings
and loons. The ocean beach and the
bay mudflats are rich feeding areas for
shorebirds and other water-oriented birds.
Beachfront RV camping is very popular.
The southern end of the bay is a perfect
bird-watching area; hundreds of thousands
of birds feed, nest or just rest up here for
the next leg of their migrations.
Offshore, California sea lions and an
occasional school of porpoises may be seen.
On the strand, mammals include striped
skunks, brush rabbits and California ground
squirrels. Worms, bivalves and sand crabs
are among beach species.
Swimming/Sailing — The calmer and
slightly warmer water in the bay is ideal for
swimming and sailing.
Kiteboarding — The wind speed here is
higher than at other San Diego area beaches.
Intermediate to advanced kiteboarders
find the best riding from October to January.
Kiteboarding is permitted only at parking
lot #1 — the southernmost open parking
lot — downwind of people on the beach or
in the water, and north of the Silver Strand
Picnicking — Ramadas and tables are
available at the beach and bay side picnic
areas, with fire rings on the beach during
summer. Pedestrian tunnels under the
freeway allow access to the bay side picnic
area and views of San Diego Bay.
Aquatic Center — On the bay side of the
beach, Crown Cove Aquatic Center is a
collaborative effort between California State
Parks’ Division of Boating and Waterways
and Southwestern Community College.
See the Center’s aquatic and safety-related
class list at www.swccd.edu/index.
RV Camping — Campsites can be reserved
year round by calling (800) 444-7275 or
visiting www.parks.ca.gov. All RV campsites
have water and electric hookups.
A sanitation station is nearby.
Fishing — Perch, corbina and yellow-fin
croakers are prolific here, and during
the summer, spawning grunion may
be caught on the sand. Anglers
age 16 and over must carry a valid
California sport fishing license.
Surfing — The two miles of beach
break with white sandy beaches
are best at medium to high tide on
a mixed swell. Surfers should stay
north or south of the swimming area.
Shaded picnic areas, the
restrooms, outdoor rinsing
showers, and the paved
pedestrian path along the
bay are all accessible.
Beach wheelchairs may
be available for loan. Call
(619) 435-0126 or check at the
entrance for details.
Accessibility is continually improving. For
current accessibility details, call the park or
• The front gate opens year round at 8 a.m.
• The gate is always locked for the night.
Observe re-entry times on posted signs.
• Camping is available for self-contained
• Call ahead regarding operating hours,
fees and conditions, which can change.
• There is a seasonal alcohol ban. Contact
the park for details.
• Glass bottles are never permitted.
• Dogs are allowed only in the parking
lots, on a leash no longer than six feet.
• Except for service animals, pets are not
allowed on the beach, in the tunnels or
on the bay side of the park.
• Fires are allowed only in designated
beach fire rings.
• Stingrays sometimes rest atop the sand
in the surf zone. To help avoid being
stung, shuffle your feet as you wade into
Nearby State Parks
• Old Town San Diego State Historic Park
Taylor and Calhoun Streets
San Diego 92110 (619) 220-5422
• Border Field State Park
1500 Monument Road, San Diego 92173
• Tijuana River National Estuarine Research
Reserve, 300 Caspian Way
Imperial Beach 91932 (619) 575-3613
St at e Beac h
S I LV E R
Town 163 San Diego
San Diego SHP
San Diego Int’l Airport
Imperial Beach Blvd
Two miles of beach break are ideal for surfing.
Tijuana River NERR
Silver Strand SB
S TAT E
© 2011 California State Parks (Rev. 2014)
Map by Eureka Cartography, Berkeley, CA