journal entry at Pescadero Memories regarding your attempts to access Acid Beach. I am very familiar with The Notch, Acid Beach, Trefiret Beach, and AMB’s beach having been to all four, and the latter three on many, many occasions beginning around 1993 or 1994.
In fact, I know exactly how the beaches were named. A friend of mine, and co-explorer of that portion of the coast, named that northernmost of the three beaches “The Notch” in the Coastal Records Project, literally after a notch in the cliff above that beach. The actual notch is visible, as I recall, looking to the south from the turnout in US1 directly above Acid Beach. A promontory extends out perpendicular to the coast and the notch is cut in to the top of the promontory, maybe a dozen feet wide and deep.
I was surprised to run into someone at the bottom of Acid Beach once back around 1994. This person (Steve) had accessed that beach on numerous occasions. He called it “Acid Beach” because he enjoyed “partaking” there. So while the naming may not have a direct connection to Ken Kesey, it was named by a kindred spirit! My friend/co-explorer denies naming the beach in the Coastal Records Project, but I am dubious.
My friend named “Trefiret Beach” after me. Trefiret is simply an anagram of my last name, Fitterer. I was appalled at the naming, by the way, and would have chosen a more appropriate descriptive name instead.
I believe I designated AMB’s Beach in the Coastal Records Project. A stake was driven in the ground at the lowest point of the cliff above AMB’s Beach, presumably for rappelling purposes. Behind the stake, about 50 feet away, is (or at least was) a homemade sign which reads: “AMB’s Beach – Monty Parker’s favorite spot.” I don’t know AMB or Monty Parker, but given that they had reached the before before me, I thought I would pay tribute in the Coastal Records Project.
Regarding beach access, I will address each in turn. First, I reached The Notch only one time. That was in 1993 or 94, and I accessed it from Acid Beach to the south at a very low tide. If you stand above Acid Beach at the turnout in Highway 1 and look at the north end of that beach, you will notice a very significant arch. 15 years ago, you could walk through the arch to the north at a very low tide, and then scramble along the base of the cliffs to the north of the arch to access The Notch. However, the sand levels have eroded to the point that this access is no longer possible.
In the past, Acid Beach could be accessed by descending from the top of the north end of the cove (in front of a sprawling pine tree) and in line with the large arch. You could walk over the arch and then descend to the beach mainly in a southerly direction.
Unfortunately, the arch has eroded to the point that I no longer feel comfortable crossing it. You can safely exit Acid Beach by ascending from the south end of the main cove (i’m comfortable ascending the south end but not climbing down). A description here would be too difficult. Better to describe in person (more on that in a bit).
Trefiret Beach/Warm Water Cove/Amb’s beach, as you know, are all accessible from Scott Creek. I call the route the “Scott Creek Obstacle Course” for reasons you must know well by now.
It is possible to access Acid Beach from Warm Water Cove. Here’s how. Refer to the first picture in your post entitled “Third Time’s The Charm” from February 24th. You need to proceed north around the back of the cove. As you reach the base of the peninsula that extends out in a southerly direction, you can climb onto a ledge about 8 feet high and walk along that ledge all the way out to the big arch.
At that point, you are at the base of a steep scree slope. It’s pretty scary, but it is possible to ascend that slope to the top of the ridge visible in that picture. There ain’t no goin’ back, however! Once you climb, you are pretty much committed to going the rest of the way. The way down and north is pretty obvious from the ridge.
Once you make your way around to the south end of the south cove at Acid Beach, you have a choice: (1) negotiate a ten foot or so drop into the cove, or (2) back up a bit and drop into waist/chest deep water and trudge into the cover. With much experience, I can say that Option 2 is far safer and easier to do.
It’s pretty easy from there. You go to the back of the cove, climb over a tunnel at the north end of that south cove and then pick your way into the main cove at Acid Beach.
I haven’t made this trip in a few years and would love to do it again. I would especially love to go with someone else but have never found anyone interested in accompanying me (my wife and buddies are not particularly adventurous).
Please let me know if you have any questions. I would be happy to write back or call if that’s easier. Also, it would be great to make the trip from Scott Creek to Acid Beach with you. Let me know if that’s of interest, and we can plan a trip around the tides.
I’m glad to know you are connecting in an intimate way with this beautiful, desolate section of coast.