Santa Clara Rivermouth Beach, Ventura






Located South of Ventura Harbor off Spinnaker Dr.  This beach is on the North side of the Santa Clara River mouth.  To the South of the river mouth is McGrath State Beach. 

The waves here have a reptutation of good to surf, although water quality has been an issue.  The Santa Clara River is one of few left mostly in it's natural state.  Sand dunes line the beach and look beautiful in Spring bloom.  However, this is territory for several ground nesting species of endangered birds, you will see the dunes roped off to prevent eggs from being crushed.  Regardless, you still get a very good view of the dunes--it's worth it. 

The views of the Santa Clara River making it's final descent into the Pacific are great.  The bird watching is excellent.  Personally I like the river view and bird watching from Rivermouth Beach better than at neighboring McGrath State Beach, although McGrath offers an established nature trail and more expansive dunes and plant life which I found interesting.

The pictures below are dated 4/17/10, we walked from the parking lot on Spinnacker Dr. to the mouth of the river entering the ocean (also known as Santa Clara River Estuary).  Our intent was to walk the beach to McGrath and back but this day  there was no sand bar at the river mouth and we opted not to wade through the river.  Instead after walking to river mouth we returned to our vehicle and drove to McGrath to continue our walk. 

See the links at the end of this page for more information about the beach, the river and it's wildlife.  The Santa Clara River Mouth Beach and Estuary is both a good surf spot and nature walk, along with McGrath State Beach is home to a number of endangered species.

Click any picture on this page to enlarge.







Links to other sites with more info:

Surf description at Santa Clara Rivermouth Beach

Environmental concerns, waste water runoff discharge:

Santa Clara River info (on Santa Clara River Parkway website):

Description of the Santa Clara River on Wikipedia:

Santa Clara River, description of plant & animal life by The Nature Conservancy:

Santa Clara River Estuary Description on