Often incorrectly called Cronkhite (the name of the entire park area), this halfmile stretch of sand and chert is one of the fastest-to-get-to Pacific sunset options for most in the county. The pocket beach is also unique in that it contains chert. But what is chert, you ask, and what is a pocket beach? Chert is a fine-grained, silica-rich microcrystalline sedimentary rock. A pocket beach is an area where the sand created there stays there; because of the geographic position, it doesn’t migrate up or down the coast. The trapped sand is created when pebbles chipped off the surrounding cliffs are carried offshore a bit and then return, in an ongoing kind of washing machine-like action. This continual breakdown of chert, basalt and sandstone is what creates the rainbow sands of Rodeo Beach, which are unlike any others found on any other beach in the state. But as tempting is it might be to collect these multicolored minerals, park rangers urge you to resist, as they’d take thousands of years to be replaced.
Mimi Towle has been the editor of Marin Magazine for over a decade. She lived with her family in Sycamore Park and Strawberry and thoroughly enjoyed raising two daughters in the mayhem of Marin’s youth sports; soccer, swim, volleyball, ballet, hip hop, gymnastics and many many hours spent at Miwok Stables. Her community involvements include volunteering at her daughter’s schools, coaching soccer and volleyball (glorified snack mom), being on the board of both Richardson Bay Audubon Center. Currently residing on a floating home in Sausalito, she enjoys all water activity, including learning how to steer a 6-person canoe for the Tamalpais Outrigger Canoe Club. Born and raised in Hawaii, her fondness for the islands has on occasion made its way into the pages of the magazine.