Radio Beach

Radio Beach is Oakland’s nearest thing to a natural beach. It’s city land, on the north side of the Bay Bridge approach past the toll plaza. There is no lonelier or prettier spot on Oakland’s waterfront. This is the view toward the bridge as you enter the beach.

radio beach

This was near low tide yesterday, and the mudflats stretching all the way to Emeryville were tempting. Here’s the view back from the other end, with some of the radio towers.

radio beach

And here’s the view out, with Mount Tamalpais, Angel Island and the Tiburon Peninsula on the skyline. Click the image for a 1000 pixel version.

radio beach

The sand is very fine grained, given the energy of the waves and the available sediment in the Bay. It collects here where a little extra wave energy gets focused, against the buttress of the bridge approach. Not a super beach, but a real one.

6 Responses to “Radio Beach”

  1. Richard Says:

    I used to bird watch out here in the late 1970’s-early 1980’s when there was still a broadcast station and a number of small shacks on the pier that went in a semi-circle into the emeryville flats. Neat little out of the way place. I sometimes still go nearby to do some marsh photography. It’s like a world away from the heavy I-80 traffic and the backed up bay bridge. I hope with the new bridge the access is not restricted, nor opened up to much either.

  2. Richard Says:

    I just remembered, we bird watchers used to call the marsh nearby the “bay bridge toll plaza marsh” and the nearby mud flats towards emeryvile “The Crescent”. Was a good place to view the fairly rare Least Tern that used to nest there and over at the Alameda Naval Station (they’re still around, saw some at the Berkeley Marina this past summer). Here’s a shot I took not at Radio Beach proper but just east of there:

    Bay bridge Toll Plaza marsh Tele-rolleiflex APX400 Rodinal 1-50 10min 20C 10-2008 VS 4990 Scan-081026-0006

  3. Andrew Says:

    The shacks are gone, but there are still pilings and stuff along the edge of the marsh. The sailing folks of Berkeley/Emeryville like to hold picnics out on a sandbar in the mudflats during especially low tides.

  4. Oakland Daily Photo Says:

    How does one get to the beach?

    [You take the West Grand Ave. exit off I-80 and take an immediate right, then follow the road to the end. — Andrew]

  5. Ken-ichi Says:

    This is part of the “Emeryville Crescent” section of the Oakland/Berkeley Christmas Bird Count circle that I’ve helped out with for the past few years. Bob Hirt, the section leader, knows way more about it than I do, but we’ve seen some cool stuff out there, e.g. Short-eared Owl, California Clapper Rail (now Ridgeway’s Rail, ugh), numerous shorebirds. We almost always time the count so we’re there around high tide (presumably for rails) so I’ve never explored the mud flats, but now I kind of want to.

  6. Peter Parrish Says:

    What was the call sign of the radio station when it was on the air? I believe i listened to it in the
    Mid to late 50’s.

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