Part 1 of these series I talked about Four Mile Beach, gave some tips and showed some of the pictures I have taken on this beautiful beach. In Part 2 I want to give you more tips about another wonderful beach in the Santa Cruz County area.
Part 2 – Panther Beach
Panther Beach is located around 9 miles north from Santa Cruz and around 2.6 miles from Davenport.
How to get there
If you are using Google Maps, use this link to get the exact directions to the parking lot. The parking lot is a dirt road on the side of Carrillo Hwy 1, it is quite big but still, it might get crowded on a sunny day.
To get to the beach you need to go to the end of the parking lot and follow the trail, you will cross a railroad and then go down a dirt trail that can be a little tricky sometimes, nothing terrible but you need to be careful.
If you want to take photos from the cliff, after the railroad doesn’t take the trail down, take the trail on the left and you will get to see the beach from the top, which is a pretty amazing view on both sides.
It is not recommended to get too close to the edge, so please be very careful and don’t risk your life.
What to do
Once you get down to the beach, if you go the right, you will find some cool rock formations where, if the tide is high, you can get small waterfalls which are fun for long exposures or you can also get action shots of the waves.
Both photos above are from the right side of the beach, the first one is however with an exposure of 1.3 seconds while the second one is 1/250 seconds creating totally different effects on the water.
On the left side of the beach, there is a huge wall that has a hole in it, because of this some people also call this beach Hole in the Wall Beach. In this area, there are some rocks that are great for long exposure and you get a direct view of the sunset.
If the tide is not high, you can cross through the hole in the wall and go left to another beach, some people call that beach Hole in the Wall as well, in Google Maps I see is called Seven Mile Beach.
This beach is huge and gives an even wider view of the sunset, on the far left end of the beach there are some rocks that are great for different compositions.
If you get to this side of the beach, just make sure the tide is not that high so you can cross back through the hole in the wall because as I far as I know there is no other easy way out. If there is, please let me know in the comments.