Crystal Beach Trail

Houston, Texas

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There are 27 miles of beach on the Bolivar Peninsula and four communities, beginning with Port Bolivar closest to the ferry, then Crystal Beach, Gilchrist, and High Island. All are unincorporated, so the beaches on the peninsula are under the jurisdiction of Galveston County. Crystal Beach begins about 6.5 miles from the ferry and extends for about 7 miles. This beach is seldom crowded, except during the summer months, and the only development is groups of colorful beach houses perched on stilts behind the dunes. With low, grassy dunes on one side and the shallow water and gentle waves on the other, you and your dog can keep an eye out for the occasional seashell or rare sand dollar without worrying about getting lost. The sand is generally compacted, which allows for fast walking if that’s your bent. Just keep an eye on your dog in case she discovers a smelly fish carcass, and stay out of the fragile dunes (where there are snakes and mosquitoes anyway). Although cars can drive on the beach, they are usually moving at a slow pace (the speed limit is 15 mph).

Crystal Beach Trail Professional Review and Guide

"There are 27 miles of beach on the Bolivar Peninsula and four communities, beginning with Port Bolivar closest to the ferry, then Crystal Beach, Gilchrist, and High Island. All are unincorporated, so the beaches on the peninsula are under the jurisdiction of Galveston County. Crystal Beach begins about 6.5 miles from the ferry and extends for about 7 miles.

This beach is seldom crowded, except during the summer months, and the only development is groups of colorful beach houses perched on stilts behind the dunes. With low, grassy dunes on one side and the shallow water and gentle waves on the other, you and your dog can keep an eye out for the occasional seashell or rare sand dollar without worrying about getting lost. The sand is generally compacted, which allows for fast walking if that’s your bent. Just keep an eye on your dog in case she discovers a smelly fish carcass, and stay out of the fragile dunes (where there are snakes and mosquitoes anyway). Although cars can drive on the beach, they are usually moving at a slow pace (the speed limit is 15 mph)."

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Houston
Distance: 4.5
Elevation Gain: Minimal
Trail Type: Shuttle
Skill Level: Easy
Season: Year-round
Trailhead Elevation: 5 feet
Top Elevation: 5 feet
Accessibility: Dog-friendly
Local Maps: USGS Flake and Caplen
Driving Directions: Directions to Crystal Beach Trail

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May 2018