If you want an interactive version of the map above, would like to convert to a close-up satellite map that shows the beaches and trails or need driving directions, use our Santa Cruz County Beach map at Google.
Panther is off CA Hwy 1 between Santa Cruz and Half Moon Bay, but closer to Santa Cruz and about 2 miles south of tiny Davenport and a half mile south of Bonny Doon Beach at approximately mile 26.5. You can find it by watching the mileage markers if you know how.
Parking on the South Side
The entrance to this parking area is easy to find if you're northbound on CA Hwy 1. It's an informal, dirt area on an elevated spot between the highway and the railroad track and you won't miss it if you're watching the mileage markers.
Southbound, the entrance is very hard to see. Look for a dirt road between the west side of highway and the railroad track and be prepared to make a very sharp turn to get into it. Keep watching the milepost markers to make sure you don't go too far.
Park on the dirt between the highway and the railroad tracks (west of the highway). Take care with your belongings, vandalism has been reported here.
Parking on the North Side
You can also park north of the beach in the gravel lot at Call Box SZ-001-273 across from the produce stand. This parking area is easier to find when going south, more visible from the main road and likely less attractive to thieves than the one on the south side.
Walking from Parking Lot to the Beach
From the north parking area across from the fruit stand, follow the dirt road which parallels the highway until you reach the path leading down to the beach.
From the south parking area, go to the north end of the lot (near the trash cans), cross the railroad tracks and follow the trail. See a photo of the trail on the next page.
The path is steep and eroded and you may be more comfortable going down it if you wear some good shoes. Watch for poison oak, which can give allergic folks a rash even after it's dropped all its leaves.