Purple Sand Beach Facts
- The incredible Purple Sand Beach truly ranks as an astonishing sight to see. Also known as Pfeiffer Beach, this wonder of geology sits in a hard to reach locale.
- This beach forms part of the Los Padres National Forest, in California, United States.
- Though not far from Big Sur, Purple Sand Beach, fortunately, remains little-known, aiding conservation efforts. Not even road signs announce its presence.
- Interestingly, the unique color also appears most noticeable in the winter, after seasonal storms.
- As a result, the newly moistened sand glistens in the light, due to its mineral composition.
Purple Sand Beach Composition
The dazzling and unique Purple Sand Beach owes its distinctive color to the nearby mountains. These formed in extremely close proximity to the seashore.
These mountains also remain rich in deposits of the mineral manganese garnet. As you probably guessed, this delicate mineral also is a purplish-colored silicate.
Local rains wash fine crystals of the mineral down to the nearby seashore, providing a naturally renewed pigmentation of the beach.
While pure purple predominates, traces of lilac and magenta may also be seen.
Purple Sand Beach Location and Geology
Located in North America, the lovely Purple Sand Beach does not merely represent a one-hit wonder of geology. Its brilliantly colored sand is not the only distinctive feature found in this one location.
Believe it or not, several sea caves also appear just along the shoreline. Quite understandably, these remain extremely difficult to access, however.
Additionally, just offshore sits the locally famous Keystone Arch, with a naturally occurring hole near its center.
Due to its angle and placement, the setting sun shines directly through the keyhole only during the weeks of the Winter Solstice.