Local lore has it that Schooner Gulch got its name back in the era of sailing ships when a
mysterious schooner ran aground there at dusk one evening, only to have vanished without
a trace by the following morning. Today, Schooner Gulch State Beach offers its visitors not
only great fun and exciting activities, but also some of the most magnificent views anywhere.
Spend the day here hiking, picnicking, fishing, sunbathing, surfing or windsurfing.
Just north of Schooner Gulch you’ll find Bowling Ball Beach, named after the numerous prehistoric spherical boulders that cover the beach and are visible only at low tide. Such formations grow in underwater environments when materials collect around a nucleus, and are shaped by water action as it moves them around.
WHERE: About 3 miles south of Point Arena, mile marker 11.41 (Schooner Gulch) offers the closest parking area. Look for a sign that says, “Park Facing South Only.” There are two trailheads, about 100 feet apart. The southern trailhead takes you through a dense forest for a short quarter-mile hike to Schooner Gulch Beach. The northern trail goes to Bowling Ball Beach, and gets somewhat steep. You’ll want to go at low tide, so be sure to check a tide table before setting out.
MORE INFO: 707-937-5804