Sandy beaches are rare on the southern Mendocino Coast, which gives Cooks Beach special appeal. A bluff trail leads out to the Bonham Overlook, and the other offers a brief walk through bishop pine forest to access the beach. The short trail makes this an ideal spot to carry
in a picnic lunch and enjoy the wind-protected, large pocket beach. Leashed dogs are welcome here, and it is a great family beach. It makes a fantastic spot to watch the sun go down, and
perhaps get a chance to see the elusive green flash at sunset. There are tidepools near the southern end of the beach that are accessible during low tides, and it is possible to view sea lions,
seals, dolphins, and migrating whales (in season). Summer waves tend to be calm.
The trail is managed by the Redwood Coast Land Conservancy (RCLC). Caution should be taken in the water due to the presence of rip currents. Parking is limited. There is no cell reception at this location.
WHERE: About 2 miles north of Gualala on Hwy 1. Take County Road 526 and look for the sign saying Bonham Trail to Cooks Beach.