Visit Bowling Ball Beach on the Mendocino Coast
Hidden along the Mendocino Coast, Bowling Ball Beach lives up to its name, and then some! Giant smoothly rounded boulders (some 12 feet across) are scattered along the beach, and it’s a phenomenal spectacle. You’ve got to go at low tide to truly appreciate the beauty of this place.
It’s about a five-minute walk along a bluff down to a rickety wooden stair-ladder that descends to the sand. Watch your steps (as of January 2023, the recent storms have created some chaos, so keep that in mind).
Once you're on the beach, it’s another five minutes of walking to reach the big balls! About 100 are visible at low tide. Sit back and watch as the water laps around this natural wonder. Go big!
BONUS: If the beach isn’t for you, try a beautiful bluffside adventure in Point Arena–Stornetta Public Lands, part of the California Coastal National Monument. Stop at the Center Street Market in downtown Point Arena for tasty deli-made sandwiches and all kinds of fun candy provisions.
The beach is 10.5 miles north of the town of Gualala along Hwy. 1. Park at the western pullout just north of Schooner Gulch River on the highway. There are two trailheads, as Bowling Ball Beach is part of Schooner Gulf State Beach; take the less obvious northern trail, veer right at the fork, and walk five minutes to the bluff. Be cautious dropping down the stair-ladder as there has been a lot of erosion. It’s not for everyone. Once on the beach, walk five minutes north. Dog-friendly, though not recommended because of the challenges of getting down to the beach.
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