Schooner Gulch State Beach

UPDATE (May 20, 2020) - As California State Parks begins working with locals on a phased and regionally-driven approach to increase access to state park units where compliance with state and local public health ordinances can be achieved, it is important for visitors to continue to practice physical distancing and avoid congregating with people outside their immediate household. Everyone has the responsibility to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Here are some guidelines for people visiting Schooner Gulch SB:

What is open now?
  • Trails, beaches and day use areas.
  • Parking may be limited.

What is currently closed at this park and throughout the State Park System?


Statewide:
  • Campgrounds.
  • High public-use indoor facilities, including museums and visitor centers.
  • Special events and tours continue to be canceled until further notice.

Are there any new visitor guidelines?


Yes, please see below:
  • Stay Local: Stay close to home. Walk or bike into the park. Parking may be limited. Do not take road trips to parks and beaches or to neighboring states.
  • Stay Active: Keep walking, jogging, hiking and biking. Watch for one-way trails.
  • Stay Safer at 6 Feet: Maintain a physical distance of 6 feet or more. Gatherings, picnics and parties are not allowed. Visitors will be asked to leave if there are too many people at the park, beach or on trails to allow for the required physical distance.
  • Stay Clean: Be prepared. Bring soap/sanitizer and pack out all trash.
  • Stay Covered: Please be sure to wear face coverings when you cannot maintain a safe 6-foot distance from others.

Thank you for your patience and continued support of California State Parks as we work to limit your risk for exposure to COVID-19 in the outdoors. For more information, please visit parks.ca.gov/FlattenTheCurve.

Phone Number

(707) 937-5804

Park Hours

Call the park

Dogs Allowed?

Yes

Driving Directions to Schooner Gulch SB

The state beach is located three miles south of Point Arena, where Schooner Gulch Road intersects State Highway 1.

Online reservations are not available for this park.

No online brochures available for this park.

Upcoming Park Events

No events scheduled at this moment.

BOATING
Boating
TRAIL USE
Hiking Trails
DAY-USE ACTIVITIES & FACILITIES
Fishing
Scuba Diving/Snorkeling
Beach Area
Windsurfing/Surfing
Geocaching

Photo: View  from the beach of the bluff at Schooner Gulch State Beach.The beach and headlands preserve a scenic spot along the Mendocino Coast and offers a stunning perch for watching sunsets, or merely sitting in the grass as the afternoon sun glistens on the waters below. Fishing, picnicking, and surfing are popular activities here.

A small parking area with two trailheads is on the west side of the highway. The southern trail leads to Schooner Gulch Beach. 

Location/Directions
The state beach is located three miles south of Point Arena, where Schooner Gulch Road intersects State Highway 1.

Seasons/Climate/Recommended clothing
The weather can be changeable; layered clothing is recommended.

Facilities - Activities
Historically, Schooner Gulch is within the territory of the coastal branch of the Central Pomo Indians which extends from the mouth of the Navarro River to the mouth of the Gualala River.

This area was frequented by Russians and native Alaskan hunters as early as 1812, and by Mexican land owners in the 1840's.

John Galloway was the first recorded occupant of the area. John was born in Scotland and occupied an area of Schooner Gulch between 1866 and 1868, which was largely used as a milling operation for timber. Logging continued at Schooner Gulch until the late 1800's, through various other milling operations.

Another interesting part of the history of Schooner Gulch is the Galloway School. The school land was donated by John and Margaret Galloway. Galloway School operated for 62 years, from 1874 to 1936 with never more than 40 students. In 1940 the school lot was sold, and land around the lot was farmed by the Nobles family until 1986 at which time the land was sold to the State of California.

Legend has it that Schooner Gulch got its name from a story in which a schooner was sited, one evening, stranded on the beach in the mouth of the gulch, yet in the morning showed no evidence of being there.

Schooner Gulch State Beach
Geologic oddities at Schooner Gulch State Beach have arisen from unusual combinations of unrelated geologic conditions. Once such example is Bowling Ball Beach where concretions (odd enough in their own right), tilted outcrops of alternating hard and soft strata (not unusual), and wave erosion along the coastline (very common) combine to create a very unusual spectacle. Fortunately, the State of California values these treasures and protects them for all to see in their natural setting.

Schooner Gulch SB
(Photograph by Jennifer Lotery)

The full Geo Gems report  |  Geological Gems of State Parks

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