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Schooner Gulch State Beach
What is open now?
- Parking lots.
- Day use areas.
- Beaches and trails.
- Special events as directed by the guidelines in the Blueprint for a Safer Economy.
Protect yourself, family, friends and your community by following these prevention measures:
- Know Before You Go – Prior to leaving home, check the status of the park unit you want to visit to find out what restrictions and guidelines are in place. Have a back-up plan in case your destination is crowded. Stay home if you are sick
- Plan Ahead – Some restrooms will be temporarily closed to keep up with cleaning schedules. Bring soap/hand sanitizer.
- Play It Safe – Find out what precautions you should take when exploring the outdoors, especially if this is your first time visiting the State Park System. Learn more at parks.ca.gov/SafetyTips.
Be COVID-19 Safe – State Parks continues to follow guidance provided by the California Department of Public Health:
- Fully Vaccinated Persons: Face coverings are not required in public outdoor settings. For indoor public settings, such as museums and visitor centers, all vaccinated individuals are to self-attest that they are in compliance prior to entry.
- Unvaccinated Persons: Face coverings are required in indoor public settings such as museums and visitor centers.
- Leave No Trace – Leave areas better than how you found them by staying on designated trails and packing out all trash. Do not disturb wildlife or plants.
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.
The state beach is located three miles south of Point Arena, where Schooner Gulch Road intersects State Highway 1.
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.