Schooner Gulch & Bowling Ball Beaches [CLOSED]

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Schooner Gulch State Beach

Schooner Gulch & Bowling Ball Beaches is a 1.5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Point Arena, California that offers scenic views and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 1.5 miles Elevation Gain: 164 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly


nature trips


bird watching





This trail is experiencing full or partial closure due to COVID-19. Please see the open trails nearby for alternate hiking options. Please note: “Bowling Ball” formations are only visible at low tide. When you park on Highway 1 you will see a sign that shows the bowling ball beach information. The trail to the bowling balls is at the beginning of the parking area and goes through a meadow before heading down to the beach.

2 months ago

Fascinating beach! Trail in was kind of hard to locate and not much parking (trailhead is for this and another beach, probably only 8 cars max on the side of the road). Fun hike down to the beach

washed out
8 months ago

There's no way to make it to the formations during high tide or anywhere near it. Definitely try to head out in as low tightest possible to see that interesting rock formations!

11 months ago

go at s low tide. Awesome geology. great walking beach. gets dlipery on the rocks. watch out!

11 months ago

The trail to Bowling Beach Beach starts in the northern part of the parking area. The trail to the gulch has a side trail to Bowling Ball Beach that is overgrown and difficult. The thistles are especially fun

Sun Dec 30 2018

The trail is a little tricky, but worth it for the beautiful beach and unique rock formations that are visible only at low tide.

Mon Nov 19 2018

Interesting rock formations and an easy trail to the beach.

Thu Oct 11 2018

Love this Beach! Best during a minus ride, but beautiful any time. Not steep, but scrambling is required.

Thu Jul 05 2018

1. Go on a Low tide 2. There are two Trails take the right one. This will take you down using stairs. Walk for 0.5 miles and you can see bowling balls. 3. It is an easy trail, the key is to take the correct trail i.e. right one This is the picture of the trail entrance (don't take the one in the left),-123.6535277,3a,75y,241.46h,82.97t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1slDf_3taOrRxLiNHlJPWEDw!2e0!7i16384!8i8192 P.S. If you are coming from North google maps will point you a place where it has sign parking 0.3 miles to the south. Park your car after going 0.3 miles and take the right trail.

Fri May 12 2017

This hike is very tricky. When you park on 1 you see a sign that shows the bowling ball beach info and you go down that trail which is pretty wild. Lots of driftwood, bushes etc. if you go down this trail it is actually the wrong one and you will end up on a secluded beach with a stream, it's pretty but no bowling balls. The trail to the bowling balls is actually back to the very beginning of the parking area and it goes through a meadow first then into the steep parts. There are stairs and rope to go down but it was a bit intimidating. Fun adventure!

5 months ago

6 months ago

11 months ago

Tue Oct 23 2018

Sun Sep 30 2018

Fri Jul 06 2018

Mon Dec 12 2016

nature trips
Mon Jul 28 2014