Summer - 6 a.m. to sunset; Winter - 8 a.m. to sunset
$7 per vehicle or $1 per person for vehicles with 10 or more people. Parking lot is clearly marked on the west side of Highway 1. Visitors should use caution entering and exiting lot. Limited parking available.
Licensed dogs allowed on leash no longer than 6 feet.
Please stay on marked public access trails as other paths and roads within The Sea Ranch are privately owned. Bicycles are not allowed on Bluff Top Trail. RVs and trailers are not allowed in the parking lot.
Sonoma County Regional Parks manages six
public access trails in The Sea Ranch, a private community south of
Gualala. Trails start at Highway 1 parking areas and cross bluff-top
meadows and forests to rugged coastline. Cliffside staircases lead to
secluded beaches with sandy coves, tide pools, and rock formations. In
addition to hiking, these public access points offer opportunities for diving,
fishing, boating, and wildlife viewing.
The Sea Ranch public access trails (north to south):
- Bluff Top Trail - 3 miles one way - Runs along the headlands between Walk On Beach and Gualala Point Regional Park. Parallels the coastline, winding through windswept woods and fields dotted with wildflowers and passing oceanfront homes. Views of sea cliffs and hidden inlets and vantage points for birding and whale-watching.
- Walk on Beach Trail - .25 miles one way - Passes through a large Monterey cypress grove to a quarter-mile beach reached by a bluff-top staircase.
- Shell Beach Trail - .65 miles one way - Runs through pines and meadow to a wide, sandy
beach with sea rocks and tide pools. Small boats can be carried to the
ocean via a beach ramp.
- Stengel Beach Trail - .12 miles one way - Short path lined with cypress trees leads to a
wooden staircase and a small beach. Look for seasonal waterfalls on the
cliffs. Stengel has largest parking area of the public trails, with room
for a dozen cars.
Beach Trail - .27 miles one way – Weaves through pines and meadow to a sandy cove reached by stairs.
- Black Point Trail - .25 miles one way – Crosses the bluffs to a curving, quarter-mile
beach reached by a steep, wooden staircase. Known to surfers, this beach
is just north of Black Point, a cape that juts out about 250 yards from
Bluff Top Trail and Sea Ranch Coastal Access Trails
Highway 1, The Sea Ranch
This park is featured in the
Sonoma County Trails Challenge, which invites you to get out and get active by hiking five of 15 routes highlighted in the updated Trails Challenge guidebook. Submit a trails log when you finish all five hikes and get a free Trails Challenge gift!
Suggested trail: Bluff Top Trail or any combination of the Coastal Access Trails
Trail length: .24 to 6 miles round trip
Degree of Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Elevation Gain: 0 to 150 feet, depending on trail
- The Sea Ranch is a private oceanfront community south of Gualala. Six public trails lead to dramatic coastal views and isolated beaches.
- Five trails – Walk On, Black Point, Pebble Beach, Stengel Beach, and Shell Beach – cross meadows and forests to beaches reached by stairs or paths.
- One trail – Bluff Top Trail - follows the headlands from Walk On Beach Trail to Gualala Point Regional Park and is a great way to see the coastline’s unique geology.
- Parking lots located along 7 miles of Highway 1. Each has restrooms, no drinking water.
Trail Notes (one-way distances)
- Bluff Top Trail - 3 miles - – 3 miles – Start from Walk On Beach trailhead. Weave along the cliffs, around coves, through cypress groves and past beds of honeycombed sandstone.
- Walk on Beach Trail - .25 miles - Follow a cypress grove to a sandy beach. Connects to Bluff Top Trail.
- Shell Beach Trail - .65 miles - Walk through pines and meadow to a sandy beach with tide pools and sea stacks.
- Stengel Beach Trail - .12 miles - Pocket beach reached by a long, wooden staircase. Seasonal waterfall.
- Pebble Beach Trail - .27 miles - Small, black-sand cove with tide pools and driftwood. Reached by stairs.
- Black Point Trail - .25 miles - Cross a meadow to a curving, quarter-mile beach reached by cliff-side stairs.
- To reach the Bluff Top Trail from Walk On Beach Trail, park in the Walk On Beach lot at 40101 Highway 1 and follow the trail west for about .25 miles to the junction of Bluff Top Trail.
- Follow the Bluff Top Trail north to Gualala Point Regional Park. When you arrive at the park, take a break at Whale Watch Point or at the beautiful, wide beach and then return to Walk On Beach the way you came.
- This walk is 6 miles round trip and will take 2 to 4 hours depending on your pace. The length can be shortened by turning back any time before Gualala Point.
- From Jenner, drive north on Highway 1. The southernmost Sea Ranch Trail – Black Point Trail – is 29 miles from Jenner.
- Additional trails are located along next 7 miles of Highway 1, ending at Gualala Point Regional Park.
- Parking is free.