Gualala Point Regional Park

42401 Coast Highway 1, Gualala

  • Accessible areas
  • Beaches
  • Biking
  • Birding
  • Camping
  • Fishing
  • Hiking/Walking Trails
  • Kayaking/Canoeing
  • Picnic Facilities

Safety Alert: Watch out for sleeper waves which are common along the north coast.

Hours: The park opens at 6:00 a.m. in summer and closes at sunset. The park opens at 8:00 a.m. in winter.

Parking: $7 per vehicle for day use. $1 per person (vehicles with 10 or more people)

Dogs: Permitted on leash no longer than 6' in length. License required.

Accessibility: Paved, wheelchair accessible trails. Accessible family camping area.

Ranger Phone: (707) 785-2377

Safety Alert: Watch out for sleeper waves which are common along the north coast.

The 195-acre park has open meadows mixed with coastal forest. The park contains a campground, trail system, coastal vistas, and sandy beaches. The park is located adjacent to the Gualala River, which offers limited seasonal fishing. Please check current regulations.

The day use area of the park has a Visitors Center, picnic tables (some with BBQ's) and restrooms with flush toilets.

Gualala Point Park is popular with day hikers, picnickers and also offers a beautiful setting for small weddings.

The Visitors Center is hosted by volunteers and has outstanding displays of early California History, information regarding Native Americans, and the turn of the century logging industry. Hiking trails from the campground will take you through the 195-acre park.

Gualala Point Regional Park Trails

Length:2.9 miles

Gualala Point Regional Park offers 2.9 miles of coastal trail along bluffs, through meadows, and above the Gualala River. Gualala Point Beach is easily reached via a dirt trail or ADA accessible paved path, and in general the trails throughout the park are relatively flat. The campground located on the eastern side of California State Route 1 is connected to the day use part of the park via a short trail through coastal forest. Gualala Point Regional Park may be connected to either Salal or Walk On Beach access trails via the Bluff Top Trail. The distance from Gualala Point to Walk on Beach via the Bluff Top Trail is 3 miles.

Accessible family camping area

The campground is situated among the majestic redwood trees and is adjacent to the Gualala River.

Gualala Point Park offers individual campsites, walk-to sites and a hiker/bicycle site.

The campground has a restroom with flush toilets, electrical outlets and one coin operated shower ($1.50 for 5 minutes). There is also a dump station. Please note: there are no RV hook-ups.

Detailed camping and reservation information >

Trails Challenge

View larger image of Gualala Trails Challenge MapGualala Point Regional Park
42401 Highway 1, Gualala

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 new Trails Challenge PDF filePDF fileguidebook. Submit a trails log when you finish all five hikes and win a free water bottle! 

Suggested trail loop:  Whale Watch Point
Loop length: 2 miles
Degree of difficulty: Easy/Moderate
Elevation Gain: Flat

 Trail symbols for walk, hike, run, dogs on leash, cyclists, and equestrians

Park Notes

  • Gualala Point is an oceanfront park bordering Mendocino County where the Gualala River meets the sea. It’s just south of the town of Gualala (pronounced wa-LA-la) and immediately north of The Sea Ranch.
  • This 200-acre park has a long, wide beach with interesting driftwood and access to the river estuary. Bluff top trails lead from a parking lot visitor center to the beach and around Whale Watch Point, a windswept promontory. The park also has a small campground tucked into the redwoods east of Highway 1.

Trail Notes:

  • The trail from the visitor center to the beach is paved and fully accessible. Grass and dirt paths branch off the main trail to border the bluffs and loop past Whale Watch Point, where you can sit and enjoy the view. A separate trail runs south and east from the visitor center and follows the river bank to the campground.

Trail Directions

  • From the visitor center, start off on the paved path heading north toward the beach. The trail curves across a meadow and through a cypress forest before reaching a fork in the trail that leads to the beach.
  • To extend your hike by walking on the beach, take the paved path to the right. To continue walking on the bluffs, take the paved path to the left where you’ll quickly reach a restroom.
  • Veer right at the restroom and follow a grass path south along the bluffs. Walk through a cypress tree tunnel to a trail junction where you will keep to the right and follow the trail around Whale Watch Point.
  • Continue south, again weaving through a cypress grove and along the headlands to the northern edge of The Sea Ranch. Bear left and head inland to follow the southern edge of the meadow as you return to the visitor center.
  • At the visitor center, you can add 2 miles to your hike by taking Gualala River Trail to the campground and back. Take the park road southeast past a picnic area where the trail leaves the road. You’ll walk across a meadow, following the course of the river, and pass under the highway and through a distinctive forest of gnarled bay laurel to reach the campground. Return the same way.

Driving Directions

  • Heading north on Highway 1, the park entrance is 7.6 miles north of The Sea Ranch Lodge.
  • The entrance is clearly marked on your right and is just south of the town of Gualala and the Gualala River Bridge. After you pull into the park, drive .06 miles to the visitor center parking lot. Parking $7 or free for Regional Parks members.

Gualala Regional Park serge 470The ceremonial posts in the meadow at Gualala Point Regional Park were created by visiting wood carvers from the Sakha Republic in far northeastern Russia. The intricately designed poles are known as serge (pronounced sayrgay) and were carved at the park during the Days of Sakha Cultural Festival in June of 2014.

The Festival brought a delegation from Yakutsk, the Sakha capital, to the Sonoma Coast to pay tribute to their heritage in the area. (Sakha people first arrived in Sonoma County in the early 19th Century as part of the Russian settlement of Fort Ross.) The delegation included a group of craftsmen who spent two weeks creating the serges from a 40-foot Douglas fir. The serges were dedicated on the summer solstice with traditional Sakha blessings, dancing, and shamanic rituals. They are now a permanent part of the park’s entrance. In Sakha tradition, serges are hitching posts placed near homes, and their designs symbolize the human desire for survival.

The Sakha Cultural Festival was presented as a partnership among the Gualala Center for the Arts, Fort Ross State Historic Park and Fort Ross Conservancy and Sonoma County Regional Parks. The Sakha delegation was comprised of more than 40 visitors hosted at various locations along the Sonoma/Mendocino coast.

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Safety Alert!

Watch out for sleeper waves which are common along the north coast.

PDF filePark Map 2.9 MB (PDF)
PDF fileCampground Map 806 kB (PDF)

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