Shell Beach Coastal Access Trail
39200 Highway 1, The Sea Ranch, CA 95497
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 from Gualala Point Regional Park to Walk on Beach. See cypress groves, windswept meadows, and unique sandstone formations.
- Walk on Beach Trail
0.25 miles one way - Passes through a large Monterey cypress grove to a quarter-mile beach reached by a bluff-top staircase.
- Shell Beach Trail
0.65 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
0.12 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.
- Pebble Beach Trail
0.27 miles one way – Weaves through pines and meadow to a sandy cove reached by stairs.
- Black Point Trail
0.25 miles one way – Crosses the bluffs to a curving, quarter-mile beach reached by a steep staircase. This beach is just north of Black Point cape and popular with surfers.
Please stay on the marked public access trails as the other paths and roads within The Sea Ranch are privately owned. Campfires are not allowed on beach. RVs and trailers are not allowed in the parking lot.