46501 Old State Highway
Community arts organization with exhibits, workshops, classes
Open weekdays 9 AM - 4 PM
Weekends Noon to 4 PM
Gualala Arts Center
Mile Marker 55.66, Highway 1
The Sea Ranch, CA
Open to the public daily from sunrise to sunset
Artist and architectural designer James Hubbell used local natural materials and the skill of local craftsmen to create this distinctive chapel
The Sea Ranch Chapel
10438 Highway 1
Guided interpretive tours for hiking or kayaking
Kayak the Jenner Estuary
Guerneville based bicycle rentals
Free delivery within 15 miles
Ride along the Russian River
River Riders Bicycle Rentals
Sonoma County's Gualala Regional Park offers a wide range of activities from kayaking and fishing in the Gualala River Estuary to whale watching and beach combing along the long sandy beach.
The small Visitor Center is staffed by volunteers and open on weekends during the summer. Visitors enjoy a variety of exhibits about the history of the area. The displays provide information about early California history, Native Americans who lived in the area, and the logging industry. A new glass wind-wall has been erected around the Visitor Center's patio so that guests can enjoy the view without being buffeted by the strong winds.
The gentle flow of the Gualala River make it a wonderful place to enjoy paddle sports. A short distance upstream the river passes through majestic redwood forests. Along the shore paddlers watch for fox, squirrels, deer, and eagles, and in the water, river otters, fish, and ducks. It is a great adventure for families with children.
Self-guided rentals of tandem and single kayaks and canoes for 2-hour, half day, or full day rates.
The ceremonial Serge Posts standing in the meadow at Gualala Point Regional Park were crafted by visiting Russian wood carvers. The Russian artists created the poles during the Days of Sakha Cultural Festival in June of 2014. A delegation from Yakutsk in eastern Russian attended the festival to pay tribute to their heritage in the region.
The poles were created from 40-foot long Douglas fir and dedicated on the summer solstice.
The Days of Sakha Cultural Festival was held in June 2014 held at the Gualala Arts Center and other locations along the coast in partnership with Fort Ross State Historic Park, Fort Ross Conservancy, and Sonoma County Regional Parks. Many activities took place at Gualala Point Regional park. Events strengthen the bond of friendship between the community and the Yakut people of the Sakha Republic in the Russian Federation. The festival includes art displays, theatrical performances, dance, music, and other cultural activities.
Gualala Arts - Sakha Cultural Festival
The Gualala Bluff Top Trail begins in the park and follows the coast south for 3 miles through The Sea Ranch to Walk on Beach. There a short lateral trail leads out to Highway 1 and a small parking lot. The Bluff Trail and the Walk on Beach Trail are both part of the public access paths in Sea Ranch. Walkers should, of course, respect private property rights and remain on the trails. The beach is open to the public.
Tide pools abound along the Sea Ranch coast. The most accessible are found at Stengel Beach and Walk on Beach. Visitors who arrive at low tide are likely to see an abundance of colorful sea anemones, sea stars, crabs, and mussels.
Caution: Before setting out, check with rangers or lifeguards that conditions are safe for your planned activities.
Harbor seals are common along the north Sonoma County coast. Watch for them to poke their white-whiskered heads out of the water or lounging on the beach or rocks. Sea Lions prowl the waters along the coast, only occasionally stopping at Sea Ranch. More often they are seen to the north at Barking Rocks. Whales are common along the waters close to shore during their spring migrations when mother whales want to keep their young close to shore. Bluff Top Trail is a favorite place to watch for the whales.
Birders enjoy watching a wide range of shorebirds along the rocky points and sandy beaches at Sea Ranch. Among the birds that have been spotted along the coast are Brown Pelican, Brant Goose, Kingfisher, Heerman's Gull, Whimbrel, Willet, Killdeer, and Sandpiper.
Diving is possible at all five of the beaches at The Sea Ranch with public access, but the distance from the parking lot to the beaches deters some SCUBA divers. Free diving for red abalone at the beaches is usually successful. Divers wisely avoid days with big surf. Shell Beach and Stengel Beach are two of the favorites for free divers.
Anglers have good success fishing from the rocks along the northern Sonoma County coast. As always, use great caution and keep at constant watch for sleeper waves. Catches often include cabezon, rock fish, eels, and halibut. Among the popular baits used here are abalone guts, shrimp, mussels, and anchovies.
Black Point Beach attracts a number of surfers to its reliable break. Waves are known to be consistently well-shaped, especially when the swells arrive from southwest. Black Point is probably best for intermediate level surfers. Sharks are always a concern.
Gualala Point Beach
When the winds are from the east and groundswells from the southwest, conditions at the mouth of the Gualala River sometimes generate some good waves. Both right and left breaks offer plenty of excitement. Surfers are cautious of rocks, sharks, and rip currents.
California State Parks and Recreation cautions that "large surf, cold water temperatures, backwash, sudden drop-offs, pounding shorebreak, and dangerous rip currents can turn what seem like safe activities such as playing near the surf line, wading, or climbing on rock outcroppings, deadly." Learn more about ocean safety at CA State Parks: Ocean Safety