We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“A bit tough to find but worth it...make sure you go at low tide...” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Schooner Gulch State Beach

Schooner Gulch State Beach
Stockton, CA
Level Contributor
22 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“A bit tough to find but worth it...make sure you go at low tide...”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 April 2014

Check the tide tables for low tide because apparently the "bolwing balls" are not visible during high tide. This was part 4 of our day trip to Point Arena...see my other reviews for more info about the area's attractions.

As other reviewers have said, you need to park facing south on Route 1. There are signs saying that so that is how we found the beach. It is a short hike to the beach. We did not see a ladder as another reviewer mentioned but there were a few muddy/wet spots on the trail that has pieces of wood to step on above the mud. And yes there was a small stream we needed to cross to get to the bowling balls. As a caution, the bowling balls were covered with sea moss which can be quite slippery when wet. I warned my daughter that if she fell and go hurt it would be tough to get her out of there.

We had limited time but this appeared to be a great place for further inspection. We saw lots of caves and nooks and crannies on our way to the bowling balls.

This beach was very secluded. Bring food and water if you plan to stay awhile.

There was a "outhouse" on the hill on the way down but the kids refused to even think about using it.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
5 Thank Thorn1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

30 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    16
    9
    4
    1
    0
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Visalia, California
Level Contributor
18 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“A hike down to Bowling Ball Beach”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 December 2013

We visited this beach just to see the Bowling Ball Beach with the bowling ball boulder formations on the beach. You have to park up on Highway 1 and then take a hike down to the beach area. Not easy to reach as the trail has been eroded and you have to climb down a make shift ladder (see pictures).
We got there a little too late after low tide and several of the rock "bowling balls" were covered up but still a great beach. Similar to the Boulder Beach in New Zealand. Never saw another person the entire time we were there. Highly recommended but not for the physically challenged.

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
15 Thank ronwao
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ventura, CA
Level Contributor
56 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“One of a kind”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 September 2013

What makes this place special is bowling ball beach. The beach is not visible from Hwy 1 and the sign is small and easy to miss. The small parking area on the side of Hwy 1 can only be accessed while driving south and it comes up quickly after a climbing left turn. If you hesitate to pull over you will have to drive some distance to find an area to turn around, drive north past the parking area to find another safe place to turn around and then try again.

Once there, you have to hike north along the bluff overlooking the beach to find a small wooden ladder. You climb down, cross a small brook, clamber over some large rocks and then walk north to find bowling ball beach. Make sure you check the tide tables before you go since this feature is only visible at low tides.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
6 Thank CA2rista
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Watsonville, CA
Level Contributor
211 reviews
97 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 148 helpful votes
“charming little beach”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 January 2013

Just a short walk from Highway 1 takes you to this little cove, and a short hike to the north gets you to famous Bowling Ball Beach. If you like to beach-wander, put this on your list.

Visited November 2012
Helpful?
3 Thank meade13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“You will have the beach to yourself”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 January 2013

Small little beach reachable after a short walk. The beach itself is not spectacular but is pretty, with a creek emptying into the ocean which divides the beach in two. The best thing about the beach, however, is that it appears to be ignored by most people. We did not see a single other person at the beach while we were there and the isolation made it very peaceful as we watched the waves crashing and whales spouting in the distance.

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank jsmjwong
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Schooner Gulch State Beach also viewed

Point Arena, Mendocino County
Point Arena, Mendocino County
 

Been to Schooner Gulch State Beach? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing