During our trip to Sea Ranch we took a day trip farther north to Mendocino County. For the longest time I’ve had a beach on my wishlist in that area but timing wasn’t right the last time we drove down. The beach is called Bowling Ball beach (a part of Schooner Gulch Beach) and is known for having extremely large sphere-shaped sandstone boulders (concretion) that line the beach and rock formation during low tide. Supposedly there is only one other beach in the world that has this phenomenon (in New Zealand).We got lucky enough during this trip to have low-tide coincide with when we were driving by.
The beach isn’t well marked so we had to do some guessing when it came to finding the trail head using google maps. The hike down was fairly easy and flat with some stairs and scrambling over rocks at the end. It took some careful navigation to cross the small stream with Søren(4 years), but Aiden(12 years) did fine. We went when the tide was at it’s lowest, -0.3ft, but I’d recommend anything under 1ft. If you go at high tide, you won’t be able to see or access the beach. You can check the tide tables for Bowling Ball Beach here.
This area is also known for having bioluminescent plankton, but I wasn’t there at night to see for myself. We found lots of sea-life among the tidepools, and osprey circled overhead. The boys found quite a few interesting shells and rocks as well. I’d love to visit when the lower tide lines up with a sunset, it would make for some beautiful photos.
As always, aerial photos by my husband, Steve Doll.
Bowling Ball Beach
Point Arena, California 95468