Coastal Trail Guide

Mendocino Land Trust

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Gualala Bluff Trail

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The Gualala Bluff Trail is a beautiful trail created and maintained by volunteers and the Redwood Coast Land Conservancy (RCLC). It offers a wonderful view of the Gualala River Estuary, Gualala Point Park, and the Pacific Ocean. The trail is nicely landscaped, with native plants bordering the trail edge and benches where visitors can sit and admire the view. The trail is just a few minutes’ walk from downtown Gualala and can be accessed at the Surf Motel driveway or between the Breakers Inn and Sandbar Restaurant. The trail travels behind three inns and other commercial buildings above the Gualala River. Parts of it are relatively flat and other parts slightly more challenging.


This is an excellent place to view wildlife, including passing whales and river otters that haul out on the beach or can be seen in the Gualala River. There are many seabirds as well, such as pelicans, gulls, and cormorants.  Watching the Gualala River break through the sandbar at its mouth after the first winter rains is a spectacular sight. Winter wave watching is popular, as is spring wildflower viewing.  For more information, please visit the RCLC webpage at

Gualala Bluff Trail trail map

Click or tap to view the full-size map.

There are two ways to access the trail from the town of Gualala, listed here from north to south: (1) from the Surf Motel driveway at the monument sign, (2) at the Breakers Inn/Sandbar Restaurant. 

Trail Latitude (X): 38.768

Trail Longitude (Y): -123.53

Mapping: See Trail Map above.

View vicinity on Google Maps →

Highway One Mile Marker (north end): 0.7

Highway One Mile Marker (south end): 0.6

Trail Length: 0.4 miles