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  • Writer's pictureErinCook

Cooks Beach

Sunset from Cooks Beach overlook


From Highway One, turn onto road CR-526. This small county-maintained road connects to the highway at each end, so if you miss it the first time, don't worry; prepare to take the next turn!

Here is a map of me walking the county road from end to end and you can see where Cooks Beach is.

Watch for the dip in the road; this is where the entrance to the beach is, but there is no designated parking area, so you will need to pull over and park as far off the road as you can get- you will often see cars lining both sides of the road.


At the 'entrance,' you will see two trails. One trail leads to a bench at the top of the bluff where you can sit and enjoy the view (ideal sunset-watching spot!), and the other trail veers down a moderately steep hill that will take you down to the beach.

There are steps built into the trail most of the way, and it meets up with concrete stairs leading down to the beach at the bottom. The way down is easy; the way up is a bit more challenging, but the trail is wide enough to step aside if you need to take a break or catch your breath.

Once out onto the beach, it's hard not to be in awe! The water rushing out from the waterfall met up with water rushing out from the culvert, and it was all running so beautifully over the rocks that littered the beach.

It looks very different here after a storm like today - the king tides have tossed around the many huge pieces of wood and large boulders, and the beach seems almost messy. It is much sandier in the summer and more area to walk around.

This beach is a local favorite due to its location and easy access. A leash law is in effect, but we often see off-leash dogs enjoying their playtime with their owners. If you allow your dog to run loose, please be courteous to others at the beach who may not be comfortable with your dog approaching them.


Ebbtide is a beautiful vacation home at the end of a cul-de-sac, perched on the bluff above Cooks Beach in Gualala. This home is NOT pet-friendly, but for the interest of my blog, Honey accompanied me on the walk and is in some of the pictures.

My husband and I were standing in the Ebbtide driveway and noticed a large waterfall rushing onto Cooks Beach, visible from where we stood. We have gotten tons of rain over the last week, and the beach is always fun to see after a storm, so we decided to head down and check it out.

Leaving the house, we walked down the road toward the stop sign, where the trail to the beach began. We walked beside the guard rail parallel to the highway for a short distance until we reached the next road, CR-526.

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