Gualala Bluff Trail

This scenic half-mile trail overlooks the Gualala River estuary and is popular with locals and tourists as a quick access to viewing the river, sand bar, and ocean beyond.

You might see harbor seals that frequently haul out near the mouth of the river. Pelicans and river otters are visitors as well as whales out to sea during migration seasons. More recently, bald eagles have made their home nearby.

The trail includes landscaping, a footbridge over a creek, stairs, view benches, and a curved overlook of the estuary. The trail meanders behind the Breakers Inn, Surf Market, Surf Motel and shops and eateries of downtown Gualala, offering a pleasant stroll away from traffic. Along the way, there are numerous places to take in the views or watch for wildlife.

The Gualala Bluff Trail offers dramatic views of the Gualala River after significant rainfall. The river pushes out the sandbar at the mouth of the lagoon to flow into the sea. This is a bar-built estuary, which closes and opens depending on the river’s flow.

Please note, there is no trailhead parking. This trail does not provide access to the river from the bluff edge – those wishing to cross the river to the sandy point must enter at Gualala Point Regional Park just south of the Gualala River Bridge.

Gualala Bluff Trail


The Gualala Bluff trail was created thanks to the hard work and amazing volunteers of the Redwood Coast Land Conservancy headed up by husband and wife team Bob Rutemoeller and Mary Sue Ittner.

Know Before You Go

Doggie bag dispenser and benches are provided.  There are no bathrooms or garbage cans provided.  There is no trailhead parking and there is no access to the river from the bluff edge.

Gualala river breaking through


The Gualala Bluff Trail is a photographer’s delight due to the open vistas and long views of water with wildlife.

Property Map

To get to Gualala Bluff Trail…

Photo credits, from top of page: RCLC Archive. Ethan Applegarth, Mary Sue Ittner…
Gallery photo credits: Mary Sue Ittner, Ethan Applegarth,  Bluff Trail volunteers