Bowling Ball Beach Sunset

Bowling Ball Beach Sunset

This is a fun place, but a little hard to get to. It is affectionally known as Bowling Ball Beach and if you look at the pictures you can tell why. The beach features this rocky formation that includes about 200 or so of these almost perfect, spherical rocks. They look like some giant just left them. Quite odd.

The place is more formally known “Schooner Gulch State beach”, a beach in Mendocino County along the Northern California coast, just a few miles south of Point Arena.
The bowling balls are underwater during high tide, so you need to time your visit using the tide tables else you will not even see them.

I wanted to visit here for a sunset, adding an additional constraint to the timing of the trip.

Well, it all came together this last weekend, low tide at 6:20pm and sunset at 8:10pm, close enough.

The beach is hard to get to. There is a trail that leads down from a carpark along Hwy 1, but the final part of the trail was damaged a few years ago in a landslide which demolished the wooden ladder that took you down the final 10 feet (3 meters). Today you need to “abseil” down that last bit using a steel cable that dangles down the cliff side. Then, when on the beach, you need to walk about half a mile to get there. I spent a few hours shooting these strange rocks and the surrounding features along the cliffs, heading back after the sun had set.

That strange red glow in the sky is caused by smoke particles, from wild fires that have devastated large chunks of Northern California. During the day it just looks a bit hazy, but at sunset, you can really see it.

Bowling Ball Beach


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