About Mattole Road Beaches in Petrolia, California
There are many unnamed beaches along the remote Mattole Road near the town of Petrolia in Humboldt County. These beaches are seldom visited. Access to them isn’t obvious but where there’s a will there’s a way.
A large ranch owned by the Russ Ranch and Timber Company has put up signs and fences around their property at the north end of Mattole Road so there is no beach access up there. However, the southern portion has several access points for the eager beachcomber.
The southernmost access at McNutt Gulch has a trail that begins at a pullout on the hill right before the road hits the coast. This beach has a large rock arch at Mussel Rock.
The northernmost access is at a black sand beach next to a steel bridge close to Steamboat Rock which looks like a ship from the shore. In between there are various pull-out spots where you can find a way to the shore, the best-known is probably the beach at Devil’s Gate.
Getting to the Mattole shoreline is the challenge. It’s a two hour plus drive on a twisty narrow paved road (Mattole Road) from Highway 101 in Garberville. When heading west on Mattole Road the road splits and the left road (Lighthouse Road) goes SW to the campground at Mattole Beach. The main road goes through Petrolia before continuing north up the coast.
It’s nearly a continuous beach from where Mattole Road hits the shore to where it turns inland at the Old Cape Mendocino Lighthouse site. This entire stretch is nearly seven miles long. The historic lighthouse has been relocated to Mal Combs Park in Shelter Cove. Mattole Road continues north to Ferndale near Eureka to make a super scenic loop from Hwy 101.
- 21797 Mattole Rd
Petrolia, CA 95558
- Other Names
- Petrolia Beach, Seven Mile Beach
- Pet Details
- Dogs allowed
- Free shoulder parking
- Beachcombing, Photography, Beach Walking, Beach Exploration
- Driftwood, Rock Arch, Sea Stacks, No Facilities
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