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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
Map of Mattole Road Beaches
Ferndale, US
6:40 am, May 28, 2024
temperature icon 53°F
L: 50° H: 57°
Feels like 51.96 °F broken clouds
Wind gusts: 6 m/s
UV Index: 0.2
Precipitation: 0 inch
Visibility: 10 km
Sunrise: 5:51 am
Sunset: 8:38 pm
Humidity 92 %
Pressure1020 mb
Wind 6 m/s

Nearby Beaches

Cape Mendocino Beach

3.2 miles away

Cape Mendocino is the westernmost point in Humboldt County and the entire state of California. There is a huge...

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Mattole River Beach

6.1 miles away

Mattole Beach is at the sandy mouth of the Mattole River at the north end of King Range National...

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Nearby Attractions

Nearby Lodging


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