The Gualala River finally opened late this morning and it was an awesome sight!

We had nearly 3 and 3/4 inches of rain yesterday and that was enough to finally open the Gualala River. The river has been closed to the ocean all summer, fall and the first month of winter by a massive sandbar. This is the latest I know of for the river to open. A friend called - thank you, Bob! - and said the river was cresting the sandbar at 10:30 this morning. When Rick and I arrived at the Gualala Bluff Trail an hour or so later the river had opened. And what a sight it was!

 The picture below is our first look at the newly opened river. We entered the Gualala Bluff Trail by the Shoreline Restaurant and the Breakers Inn. Yes, it was raining hard and we got soaked!

 Halfway down the trail we got a better look at the opening, which is south of its usual opening.

We watched as large tree trunks were swept into the sea. The turbulence where the river hits the ocean was amazing to see and hear. Steelhead juveniles were making their first trip into the Pacific Ocean. They had been trapped in luxury in the Gualala River.

Until this morning this was a lagoon. Now it's an estuary. It was so thrilling to watch the river greet the sea.

7 thoughts on “The Gualala River finally opened late this morning and it was an awesome sight!

  1. Robert Scarola

    Hi Jeanne--

    Thanks so much for sharing these pics! We saw that the river was near breaking though on Thursday. But it took the last storm. So cool!


    Robert & Nancy Scarola

  2. Did you see the seagulls surfing out to the breakers on the river's current? They would flap out in a group, ride the river to where the waves in the ocean crash, fly straight up and head back to the sandbar, while the next group dove in. It was hilarious to watch. It didn't look like they were fishing or anything either, just having a ball.

  3. Boy, Robert we've sure had tons of rain, enough to open the river three times over. Maureen, I DID see those surfing gulls. I got a few pics but they really don't convey what we both got to see.

    I learned that since the river opened at high tide it drained much lower than normal. Some features of the lagoon/estuary were seen for the time be river watchers!

  4. Irene's video is really great!
    That must have really been a sight to behold. I can't believe that the river had been on it's own for so many months. Ahhhh! Some day...SOME day! (PS, at 6'5" and 260, I'd be a heck of a leprechaun at the end of that rainbow!) Thank you all that I've had the pleasure to meet or at least get to know...I'm there in spirit, and I thank you for allowing that to happen!

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