Gualala, California

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For the municipality in Honduras, see Gualala, Honduras.
Unincorporated community
Gualala is located in California
Location in California
Coordinates: 38°45′57″N 123°31′41″W / 38.76583°N 123.52806°W / 38.76583; -123.52806Coordinates: 38°45′57″N 123°31′41″W / 38.76583°N 123.52806°W / 38.76583; -123.52806
Country United States
State California
County Mendocino
Elevation [1] 49 ft (15 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 2,093
Time zone Pacific (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP code 95445
Area code(s) 707
FIPS code 06-31428
GNIS feature ID 224701

Gualala (formerly, Guadala, Walhalla, and Wallala)[2] is an unincorporated community in Mendocino County in the U.S. state of California.[1] It is located north of The Sea Ranch, and is at an elevation of 49 feet (15 m).[1] It is located on the Pacific coast at the mouth of the Gualala River, on State Route 1. It serves as a commercial center for the surrounding area. Gualala was once a logging town, but tourism is now its central economic activity.

According to the 2010 United States Census, 2,093 people reside in Gualala.[citation needed]


In the state legislature, Gualala is in the 2nd Senate District and in the 1st Assembly District.

Federally, Gualala is in California's 2nd congressional district, represented by Democrat Jared Huffman.[3]


"Gualala" was the name given to the site of today's Gualala by the Pomo indigneous people. The name comes from ah kha wa la lee.[4] The literal translation is "coming down water place", or less literally, "riverside," or "where the river meets the sea."[5]

Gualala is located on the Rancho German Mexican land grant received by Ernest Rufus in 1846. The American settlement of Gualala was first established by the construction of a hotel, saloon and a lumber mill in the 1860s. The first post office opened in 1862.[2] Logging the local redwood trees became especially profitable after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, when huge amounts of lumber were needed to rebuild the city.

Marine protected area[edit]

The Del Mar Landing State Marine Reserve lies onshore, about two miles south of Gualala. Like an underwater park, this marine protected area helps conserve ocean wildlife and marine ecosystems.


Elementary school students are educated at Horicon School in Annapolis, Sonoma County, or Arena Union Elementary in Point Arena. High school students are educated at Point Arena High School.


  1. ^ a b c U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Gualala
  2. ^ a b Durham, David L. (1998). California's Geographic Names: A Gazetteer of Historic and Modern Names of the State. Clovis, Calif.: Word Dancer Press. p. 70. ISBN 1-884995-14-4. 
  3. ^ "California's 2nd Congressional District - Representatives & District Map". Civic Impulse, LLC. Retrieved March 1, 2013. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ Kroeber, Alfred L. (1916), "California place names of Indian origin", University of California Publications in American Archaeology and Ethnology 12 (2): 31–69 .

External links[edit]