After a steep hike though a luscious, fern-populated forest, a narrow trail opens up to the isolated Carruthers Cove. Despite its name, Carruthers Cove is not much of a cove at all because it lacks any narrow entrance or shelter from the ocean. The name likely derives from the large boulders and cliffs that border the northern and southern edges of the beach, or perhaps many years ago there was a cove here. The name Carruthers is actually the result of a misspelling of Crothers. J.H. Crothers was a newspaper publisher in Eureka who owned a vacation home on the hill over looking the beach.
Regardless of the name, Carruthers Cove has sandy banks dotted with patches of pretty pebbles. Large pieces of driftwood proved natural benches along the beach, and the massive boulders on the southern end sport some rock climbing routes.
The trailhead for this hike is marked by a small turnout with a wooden sign set back into the trees along Coastal Drive Road. Getting down to Carruthers Cove requires a 1.4-mile round-trip hike along a thickly forested trail. Though the trail is short, on the return journey visitors ascend 500 feet in 0.7 miles, making it a strenuous hike. Because of the steep hike, this cove typically sees less visitors than most other beaches in the area. For nearby beaches with easier access, consider Gold Bluffs Beach or Lagoon Creek Beach.