Explore the best trails near Mendocino with detailed reviews, photos, trail maps, and driving directions curated by hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.
I hiked the south trail in two parts because I am staying near the middle.
The east end is in deep redwoods and Sitka spruce and is quite steep near the campground at the end of the paved park access road.
The west end goes under Highway 1 and out to the headlands which is beautiful at sunset. Again, while the center portion of the trail follows the ridge above Russian Gulch but descends at both ends to sea level. Relative to the entire length of the trail only short portions near the ends are steep.
The lush forest is the most significant feature of the trail with the exception of the coastal views at the west end.
End to end the South Trail is about 1 1/2 miles.
Beautiful trail. We took the Fern Canyon trail (blue markers) to the waterfall and back (4.4 miles). The map shows it to be 5.4 miles but the gate was open and we were able to park in the lot near campsite #30 which took about a mile RT off the hike. We were limited on time otherwise we would have done the falls loop trail (1.6 miles) (red markers). We loved this area and will be coming back when we have more time and try the North Trail and the East trail. Parts of the trail are pretty muddy near the start so be prepared for that. Beautiful Russian Gulch Creek running near the trail most of the way which offered a nice sound along the way. Most of the hike is shaded which keeps it pretty cool. The last .7 miles up to the waterfall is mostly uphill but it's not bad and there's plenty to look at to keep your mind off it- and plus that means downhill all the way back:) Loved the fallen trees that we had to climb over/under and the waterfall is beautiful even though it's August and not at its fullest. There are a couple of benches and a bridge at the falls which is a great place for lunch. The stairs take you up to the top of the falls and connects to the East Trail and Falls Loop trail. The trails are easy to identify by color - match it up to the map that they have at the entry gate. There is an $8 parking fee for the State Park which can be used all day at any State Park and there are a few in the area so just pay once and go see as many as you can in one day:) Will definitely be coming back!
Absolutely beautiful! So many beautiful spots and a couple beach access trails. 100% recommend this trail it's so pretty! Everywhere you look there is an amazing view. If you visit Mendocino you should definitely visit this trail and even if you only walk a little part of the trail it is a must do!
We did this on Xmas day and it was perfect. We took the North Trail because we wanted a little bit of exercise. It's longer and more elevation gain but still pretty gentle. The switchbacks at the beginning are a nice way to get the heart rate up a little bit. Make sure you stop and admire the sun rays poking thru the trees, illuminating all the green around you -- it's beautiful. We got to the waterfall in about 2.75 hours and had lunch there. The walk back was flat and easy -- total trip 8.2 miles and 3.5 hours.