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No trail along coast — trail map shows a continuous trail north to lighthouse from middle section (we came from cafe) but barbed wire with “no trespassing” signs. ? Beautiful location but middle section of trail lightly marked and confusing along coast.

Not a hike; a lovely walk, with plenty of joggers too. Dirt path offshoots from the paved trail for those who want to get out on the rocks (carefully, of course). Lots of signage describing the history and plant life. Great place to catch a sunset.

Love this Beach! Best during a minus ride, but beautiful any time. Not steep, but scrambling is required.

Great hike in the woods viewing some beautiful redwoods. Trail was hard to find at some points and not marked the best, but still loved it. A little steep at the beginning, but not bad. Rest was flat easy terrain.

Great views and nice trail!

Trail/Time of Year: Fern Canyon to Falls Loop during February 2018 and July 2018

Parking: Pay for parking (less than $10). Parking at the trailhead is very competitive every time we go. Many people walk in from further parking options (.25-.5 miles).

Terrain: Flat near the beginning. Entire trail is shaded. Most of the trail fits three people side-by-side comfortably. Approaching the waterfall the trail does thin and you will have to practice trail sharing etiquette. We seem to run into some mud at the start no matter what time of year we go. Short up and down changes in elevation as you near the waterfall. Left fork has maybe 3 short sets of stairs and is .7 miles. Right fork is 1.6 miles (we haven’t taken the right fork yet).

Child friendly: We believe so – although we take our kids hiking often and they know what to expect. We took our 3, 5, and 9-year-old and all walked the entire trail with some breaks. There was some complaining near the end and they fell asleep 5 minutes later on the drive home. No steep cliffs and the water is very shallow - do not let kids play at the top of the waterfall where it is slippery and a dangerous fall. Bring lots of waters and snacks and ensure the kids do not litter.

Modern Conveniences: Benches near mid-trail with bike rack. Bathroom at start of trail.

Humidity/Temperature: Temperate. Mid 50s during winter. Low 60s to 70s during other months.

Water Consumption: Bring lots of water. The trail isn’t dry or hot but it is long. If you have LifeStraw or similar product you will have constant access to water.

Trail Traffic: We typically run into people every 20-30 minutes depending on the day of the week. Everyone is very friendly and all just seem happy to be enjoying nature. You will typically find pairs or small groups of people at the waterfall. People tend to stop and eat here.

Cleanliness/maintenance: Occasional napkin on the side of the trail. We have never seen plastic bottles or cans which always gives us hope that people are decent. We have seen cigarette butts at the waterfall. If you are a smoker, wait until you leave the park to smoke. Trail is well-maintained by park staff.

Wildlife: Birds. Frogs. Lizards. We found one Gartner snake out of three separate hikes. Found a banana slug, lots of butterflies, mosquitoes, etc. Bring bug spray.

Plantlife: They call this trail Fern Canyon for a reason. Wild raspberry plants along the first half of the trail. Remember that the wildlife depends on these for food. Also remember that lots of berries + no toilets = unpleasant hike. TONS of mushrooms of several types during the rainy months – on the trail, trees, stumps, etc. Very few mushrooms during the drier months.

Landmarks: Russian Gulch Waterfall which is 36ft tall and nearly as wide. We have noticed that the waterfall has a stronger flow during the rainy season but is always flowing regardless of season. Small pool of water at base of waterfall that is too shallow to swim. Russian Gulch creek which runs along the entire trail. Trees growing out of stumps of other trees. Fallen redwoods that you can walk across (lead nowhere and not required).

I highly recommend this trip! I spent several hours here, there was so much to see and enjoy! The bathrooms were very nice and clean, the gift shop was adorable and the cafe has great options, including vegan options! There is also a nursery/garden shop attached. The trails through the gardens were beautiful! There were lots of birds and bees and butterflies all around, it was lovely. Everything was in bloom and it smelled amazing! The trails were so peaceful. Eventually you make your way to the ocean cliffs and wow, what a view! I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. Thank you!!!

2 months ago

More meditation than a hike... Wild flowers of every color, seals on the rocks, multiple deer, turkey vultures, and almost no humans...

Short and chill... but don’t booze up here... it can be dangerous if you are careless

Great little hike. I didn't feel it was quite moderate and I'm not a super fit person so that was a pleasant suprise because I was a little hesitant. took us an hour and 50 minutes to complete. we went early so not any traffic on the way but after leaving the fall more people were coming so I recommend an early hike. Such a beautiful trail and scenery. There had been a bear sighting only 1 month prior so I was freaked out a bit because of the posted signs but we were prepared.

stairs washed out for glass beach, but it has beautiful views

2 months ago

Great hike!

Breathtaking views at every turn. We saw a family of otters swimming and taking shelter in a cave. Go, just go!


very pretty, cliffhouse was really cool!

road biking
3 months ago

good for endurance biking

1. Go on a Low tide
2. There are two Trails take the right one. This will take you down using stairs. Walk for 0.5 miles and you can see bowling balls.
3. It is an easy trail, the key is to take the correct trail i.e. right one

This is the picture of the trail entrance (don't take the one in the left)

P.S. If you are coming from North google maps will point you a place where it has sign parking 0.3 miles to the south. Park your car after going 0.3 miles and take the right trail.

Beautiful morning walk, with access from cliff to beach area. Directly across from Mendocino town for lunch.

Loved going on this hike growing up, now my kids love it! Careful when climbing logs! My husband broke his arm.

Beautiful sights! Easy hike.

This trail is awesome! Quick, easy, and beautiful along the way. Don't be scared like the previous commentor lol

4 months ago

Beautiful scenery but beware! Parts of trail are inches from the drop off. Russian Gulch has probably not received the memo saying that trails need to be away from the edge of ocean bluffs. Dangerous and as real as tomorrow's headlines.

on Waterfall Loop Trail

4 months ago

Loop is better taken in clockwise direction. Wear sturdy shoes and hiking pole(s) for added stability. Trail is single track, narrow, high on the canyon wall. Not treacherous but not for very young kids imo. Gorgeous scenery.

5 months ago

Excellent short hike with many redwoods.

Nice trail

Found a small waterfall by the beach.

6 months ago

Not sure but recording on this trail was not running accurate. Entrance to trail appears to be where asphalt ends. Because it rained night before trail was spongey and slippery in spots. Hiking pole(s) would have helped today. Trail is wide and a downhill most of the was to the falls. After falls we returned the way we came. The falls after the rain was roaring and well worth the trip. The stairs down to the falls can be tricky so watch the kids, dogs and yourself

Blufftop area that has a number of trails so you can explore a bit of the area. Other than the beautiful coastline, the sinkhole is definitely worth the stop. It's connected to the ocean and the resulting effects to the sinkhole are very mesmerising.

on Waterfall Loop Trail

7 months ago

For seventy years, this was a nice trail on a beautiful day in February. Easy.

8 months ago

really pretty waterfall at the half way point in the fern canyon trail. such a nice pit stop

Gorgeous hike! Just be careful about ticks! I got one and my dog got three!

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