On the Mendocino coast, the air smells of salt, and the crashing waves create a continuous resonance. The tall bluffs at this spot north of San Francisco resemble the rugged shores of the east coast, but with an unmistakable California flair. Two miles north of Mendocino, Russian Gulch State Park’s collapsed sea cave cuts 200 feet into the heavily forested Russian Gulch Creek Canyon, a headland that features the Devil's Punch Bowl (a large, collapsed sea cave with churning water), and a beach that offers swimming, tide pool exploring, skin diving and rock fishing. Inland, there is a 36-foot high waterfall. Hikers enjoy miles of hiking trails. The park also has a paved three-mile bicycle trail. Devil’s Punchbowl formed when pounding waves forged an inland tunnel and left a hole 100 feet across and 60 feet deep. At high tide, boiling waves crash around the cave’s interior, producing a reverberant echo. The photogenic Frederick W. Panhorst Bridge rises gracefully 100 feet from the bottom of the gulch. The park has nearly a mile and a half of ocean frontage; its craggy beauty rivals any point along California’s coast. In the spring, the park’s foggy headlands bloom with acres of wildflowers. The climate here is temperate year-round. Winter rains and cool summer fogs that usually burn off by mid-morning provide the moisture necessary for the thriving coastal redwoods. Prepare for changeable weather by dressing in light layers.

Beautiful, peaceful walk. Some serious up-hill climbing at times-good cardio!

Not dog friendly according to the park ranger at the gate.

Solid trail. Not sure how crowded it is on the weekends, but it was nice and empty during the week. Round trip time was roughly 2.5 hours, including hanging out for a half hour at the falls. Perfect for a relaxing day hike.

Be sure to check out the beach on your way out of the park, there are great views of Highway 1 from the valley floor.

Great trail for a tandem and a wife who is a bit nervous on a bike. Biked al the way to the falls trailhead, locked up and walked the rest of the way.
We were able to fit it all in in about 1.5 hours, just before an amazing dinner at Brewery Gulch.. (yes, if you want a great place to stay it worth it)

Nice hike to a waterfall mostly in shade. Some puddles of mud but overall the trails are in excellent shape.

hiking
1 month ago

Starts off partially paved for bikes, felt like a fairy land with all the lush greenery, little blue flowers, and babbling brook. We did the waterfall loop up the hill and back down, but I heard the North Trail is a terrific flat portion once you get up to the ridge.

hiking
1 month ago

Amazing hike - easy to find, good parking and trail head easy to identify. Trail gets better and better as you go further and further. Starts off flat but eventually you go up and down a few times. Trail was in good condition however not always well marked Waterfall is really impressive.

hiking
1 month ago

Great for the first hike of the year.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

lovely even in cloudy sunlight...roaring and restful