Russian Gulch Trail

MODERATE 130 reviews

Russian Gulch Trail is a 6.5 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Mendocino, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from April until October.

DISTANCE
6.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
869 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

river

views

waterfall

wildlife

no dogs

hiking
14 days ago

Enjoyable hike with enough elevation change to add a little challenge, especially since the recent rains have bogged it a bit. Waterfall running strong.

hiking
1 month ago

All in all, this was a delightful and relatively flat stroll. To correct an earlier poster, the trail to the waterfall is still *open*, although the campgrounds at Russian Gulch have closed for the season. Some of the bathrooms have also closed, but there is at least one with a flush toilet that is still open. The forest was incredibly green and lush, and the waterfall itself is delicate and beautiful now because there hasn't been much rain this season. Be careful on the wooden bridges and if you are playing around near the waterfall - the wetness in the forest can make the ground very slick!

hiking
1 month ago

The trail was closed for the season until spring. Also dogs are not permitted on the trail. They are allowed on the Headlane Trails that go along the cliffs and they are allowed on the jetty beach. $8 for a day pass parking. The Headlane Trails are beautiful and decently easy to hike. Just beware of ticks. I got one and my dog got three. Happy Trails!

hiking
1 month ago

The trail was very well-maintained for this time of season. There were a couple of washed out sections but nothing bad. Good traction throughout entire trail, with a few minor mud bogs. The highlight was the beautiful beautiful scenery. We will make a point to do this hike every time we are in the area.

hiking
3 months ago

A quite respectable fern canyon with a waterfall :)
If you're up for some more elevation, check out the North Trail on the way, as the route shows, but take that side-loop up along the North Boundary Trail (shown in blue), it gets into some strange bone-white pygmy forest.

3 months ago

Beautiful trail, well-maintained, few people. I would recommend this!!

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful hike with gorgeous plant life, wildlife, even newts, and a Waterfall. Loved it!

hiking
4 months ago

came from out of state to see the red woods. this was definately the way to go. beautiful scenery.

hiking
4 months ago

Very nice hike. The falls are beautiful, even in September. The first part of the trail is an old logging road, so it is still somewhat paved, but the rest is dirt. Much of the route follows the creek, so it is very lush with plenty of ferns and flowers. We hiked on a weekday and saw about 20 people total, so not a busy trail. Most people seem to take the most direct out and back route to the falls. We did a loop to add additional distance and hardly saw anyone on the secondary trails. Our favorite part of the hike was along the north trail - you have some elevation gain, but it's not difficult, and then once you are up on the hill, it is a very easy and relaxing hike through the forest.

5 months ago

No bugs. Well maintained trails. Lovely forest.

hiking
6 months ago

We went the first week of June and it was beautiful. It was cool in the morning an warm by the end of the hike. We went an extended route which ended up being around 8 miles. Trailheads were well marked and parking was easy. Since it's also a campground there are water fountains and bathrooms near the parking. We saw maybe 5 or 6 different groups of hikers for the firsts half to the waterfall but once we split off into the extended trail we didn't see anyone. Majority of the first 3/4 of the trail were shaded and the last fourth was intermittent shade, but it doesn't get too hot in Mendocino so it was fine - I'd just suggest to bring a bit of sunscreen. Also - use bug repellent! There were a whole-lotta mosquitos buzzing around. Also - I had it a bit easier than my SO with my waterproof hiking boots. There were a good amount of puddles and mud he had to dodge.

6 months ago

Beautiful waterfalls but path is full of stinging nettles. Spent more time trying to avoid being stung than enjoying the trail.

6 months ago

pretty fun trail with gorgeous forest views and an awesome waterfall midway through. shorter options available

hiking
7 months ago

Walked this trail today. Did the 2.7 one way. It was beautiful and we took kids age 4-9 with us and they did great. I did find out while there that dogs ARE NOT ALLOWED.

hiking
8 months ago

Amazing trail! Beautiful and almost completely shaded. I went on a day that was over 100 degrees inland, and it was an amazing 60 degrees on the trail. I was alone the majority of the trail
And just saw a couple people right at the end. A little muddy in areas, but not terrible. Loved the waterfall and even benches at the waterfall to take a break.

hiking
8 months ago

This is a really peaceful loop through the forest, and has a beautiful waterfall + pool to wallow in near the half-way point.

hiking
8 months ago

Really enjoyed this hike.

This trail is a bit crowded along the shortest path to the waterfall. However, every other part was totally empty (we saw no other hikers). If you're up for it I recommend the full 8-shaped loop which is about 6-7 miles depending on where you park. One thing that was really nice is it is entirely shaded so even on a sunny day the temperature was comfortable.

hiking
8 months ago

Crowded, a bit wet, very green. Beautiful waterfall, totally worth the hike! Walk along the creek in between the redwoods. There is disagreement in the car on if this deserves a 4 or 5 star rating. Also, no ticks that we saw which is a plus. Lots of picnic areas on the way, bikes allowed until halfway when the hike moves from easy to moderate.

9 months ago

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

hiking
9 months ago

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.

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