Explore the most popular river trails near Mendocino with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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.

Great trail. lots of elevation changes. Wet in the winter but that only makes it more interesting

Great hike!

22 days ago

so pretty

Hiked mid-May 2018. Arrived after 2pm and got a spot by trail head for free but that is lucky. Mostly flat for first two miles and very pretty.

Signage is decent but a number of people we came upon said they were unsure of where they were going. The falls are great and a must-see. The remainder of the loop after the falls leads to a whole different terrain. Overall a good walk but if you are in pretty good shape not too challenging. If in average shape this is a good workout.

Nice hike. Crazy number of rhododendrons in spring.

Beautiful, flat, out and back, along Big River estuary. Lots of mosquitoes, in summer, so bring repellent.

Completed this on June 11th. So much green! I came at sunrise and there was no one on the trail at all. I paid 8 bucks at the entrance of the park for parking

on North Trail

hiking
2 months ago

Amazing trail. We took it from the campsite all the way to the beginning of the fall loop -- and after the fall loop we took Fern Canyon Trail (wide, paved) back to the campsite.
North Trail -- not to be confused with North Road, although the two trails intersect up on the ridge -- is a beautifully graded single track, very quiet and peaceful. It climbs the hillside from the campsite area all the way to a ridge, then it follows the ridge on a level course and finally descends on wide switchbacks to a junction with Fern Canyon Trail. Turn L to go towards Fall Loop.

on Waterfall Loop Trail

hiking
2 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.

hiking
3 months ago

Gorgeous trail and loved the changes in terrain. We followed Nicole Zanni’s advice and took the North Trail, to the North Boundary, to the East Trail, to Fern Canyon. We were moving pretty quick and it took 2.5 hours.

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful trail. A little elevation at the beginning but you reach the top pretty quickly. I recommend starting out on the North Trail then connect to the North Boundary Trail. You get to see a really crazy looking Pygmy forest. Jump off at the East Trail then connect to Fern Canyon which takes you to the top of the waterfalls. Beautiful! If you finish the hike continuing on Fern Canyon it’ll be a 6.75 mile hike. Really pretty with lots of different vegetation in a short amount of time.

hiking
3 months ago

One of the best trails! #Redwoods

Beautiful, all the fern so green and healthy, the waterfall is breathtaking.

hiking
4 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

hiking
4 months ago

From Main Street you can walk between the Presbyterian Church & Chevron Gas Station and pick up trail to the beach. Journey down the staircase to beach. Easy trail you can walk to the head of river it along the beach West. Be aware of tide changes especially if you start walking to headlands. Many seals can be seen tracing down river near its month especially during out and slack tide.

I completed this trail on a Wednesday at the end of March. There were some areas where the trail was muddy, but nothing you couldn’t walk around (or through!) There were some areas with limited coverage but for the most part the trail is covered by beautiful redwoods! It was a little muggy so definitely bring bug spray to fend off mosquitos. I have not done a hike in a while, so halfway through the waterfall loop portion, I was huffing and puffing a bit, but once you make it to the waterfall, it’s smooth sailing back to the campground. There’s plenty of opportunities for breaks to take photos of the wildlife and landscape! It’s absolutely gorgeous!

mountain biking
5 months ago

Very peaceful, mostly level ride. However, we rode past the 6 mile marker and the trail made no indications it was ending. So I am not sure how much farther it goes. Beautiful scenery including trees, river, birds ,etc.

Relatively easy trail. Was fairly muddy after some rain, but manageable. The waterfall was in full force and a nice touch to the loop. It's interesting getting a number of different forest ecosystems. The beginning is more oaks, then more redwoods when in the canyon, and pines when on the hill.

on Waterfall Loop Trail

5 months ago

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

5 months ago

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

5 months ago

so beautiful! lots of mushrooms, ferns, and redwoods

6 months ago

super pretty river surrounded by redwoods. can go on for a long ways!

hiking
6 months 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
6 months ago

Construction complete. Trail open 1/20/18. New gravel down along primary and secondary trails, still some storm runoff and standing water, all easily passable, but be prepared. New bridge as well. Cold sunrise start but a great day hike. Look for river otter activity and listen for the woodpeckers.

hiking
7 months 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
7 months 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!

This is such a pleasant hike. Super green fern heaven and ends in a beautiful waterfall. You can also just go to the waterfall and turn back. The trails are super well maintained. Decent hike all around from a workout. Not too strenuous. Kids loved it as well.

hiking
7 months 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.

Good short hike through the redwoods and to the waterfall. Hiking in the rain was a unique experience and the waterfall do looks great after a good walk through the woods

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