This State Park In A West Coast State Is A Hiker's Heaven With Lush Views All Around

California is a wonderful state to go hiking, especially for those who love the coast and stunning ocean views. One of the most incredible places to walk in the region is Russian Gulch State Park, just two miles north of the charming town of Mendocino. The trails in this state park offer stunning views of the California Coast and the Pacific Ocean.

There is a lot to see on these walks, including a stunning waterfall, coves, rocky cliffs, a ruined sea cave, a beach, and a three-mile canyon. One of the best things about this park is that it has a plethora of different outdoor activities that you can take part in, like paddling in the creek, rock pooling on the beach, and geocaching on the trails. If you really love it here, you can camp overnight in order to see as much of the park and its fantastic vistas as possible. Make sure to bring your camera so you can relive these moments long after your vacation in this park is over.

Things to do at Russian Gulch State Park

Hiking is a top activity at Russian Gulch State Park, as there are a range of landscapes to explore. In total, there are 15 miles of trails with different difficulty levels. One easy route is the Headlands Trail, a 0.75-mile trek along the coast where you can see the park's famous Devil's Punchbowl sinkhole. A more challenging trek is the Fern Canyon trail, which forks at Falls Loop trail and is 5.4 to 6.3 miles long, depending on which fork you choose. Both routes are worth the hike, because they lead to the park's gorgeous 36-foot waterfall. 

If you want a break from walking, cyclists can traverse the North Boundary trail for 2.8 miles, as well as 2 miles of the Fern Canyon Trail. Kayaking, canoeing, geocaching, and horse riding are also popular pursuits here. It is possible to swim and explore the rock pools at the beach where Russian Gulch Creek meets the ocean. In season you can even watch salmon spawning in the creek. Experienced fishers can catch shellfish like abalone, crab, lobster, mussels, and oysters, but be careful because conditions can be perilous. Scuba diving and free diving are also possible, but only in favorable weather circumstances for those who know what they are doing. Whichever activity you choose to while away your time with here, this is one of the best stops to make on your trip along the Pacific Coast Highway.

Staying at Russian Gulch State Park

Russian Gulch State Park has a campground with 26 sites, which can be reserved for those who want to sleep under the stars in this beautiful protected area. They are positioned along Russian Gulch Creek, close to the beach with space for tents, small RVs of 24 feet or shorter, and trailers up to 21 feet. Each site is suitable for eight people or fewer and comes complete with a table for picnics, a locker to stop wildlife from stealing your food, a grill, and a fire ring.

Shared restrooms, showers, parking, and potable water are available, but no electricity hookups. There are four equestrian campsites with corrals that your horse can stay in overnight, as well as a group campsite for 9 to 40 people and a maximum of 10 vehicles. These spots can all be booked online on the California State Park reservations website. Your time spent here may just be magical enough to convince you ​​to visit every national park in California on a road trip of a lifetime, especially as there is so much to do here.