Mendocino Headlands State Park, Mendocino

4.8
Mendocino Headlands State Park is a California State Park in Mendocino, California. It consists of 347acre of undeveloped seaside bluffs and islets surrounding the town of Mendocino, two beaches (Big River Beach and Portuguese Beach), and the much larger Big River Unit stretching for eight miles (13 km) along both banks of the nearby Big River.The park began operation in 1974, after several years of concern and discussion from citizens about the possibility of blufftop development. The Big River Unit was added in 2002.HeadlandsThe headlands themselves are rocky bluffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean, surrounding Mendocino. The section of headlands along the south side of Main Street in Mendocino is narrow and covered by blackberry and rose brambles. To the west and north of town, the headlands widen to a region of coastal prairie crossed by Heeser Road and several footpaths.Ford House Museum, at the eastern end of the town of Mendocino on the headlands side of Main Street, is the park headquarters and visitor center. It offers information and videos about the history and biology of the Mendocino area, including the town's boom in the logging era, the migration of the gray whales, and a scale model of the town as it was in 1890. Guided walks on the headlands are also available.The Mendocino Music Festival is held on the headlands in July.BeachesMendocino Headlands State Park contains two publicly accessible beaches.Big River Beach is at the mouth of the Big River, south of the town; it is a wide sandy beach that often has a lagoon where the river meets the Pacific Ocean. It can be reached via footpaths from the east end of Mendocino (on Main Street behind the Presbyterian Church) or from a parking lot on the inland side of State Route 1 that also serves the Big River Unit.
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Mendocino Headlands State Park Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
450 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • We took a nice walk along the headlands while in Mendo. It can be a long and pleasant walk or a short one or a rigorius one depending on what you want. We have been there in the spring, when the wild ...  more »
  • Walk as far as you want along various easy paths. Great at sunset. Views change all the time as you walk along. Never more than a few minutes walk to town. Not exciting but a pleasant stroll.  more »
  • Take a walk...you will not be disappointed. Don’t forget the camera. You will get your daily steps in and I get enough words to finish this review! Just do it!!  more »
Google
  • Quite a nice spot for edge of earth viewing. I only gave it 3 stars because I have oh so much more to explore and may need room for comparison. The town is Mendocino is quite lovely! I almost considered trying out a residence here, but remembered it is part of the California economy. If you come near Mendocino, you have to stop here to listen to the water communicate with the rocky shore. You may need to bring a light jacket or hoodie.
  • The Headlands are beautiful, and very exposed to the elements, so bring a sweatshirt! There is a steep, narrow path down the cliffs to a little protected beach; probably not suitable for the very young or not-surefooted! It's a long, rocky fall... Be careful! Overall, there is so much to explore, and gorgeous views everywhere. If you don't want to take the climb, you can still enjoy walking the tops of the Headlands.
  • Beautiful walk around the charming town of Mendocino. Definitely take the time to have lunch or a sunset dinner in town. There is a trail down to the cliff shore, but it is steep so be careful. The winds can be heavy so watch your footing.
  • This is one of my favorite beaches on the northern California coast. Very pretty, fine sand, water is beautiful and there are trails and a stairway to the beach for access. It's not ideal for a wheelchair unfortunately. But definitely a must see if you're in Mendocino. Tip: if you like coffee, head in to Moody's before you make your way down.
  • Very nice! Loved spending a couple hours meandering around. The coastal area is pretty rad.
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2 days in Mendocino BY A USER FROM CANADA March, outdoors, historic sites, popular sights PREFERENCES: March, outdoors, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 29 days in California BY A USER FROM BRAZIL May, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, slow & easy, hidden gems PREFERENCES: May, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 12 days in Ukiah BY A USER FROM INDIA February, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular sights PREFERENCES: February, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 15 days in Mendocino BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES March, culture, outdoors, romantic, wildlife, popular sights PREFERENCES: March, culture, outdoors, romantic, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 45 days in North Coast California BY A USER FROM CANADA September, outdoors, romantic, historic sites, wildlife, popular sights PREFERENCES: September, outdoors, romantic, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 50 days in California BY A USER FROM THAILAND December, romantic, popular sights PREFERENCES: December, romantic ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 15 days in Fort Bragg BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, popular sights PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 5 days in Mendocino BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, popular sights PREFERENCES: December, outdoors, relaxing, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 6 days in Mendocino BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, popular sights PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 11 days in North Coast California BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, teens, kids, popular sights PREFERENCES: May, teens, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 4 days in Mendocino County BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, popular sights PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 3 days in Fort Bragg BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, popular sights PREFERENCES: November, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium
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