Luv2Camp Mendocino Adventure Guide!

Go Ocean and River Kayaking

Several companies offer guided ocean or river tours, including Kayak Mendocino, which does tours from Little River Cove and Liquid Fusion Kayaking which is based out of the Noyo Harbor.  Catch-A-Canoe rents canoes and outriggers from the the south side of Big River, near Mendocino Village.  The Navarro, Noyo, and Albion Rivers are all accessible for do-it-yourself kayakers and canoeists.  Caspar Bay offers a protected harbor to kayak during the calm summer season.

Go Horseback Riding on the Beach

Ricochet Ridge Ranch, just north of Fort Bragg offers half day, full day, and multi-day horseback riding trips starting at MacKerricher State Park and following the beach north to the Ten Mile River and then up into the redwoods.  Ross Ranch In Elk offers guided horseback riding trips from their large ranch along private headlands and beaches.

Go Hike to a Secluded Waterfall

There are two scenic and secluded waterfalls you should visit.  The Russian Gulch Waterfall is accessed by hiking up Russian Gulch Creek in Russian Gulch State Park.  The lessor known Chamberlain Creek Falls is a short but steep hike in Jackson State Forest, near Camp 20 on Highway 20 about 15 miles east of Fort Bragg.

Go Mountain Biking in the Redwoods

Mendocino is not known as a mountain biking haven, but Jackson State Forest and Big River State Park have miles of mountain biking trails to explore.  Camp 1 off Highway 20 and Road 409 east of Caspar are the two main entry points for JSF and Big River Beach is the access for the Big River trails.  Ask at Catch-A-Canoe in Mendocino, Fort Bragg Cyclery, or stop in at the Jackson State Forest headquarters on Main Street in Fort Bragg for a trail map and tips.

Go Salmon Fishing or Whale Watching from Noyo Harbor

During the annual Gray Whale migration during the winter months charter a boat from Noyo Harbor and head out to sea for a Whale Watching Adventure.  During the calmer months, take a charter to fish for Salmon and other fish.  There are several charters to choose from at Noyo Harbor including Telstar Charters, Anchor Charter Boats, and Captain Tuna.

Go Visit a Turn of the Century Lighthouse

Point Cabrillo Lighthouse, on the headlands between Mendocino and Caspar, is a great place for a hike and to learn about the history of the area.  Don’t miss Frolic Cove, to the north of the lighthouse and be sure to see the visitor center in the original lighthouse keepers home.  Point Arena Lighthouse in Point Arena is the tallest lighthouse on the west coast that is open the public.  You can climb to the top for amazing views up and down the coastline and visit the museum housing many of the original lighthouse equipment.

Go to the Beach or Walk the Coastal Trail

The Mendocino Coast has dozens of beaches to chose from, which are great for beachcombing, playing, or just relaxing.  The most popular beaches are Gualala Point, Manchester Beach, Navarro Beach, Big River, Jug Handle, Noyo Harbor, MacKerricher Beaches, and Westport Beach to name a few.  The Coastal Trail has many segments, but the most accessible are the MacKerricher Haul Road, Glass Beach Trail, and the new Noyo Headlands Trail in Fort Bragg.

Go Surfing, Boogie boarding, or Stand-up Paddling

The Mendocino Coast is a challenging and unforgiving place to surf.  Caspar Bay is the place to go for mellow waves and you can hire a  surfing instructor who will teach you to surf there.  For the experienced surfer there are many well-known breaks including Point Arena Cove, Big River, Virgin Creek, and Hare Creek.

Go Beer Tasting: Boonville Beer Festival #MendoAleTrail

To kick off the summer, the legendary Boonville Beer Festival is held in Anderson Valley in May.  Sponsored by Anderson Valley Brewing Company, the festival is held at the Mendocino County Fairgrounds.  Camping at nearby Hendy Woods State Park is an option.

Mendocino: An Outpost of the Adventure Lifestyle

Men’s Journal: Gualala an “Outpost of Adventure Lifestyle”

“Men’s Journal magazine describes Gualala as an “outpost of adventure lifestyle” in their April 2006 edition of the magazine’s list of  “50 Best Places to Live”.  The magazine describes Gualala (pronounced wa-LA-la by locals) as one of the “below-the-radar places to a make a move on before the word gets out.”  Gualala joined three other California communities on the magazine’s list: Santa Cruz, Mammoth Lakes and Bishop…”

-Men’s Journal via Press Democrat “50 Best Places to Live”, April 2006

Outside Magazine on Mountain Biking Big River:

“The haul road soon enters the woods, and I get only a few views of the river until the road runs right into it. This is the 8.3-mile mark that denotes the head of the Big River’s tidal range; to this point, ocean tides create its current. I ford the cool, shallow river and proceed on foot, again on an old logging road, about a mile into the deep woods that line 61-acre Big River Laguna, a marshy backwater where the mood shifts from scenic beauty to dark intrigue, with redwoods poking through the forest like gothic steeples…This is the Fritz Wonder Plot, some of the tallest second-growth redwoods in the preserve—up to 300 feet—and to me, its beating heart…The solitude is seductive; I have to pedal back in the last light and a brisk offshore headwind…”

-Outside Magazine, ‘This is Your Land”,  August 2002

Bike Magazine on Mountain Biking Jackson State Forest:

“This place is a mountain biker’s paradise, but at first glance you wouldn’t know it. For the most part, the 150-plus miles of single and doubletrack that stretch between the towns of Mendocino and Fort Bragg see little recreational use–and even less fanfare. One might assume that the locals want to keep to themselves this paradise, which spans the Jackson Demonstration State Forest, Woodlands State Park and Big River State Park. But this is not the case…”

-Bike Magazine, ‘Open Secret’, June 2014

California Magazine on Mendocino’s “Wild North Coast”:

“With its dramatic ocean-bluff setting overlooking a steel-blue sea, this coastal hamlet is an obvious magnet for artists, romantics, and lovers of anything wild and untamed. The closest thing to a New England village in California, Mendocino lets you stroll past tidy saltbox cottages wrapped in roses and picket fences, wind chimes tinkling in the breeze…”

-California Magazine, Northern California Spotlight: Mendocino

National Geographic Adventure on Surfing the Lost Coast:

“We’d been walking for hours on that vast Northern California beach, our feet sinking in the sand under our heavy packs and a 20-knot headwind pushing us backward, blowing our surfboards around like sails, when I finally saw them: three vague forms shimmering in the sun-dappled distance, rising and falling with the undulating dunes…”

-National Geographic Adventure, “Surfing the Perfect Break on California’s Lost Coast”, September 2006

Bark Magazine: Mendocino with Dogs

“Most of the Mendocino’s state parks have the six-foot-leash policy but if off-leash is what you need, hit Noyo Harbor Beach in Fort Bragg…Catch-a-Canoe and Bicycles Too, right up from the inn on Big River, welcomes dogs on most of their larger boats and provides dog lifejackets…”

-Bark Magazine, “Mendocino with Dogs”

Mendocino’s Stand-Up Paddling Scene

“Nearly ten percent of the county consists of water, and ten rivers flow one way or another through Mendocino. Eight of those reach the ocean.  SUPers have it made in Mendocino, with majestic scenery along the craggy coastline as well as the redwood lined interior…”

Adventure Sports Journal, “Paddling Mendocino”, May/June 2013

Trailer Life: In Search of Giants

“Visitors come from all over the world to hike through California’s primeval forests and stand in awe beneath canopies of ancient redwoods and giant sequoias, the tallest trees on earth..”

Trailer Life Magazine, “In Search of Giants”, May 2015

 

Book Your Adventure Today!

Select your Reservation Dates by clicking on your Arrival date and then clicking again on your Departure date.

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888-898-CAMP (2267)

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Mendocino’s World-Class Mountain Biking Trails

“Mendocino – well known for its quaint bed & breakfast inns, whale watching, art, and wine – is quickly becoming an epic world-class mountain biking destination…As mountain biking continues to grow in popularity, communities are rapidly discovering the many benefits of a healthy, sustainable trail system.”

Adventure Sports Journal, “A Votre Santre”, July/August 2016