Visitors to Mendocino enjoy driving along the coast and exploring the little beaches and rocky points. Campers at Russian Gulch State Park Campground are close to many of the best attractions along the coast.
Visit the quaint town of Mendocino and walk along the Mendocino Headlands.
Poke around famous Glass Beach near Fort Bragg and then stop in town for dinner.
Explore Van Damme State Park with a nice beach for kayaking and diving and great inland hiking trails.
Point Arena Lighthouse stands on a rugged point of land. Take a lighthouse tour.
Mountain bike along dirt roads.
Hike around the Point Arena-Stornetta Public Land.
Take a trip to Africa at the B. Bryan Preserve near Point Arena. See Africa's hoofed animals such as Greater Kudu, zebras, and giraffes.
Take an adventurous hike down to Bowling Ball Beach to see the amazing spheres of rock in the surf at low tide.
Mendocino coast beaches are generally considered too dangerous for wading and swimming, but some sheltered beaches and inlets can be safe under favorable conditions. Always check with park rangers about the safety of a particular beach before entering the water.
Key Russian Gulch State Park Campground Regulations
Dogs must be on leash and always attended. Dogs are not permitted on most trails. At night they must be confided to a vehicle or tent from 10 PM to 6 AM.
Fires may only be lit in provided fire rings.
Purchase firewood locally to avoid bringing in pests.
Russian Gulch State Park Campground is located along the Mendocino coast, 2 miles north of the town of Mendocino. At first glance, the park appears to be confined to a narrow creek valley and a small beach beneath a highway overpass. Those who explore further discover that the park includes two wonderful headlands with trails and many natural wonders, and that the park extends inland for miles with trails through fern canyons and past waterfalls. The park is also popular with kayakers and divers.
Russian Gulch State Park Campground features 26 campsites a short distance inland from the beach, spread along Russian Gulch Creek. All the campsites are well shaded and can accommodate small RVs, trailers, and tents. Russian Gulch also has a Horse Camp and a Group Campsite.
Attractions near Russian Gulch State Park Campground:
Hike out to Devil's Punchbowl. Kayak along the coast. Wade, dive, and explore tidepools at the beach. Hike the Waterfall Trail to the 36-tall falls. Explore scenic Fern Canyon. Enjoy some bird watching. Head out cycling and mountain biking on some trails and roads.
Russian Gulch State Park Horse Camp
Russian Gulch State Park has a Horse Camp located inland, off County Road 409 (Caspar-Little Lake Road). The campground has several corrals, fire rings, and a well for pumping water for horses. Good riding trails are found in the park.
Fee: $35 per night
Reservations: (707) 937-5804
Russian Gulch State Park Group Campsite
Russian Gulch State Park has one group tent campsite for between 9 and 40 people and up to 10 vehicles. The maximum vehicle length is 27 feet. The group site is open from late March through early September.
Fee: $140 per night
Reservations: Russian Gulch State Park Campground Reservations
Russian Gulch State Park Horse Camp
Russian Gulch State Park Campground
ReserveCalifornia Reservations Tips
California State Parks' new reservation system - ReserveCalifornia - now allows campers "to make reservations 6 months to the day in advance of their arrival date." For example, on January 1 reservations can be made for stays beginning on July 1. In the past, reservations were released in one-month blocks. Now it is day by day. For months with fewer days than the month 6 months away, reservations for the remaining days will be released in a small cluster on the first of the next month. For example, on March 1 (because February is a short month) you can make reservations for stays beginning August 29-31. Read details at ReserveCalifornia.
General Camping Information
Opening and closing dates of campgrounds are only estimates, usually dependent on snow conditions. Not all campsites can accommodate trailers or RVs of all lengths. Check carefully on the website when you make your reservation to be sure your vehicle will fit your campsite.
In order to prevent the spread of invasive insects, purchase firewood locally.
Designated Accessible sites are usually reserved for people with disabilities who have a vehicle displaying an accessible parking placard or license plate.