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Mendocino Headlands Coastal Trail



2.5 mile 4.1 kilometer point to point


Ascent: 78' 24 m
Descent: -97' -30 m
High: 82' 25 m
Low: 41' 12 m


Avg Grade: 1% (1°)
Max Grade: 9% (5°)


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Trail shared by John Maurizi


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An easy coastal trail perfect for hiking or watching the sunset.

John Maurizi

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This trail is unmarked but easy to find as it traverses the coast line. There are several short trails that extend out to various viewpoints to observe the rugged coast, arches, or to watch the sunset.

The trail runs the length of the park from the north to the south (or vice versa) near the town of Mendocino. You can start the hike from either end and there are several parking areas along the park road so you can check out different sections without hiking the entire trail. Many people use this trail for jogging and watching the sunset. This recent trip, I went early one morning around 6 a.m. for a peaceful and relaxing hike. This is a trail I could walk or run every day.

As you hike the coastal trail, take careful note of the rock formations just off the coastline. There are quite a few arches created by erosion from the waves beating the rocks. Some of the arches are easy to find while others are a little more difficult. Some have to be seen from a certain angle. Others are small but arches none the less. This is the most concentration of arches I've seen along the coast.

Whenever I am in Mendocino or Fort Bragg just north on the coast, I make time to visit Mendocino Headlands to watch the sunset. There are so many great location to watch from here. The rocks and cliffs protruding from the ocean make a great foreground as the sun sets on the horizon. This recent trip I found a pinnacle rock with the sun setting behind it. I thought it was very nice.

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Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Need to Know, Dogs Allowed, Flora & Fauna


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Dec 31, 2018
Karl W
Aug 7, 2018
Genady Shagal
39.304855, -123.796307
Aug 6, 2018
Rich Mirabella
May 5, 2018
Yekaterina Drabkov
Mar 24, 2018
Agnes Vause
Feb 4, 2018
Michael M
Took lots of pictures. Saw whales spouting, a bit off shore but near enough to see clearly. 2.5mi
Nov 7, 2017
Joshwa Huff
Jun 26, 2012
Ronnie Pryor

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 3 votes


  5.0 from 3 votes
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in California


44 Views Last Month
2,334 Since May 3, 2017



A perfect winter day at Mendocino
Apr 20, 2019 near Fort Bragg, CA
An epic backdrop for a small wedding
Apr 20, 2019 near Fort Bragg, CA
Mendocino coastal cave.
May 3, 2017 near Fort Bragg, CA
A beautiful sunset over the coast.
May 3, 2017 near Fort Bragg, CA
A beautiful blue sky at sunrise.
May 3, 2017 near Fort Bragg, CA
Sunrise on the coast.
May 3, 2017 near Fort Bragg, CA


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