Best Hiking and Walking Trails in Gualala, California

It’s a great way to take in nature and enjoy the surrounding scenery. Here are some trails in the area that will get you set for a day of enjoyment.

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Best Hiking and Walking Trails in Gualala, California

Mendocino County is a lovely region of California located on the state’s north coast. It is known for its thriving art community, it’s scenic nature views and the high-quality wine produced at its many vineyards. Gualala is an unincorporated community in Mendocino County that makes a lovely vacation destination.

There are many things to do in the Mendocino County/ Gualala area, but hiking is a favorite activity. It’s a great way to take in nature and enjoy the surrounding scenery. Here are some trails in the area that will get you set for a day of enjoyment.

Gualala Bluff Trail

This beautiful trail was created by volunteers at the Redwood Coast Land Conservancy. It is well maintained and offers spanning views of Gualala Point Park, the Gualala River Estuary and the Pacific Ocean. It is lined with native plants and benches that are ideal for taking a break and enjoying the scenery.

The trail offers its share of smooth and rugged terrain making it terrific for those looking for a bit of intense physical activity. Hikers can enjoy wildlife including the whales that swim through the river and the pelicans, gulls and cormorants that fly overhead. It is ideal for wave watching and spring wildflower viewing.

Gualala Point Regional Park

Gualala Point Regional Park is an oceanfront park that features a beach, estuary and a forested campground. It offers 2.9 miles of hiking trails along the bluffs and above the Gualala River. The trails connect the beach and campground to the bluffs and Sea Ranch community.

One hike through the park you won’t want to miss out on is hosted by Whale Watching Adventures. Guests can take a 2-mile round trip hike from the Gualala Point Visitor’s Center out towards the bluffs to watch the whale migration. See if you can spot the grand mammals as well as the many birds that fly overhead.

Check the Sonoma County Park website to find out when hikes are happening.

San Andreas Fault Interpretive Trail

This trail is located just above the Hot Spot on River Beach Rd. It offers four ridges characterized by shady march areas and grassy knolls. It features broken trees and a sag pond as well as historical features like displaced drainage channels from 1906 and historical remnants of the logging of redwood trees that occurred in the 1890’s.

Monarch Glen Interpretive Trail

This trail is located on the west side of Highway 1. You can get to its trailhead by walking along a lush cypress hedgerow northeast of One-Eyed Jacks. On your way, you will see a variety of plants, shrubs, trees, birds and wildlife. You will also view unique redwood growth and old Ohlson ranch sheep pens. An 18” century trace of the original ramp road leading to an old red gate shows the trail’s history.

Note that the trail has recently been under renovation due to goat and sheep damage and other issues.

Salal Trail

The Salal Trail is one of the area’s best-kept secrets as it is not easy to find. It takes you from the riparian forest along Salal Creek to the point where the creek empties into the ocean. The trail is narrow and provides low headroom in some areas. It is lined with decaying trees that make for interesting photo opportunities.

Those who come to the trail find the waterfall to be a top attraction. It is surrounded by redwoods and overgrown vines and provides a sanctuary from the outside world.

Mendocino County is a fantastic region for enjoying nature. Now that you know the trails you should be checking out you are set for an outdoor adventure. Which are you most eager to see on your next visit?

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