Some of the Most Beautiful Waterfall Trails in Mendocino

a stream flows among mossy rocks

Known for its breathtaking ocean views, sky-high redwood forests, and abundance of hiking and biking trails, Mendocino, California, is a dream come true for those who want to spend the day exploring the great outdoors. In particular, the waterfall trails in Mendocino provide visitors and locals with the unique opportunity to see cascading water in the heart of lush forests. If you’re a nature lover in search of spectacular sights, grab your camera and head to these gorgeous waterfall trails in Mendocino.

Our Favorite Waterfall Trails

When planning your sightseeing excursion, be sure to book your stay at the Inns of Glendeven. Our inn is surrounded on three sides by Van Damme State Park and is just a short drive from some of the best trails in the area, so you can start your adventure right off of our grounds! Here are some of the most beautiful waterfall trails in Mendocino.

Russian Gulch State Park: The Russian Gulch Trail is a 4.8-mile roundtrip hike and ends with a beautiful 36-foot waterfall that runs almost all year long. The hike is easy, lasts about 2-4 hours, and offers breathtaking views along the way. Guests can also extend the journey with the Waterfall Loop hike, a 5.7-mile trail that runs along the Russian Gulch stream and then drops steeply into the Gulch above the waterfall.

Mendocino National Forest: For a bit of a longer hike, take the 6.8-mile Waterfall Loop Trail in Mendocino National Forest where you’ll climb at an elevation of 5,200 to 6,400 feet. The trail is designated as easy, but if it seems too long or strenuous, you’re in luck! The first waterfalls are at the beginning of the trail, so you can always venture there for a photo op and then head straight back if you’re pressed for time or are low on energy.

Van Damme State Park: With vibrant green ferns and gigantic redwood trees, the Fern Canyon Trail in Van Damme State Park offers incredible views of native wildlife, different species of plants, and a secret serene waterfall that is not mapped and only some locals know about! Located in Little River, CA, this paved trail is open year-round and offers a fun and relaxing stroll for hikers of all skill levels.

Jackson State Forest: The Chamberlain Creek Waterfall Trail is located in the Jackson Demonstration State Forest in Fort Bragg, CA. Start your journey by carefully descending steep stairs into a canyon, then make your way to the spectacular 50-foot waterfall about 1/3 mile into the trail. For a longer adventure, continue past the waterfall into a thin, deep canyon where you’ll see beautiful virgin redwood trees and lush forests.

Come Home to the Inns of Glendeven

After a wonderful morning stroll or some refreshing afternoon sightseeing, treat yourself to much-needed rest and relaxation at our luxurious Mendocino bed and breakfast. You can end the day with a selection of delicious local wine and hors d’oeuvres during Wine Hour, or enjoy a private in-room massage to relieve tense muscles. You’ll experience total comfort and pampering and can reminisce about the incredible sights and memories you made on your trip!

Torrey Douglass