Mendocino Headlands Trail

Mendocino Headlands State Park, California

Elevation Gain188ft
Trailhead Elevation69ft
Elevation Min/Max38/69ft
Elevation Start/End69/69ft

Mendocino Headlands Trail

Mendocino Headlands Trail is a hiking trail in Mendocino County, California. It is within Mendocino Headlands State Park. It is 0.8 miles long and begins at 69 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 1.7 miles with a total elevation gain of 188 feet. Near the trailhead there are restrooms.

Mendocino Headlands Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"Mendocino will always be associated with the Angela Lansbury TV series Murder She Wrote. The popular series was not the ?rst to pick this picturesque town with a Victorian vibe and its fabulous headlands as a Hollywood set.

This hike is the million-dollar-view tour of the coastline. The headlands hug the oceanfront town with a necklace of idyllic coves, arches, and surf-etched sea stacks to the north and the sweeping estuary of the Big River to the south."

"The quaint and picturesque hamlet of Mendocino, featured in the long-running TV series Murder She Wrote, starring Angela Lansbury, provides a fine backdrop to the rugged headlands bordering the town on three sides. On this 3-mile walk along the edge of the headlands and through town, hikers experience a fine contrast between the handiwork of nature and the architecture of man. Sheer bluffs offer beautiful vistas of the rocky coastline pounded by the crashing surf with excellent vantage points for observing the varied marine life, including migrating whales, dolphins, seals, and a host of sea birds. Walking through town includes the possibility of grabbing a bite to eat or quaffing a libation—a most civilized way to hike."

"Rocky coastal bluffs rise 50 feet above the surf to a marine terrace where the nineteenth-century buildings of Mendocino stand amidst a scattering of pine and cypress trees. Even to the casual observer, the quaint seaside village is at once reminiscent of another era, another place, from the Eastlake Victorians surrounded by picket fences to the sharply spired steeple of the old Presbyterian church, now a State Historical Landmark. If the place looks more down east than out west, rest assured others have made the same observation. In fact, millions who have never been to the northern coast of California know the town as Cabot Cove, Maine, the fictional hometown of Jessica Fletcher, the supersleuth played by Angela Lansbury on the television series Murder She Wrote. Jessica’s lovely Victorian home turns out to be one of Mendocino’s many fine bed-and-breakfast inns. Mendocino, along with neighboring Caspar and Little River, has more than its share of quaint and comfortable accommodations, fine restaurants, shops, and galleries. It’s a pleasure to poke around in the compact downtown area, browsing through a gallery one moment, breathing crisp salt air the next, then checking out a neighboring shop, eatery, or watering hole. This eTrail includes information on lodging, campgrounds, RV parks, restaurants, entertainment, shopping, and outdoor activities near these coastal cities."

"This ride offers three loops of increasing distance and climbing challenge. All stage out
of the iconic village of Mendocino, and the town is as much an attraction today as any of
the backcountry bike miles."

"Beginning and ending in the quaint little fishing village-cum-tourist attraction that is Mendocino, this hike follows the convoluted curves of the Mendocino Headland’s picturesque sea cliffs and “doghole” ports. Sea caves and sinkholes heighten the drama of this stretch of coastline, a favorite subject of the area’s many local artists. The loop is completed by a brief stroll through the heart of town."

Mendocino Headlands Trail Reviews

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Spectacular coastal hike. Ocean waves have carved sea caves & arches. There's a beautiful beach. Mendocino is a historic town with picturesque "New England" architecture. This was the stand-in for Cabot Cove in the TV Series "Murder She Wrote." This is a hiking favorite! Watch a video of this hike at
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Be prepared to spend good 4 hours
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This is one of my favorite places to be. The quaint village of Mendocino on one side and the ocean on the other. It is beyond beautiful. When you get back into the village, walk across Main Street and across the field. There is a bench made of driftwood sitting on the edge of the cliff overlooking the bay. I like to end the walk by sitting on that bench watching the fishing boats below.

Mendocino Headlands Trail Photos

Trail Information

Mendocino Headlands State Park
Nearby City
Mendocino Headlands State Park

Activity Feed

Sep 2018