Coastal Trail Guide

Mendocino Land Trust

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Dark Gulch Trail

Stairs iconBeach Access iconWildlife Viewing iconWetlands / Stream iconTide Pools iconDogs on Leash iconModerate Trail icon

Just west of Highway One near mile marker 45.24 and south of the famous Heritage House Resort is a coastal access trail that leads down a steep wooden staircase to a small, rocky cove and beach. There is very limited parking on the side of the southbound lane of the highway, and visitors need to be mindful of private property on either side of the trail. During the winter, Dark Gulch Creek often floods the trail and the makeshift “boardwalk” near the beach, making it difficult to access the cove below. However, for adventurous spirits looking for a secret rocky beach off the beaten path, Dark Gulch is secluded, with sea anemones, oystercatchers, thick willows along the stream, and cliff wildflowers in springtime.  The Mendocino Land Trust manages this coastal access trail; for more information, contact them at (707) 962-0470.

Dark Gulch Trail trail map

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Highway One Mile Marker (south end): 45.24

Trail Length: .5 miles