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Jughandle State Reserve

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Review Highlights
Good hike to the pigmy forest

We’ve been here a few times and enjoy the hiketo the pigmy forest. There are signs that explain... read more

Reviewed January 5, 2019
Santa Cruz, California
beautiful views and sea glass

The rock formations are stunning. We were here on Labor Day weekend - Sunday - and it was very... read more

Reviewed September 16, 2018
Gig Harbor, Washington
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Traveler Overview
  • Excellent69%
  • Very good26%
  • Average4%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible0%
Travelers talk about
“pygmy forest”(32 reviews)
“beach area”(5 reviews)
“jug handle”(5 reviews)
This reserve is famous for its Staircase Trail
Hwy 1, Mendocino, CA 95430
+1 707-937-5804
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Reviews (119)
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All reviews pygmy forest beach area jug handle wave action trail map great place for a walk porta potty wrong turn parking lot nice beach interesting rock formations easy hike mendocino and fort bragg beautiful vistas ocean side staircase ecological
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1 - 10 of 116 reviews
Reviewed January 5, 2019

We’ve been here a few times and enjoy the hiketo the pigmy forest. There are signs that explain the history but there were no trail maps available. The markers are numbered but without the trail map, they are useless. I guess we could have used...More

Date of experience: January 2019
1  Thank 8212jackie
Reviewed September 16, 2018

The rock formations are stunning. We were here on Labor Day weekend - Sunday - and it was very busy! We really lucked out with a parking spot. I would bet that it is a very different story on a regular weekend. All ages were...More

Date of experience: September 2018
3  Thank jersey5454
Reviewed September 5, 2018

Fascinating walk, easy elevation changes with one set of stairs at the beginning and end. Get the brochure first so you know what you are looking at.

Date of experience: August 2018
2  Thank merrittm
Reviewed August 5, 2018

While visiting the Mendocino Coastline- north of the village of Caspar, between the towns of Mendocino and Fort Bragg a great place to hike and take in the geological features; cliffs, meadows and an ocean beach with a 1930's deck-arch cement bridge spanning the beach...More

Date of experience: September 2017
Thank DavidT3984
Reviewed August 2, 2018

We did the Ecological Staircase hike and spent some time at the beach. I was a little underwhelmed - I guess I was expecting more demarcation between the “stairs”. Yes, the vegetation changes, but the change is blended and the trail doesn’t really change much...More

Date of experience: July 2018
Thank DtripperJ
Reviewed July 30, 2018

We did this hike in July and it was overcast and a little chilly. You warm up by the time you are walking a bit. The trail out to the bluff and around the edges is simply beautiful. If you are up to hiking down,...More

Date of experience: July 2018
Thank Tlkmaui
Reviewed July 23, 2018

We hiked the Ecological Staircase trail and really enjoyed it. It was a little over two hours roundtrip, with a short stop to visit the pygmy forest at the end. The trail is not well-marked near the beginning and was narrow due to overgrown brush...More

Date of experience: July 2018
Thank ABT70
Reviewed April 19, 2018

Jughandle State Reserve is a jewel in California's crown. There are many features unique to this park and it is a testament to conservation efforts. There is a short trail to seal the headlands, coastal prairie, an amazing tree, and a spectacular beach. For those...More

Date of experience: April 2018
3  Thank Jennifer R
Reviewed April 7, 2018

There was an interesting story posted at the trailhead on how the reserve was saved. We are grateful. Nice trail down. We had the beach to ourselves on a Monday morning. Interesting rock formations; lots of stones. Good cove for young children to play in...More

Date of experience: March 2018
2  Thank wendyfreeman2004
Reviewed January 4, 2018

Not crowded when we visited. Great place for a walk on the many trails in the reserve. When you get on the point that overlooks to the ocean, look down and look for the jelly fish.

Date of experience: December 2017
1  Thank dmlin
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Questions & Answers
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May 30, 2017|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from Christopher L | Reviewed this property |
It's a small beach but don't let that stop you. It's very beautiful and well worth the walk down the stairs. You can either swim, chase the waves or explore the rocks and tide pools on the left.
October 15, 2015|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from Amy V | Reviewed this property |
Agree with drheathr, trail is mostly level and walking speed after the beginning steep decline. However trail map says that it is 5 miles long one way and there is no alternate return route, just one way in and one way out... More
October 15, 2015|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from beach2sea | Reviewed this property |
I was at the park for a wedding. We used the trail down to the beach. Some of the steps are irregular in height and position, but it is an easy trail. If a bride can do it in her gown and guests ranging from 6 months into... More