My friends Brad and Cheryl came to visit this week. It was the first time they had spent any time in Mendocino, so I wanted to make sure to take them to my favorite places. At the top of that list has to be the falls at Russian Gulch.
The falls are located just a couple of miles north of town. An incredibly cool arched bridge carries Highway 1 over the river as it spills out onto the beach at Russian Gulch. Just east of the bridge, a trail begins. For the first mile or so, it is a wide path that follows the meandering river upstream. Then the path narrows and heads up into the forest for another 7/10 of a mile. All along the way, wildflowers and ferns crowd the path, while birds and butterflies compete for your attention.
Pretty soon you can hear the sound of the rushing stream grow louder and around the next bend, you see the falls spilling 35 feet over rocks, ferns and logs into a small pool below. The picture I’ve posted here doesn’t even begin to do this place justice.