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Mendocino Cliffs Trail

Mendocino, California

based on 3 reviews



1.37 miles

Elevation Gain

108 ft

Route Type



Added by Mike Quine

Mendocino Cliffs Trail offers scenic views of Point Mendocino. Mendocino is also the location shot for decades-long famous mystery series, Murder She Wrote. In contrast to the plagued fictional town of Cabot Cove, here you will find nothing but tranquil beaches, scenic hiking trails, harbor seals, and stunning sunset views.

The town of Mendocino is as charming and quaint as one can find. It is no wonder why it was pegged as the perfect location spot to film the series Murder She Wrote. While the series heroine Jessica Fletcher's home can still be visited, it is the bay itself that will draw your attention. 

Starting in the southwest corner of the town, Main Street ends where the Mendocino Cliffs Trail begins. While the trail can lead southeast along the bay (Mendocino Headlands Trail), the unique views of sunset are best captured if you follow the trail west along the outer shoreline. By following the trail west, you will enjoy views of the bay on your left-hand side and grassy dunes to the right. Following this trail will also lead to several splits that allow hikers to break away and take a rugged set of steps down to the Mendocino Bay beach shores (a great place to set in a kayak to explore the sea caves and cliffs).

*Harbor seals are common in this bay

If opting to stay on the trail, the trail loops fully around Point Mendocino, terminating at a parking lot off Hesser Drive (of course this could also be where you start the hike). The northern section of this short trail can split into several paths, all ultimately leading to the trail's exit. To return to the starting point, you can either backtrack along Point Mendocino or walk south through the town back to Main Street.

The sunset views from Point Mendocino are legendary and you will not likely be the only one privy to the secret. Despite its visual appeal, the stunning views will have you so enthralled that you won't even notice anyone else is there.

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Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Picnic Area
Swimming Hole

Mendocino Cliffs Trail Reviews

Mendocino is such a beautiful place! The views are amazing and are great for sunsets and ocean views.

Really easy access to the cliffs from town, and the trail meanders with great views of the pacific, the river, and Mendocino. Also great spot to take happy hour or a picnic, there are a few benches to eat at.

Mendocino is a beautiful small town in Northern California. Hike along the cliffs and enjoy the beautiful Pacific Ocean. It's a flat and easy hike for everyone to enjoy!

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


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