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Jughandle State Reserve

#6 of 24 things to do in Mendocino Features Animals
Hwy 1, Mendocino, CA 95430
+1 707-937-5804
Review Highlights
Dont drive by

Well worth stopping and checking out the beach coastal area. Great photo ops. Fun walk to the... read more

Reviewed 15 June 2015
Largo, Florida
Hike to the Pygmy Forest

My wife and I did the 7 mile round trip hike up to the Pygmy Forest. The hike is uphill most of... read more

Reviewed 14 June 2015
Mark S
Pleasanton, California
Read all 98 reviews
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This reserve is famous for its Staircase Trail
  • Excellent71%
  • Very good23%
  • Average5%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible0%
Travellers talk about
“pygmy forest” (25 reviews)
“jug handle” (4 reviews)
“nice beaches” (3 reviews)
Hwy 1, Mendocino, CA 95430
+1 707-937-5804
Reviews (98)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year

41 - 50 of 96 reviews

Reviewed 15 June 2015

Well worth stopping and checking out the beach coastal area. Great photo ops. Fun walk to the beach area. Had the beach to ourselves for most of the time we were there. Beautiful

Reviewed 14 June 2015

My wife and I did the 7 mile round trip hike up to the Pygmy Forest. The hike is uphill most of the way up but it is a gentle rise the entire way with a few steeper spots. There are a few spots were...More

Reviewed 30 May 2015

This hike takes you through three completely different environmental zones in a 5 mile round trip hike. It is an easy hike and there is a boardwalk through the pigmy forest at the far point.

Reviewed 26 May 2015

Not very many hikers which is surprising for a holiday weekend. They had the wooden staircase closed and did a terrible job of telling visitors where they could go to find the trail. Hopefully that will be fixed by today.

Reviewed 29 April 2015

Wonderful hike! One direction to the coast and then come back and hike the woods to the pigmy forest. It's relatively flat in the woods and so very beautiful. Enchanting!

Reviewed 19 February 2015

My 6 year old and I recently spent an amazing winter morning at Jughandle, mostly the beach and river area where she frolicked, ran and explored for hours. What a combination of scenery, soft white sand, shallow water, relatively calm waves, and fantastic tide pools...More

Reviewed 4 February 2015

Nice area to hike with one's dog when crowds are absent. We spent hours there and never encountered another person (that's the great comment). My only negative comments (...minimal, certainly) are that the trail areas need some routine maintenance (... a couple of broken stairwell...More

Reviewed 29 October 2014

This is a real nice place to go for a walk and to get some great coastal sunset pictures. The Ecological Staircase Trail could use better marking and an overview map of all the trails would be useful. Definitely worth checking out.

Reviewed 5 September 2014

Be sure to allow plenty of time here - we didn't! The self-guided nature trail is excellent. The reserve encompasses several different ecological areas. The trail is 2.5 miles long and takes about 3 hours to complete. Even if you don't have time for a...More

Reviewed 27 August 2014 via mobile

We (a family of five, 2 adults, 3 boys aged 11, 9 and 6) decided to visit here on our last full day in California. We were staying in nearby Mendocino. The reserve is easily accessed as the car park is right by Highway 1....More

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Questions & Answers
30 May 2017
Answer Show 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.
15 October 2015
Answer Show 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
15 October 2015
Answer Show 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