The bosslady was so distracted by the views as we started our hike at Big River in Mendocino she didn’t realize she was being eaten alive by several mosquitoes! Note to self, spray the bug spray the minute you get out of the car and save a week’s worth of scratching.
We opted for a flat hike along the coast last weekend. It is August and the weather, while mild for August, is still warm. The drive from Santa Rosa to Mendocino is just gorgeous! Favorite part on the 128 is when you hit the redwoods. The calm feeling is immediate. It was a foggy morning for us and going over the Little River and Big River bridges were so creepy! They dip down and we could barely see the end of the bridge so it looked like we were driving on a bridge to nowhere. Once you cross the bridge, hang a sharp right to Big River beach and escape the dense fog.
There’s ample parking here so take your pick of spots. We chose to park the furthest east we could so we would be closer to the trail head. The minute the boss lady got out of the car and we started on the trail the mosquitoes swarmed. The river flows nicely but there is a lot of standing water on the other side of the fire road that is lovely breeding ground for these pesky little bugs.
Big River Hike
Head past the pit toilet and first gate and follow the fire road as it parallels the river. It’s like a dance with the land…close to the river…in the forest. It was a wonderful break from the heat of wine country! The trail itself was a bit boring but the bosslady doing a funny dance flailing her arms around to ward off the skeeters was entertaining. The views were gorgeous and totally worth it!
Careful to not step in the large scat that might be on the trail. We think it might have been from a bear due to the size (sorry no poop pics on here, sort of gross!). Oh and some of the small branches on the trail might move on you! We saw 2 baby snakes or legless lizards, we weren’t sure. They were skinny and brown just like the sticks. The bosslady loves when the hubs yells, “snake!” as she’s walking along. There’s always a scream and a hop that happens. 🙂
We turned around at about 4.5 miles which is about the spot when views of the river disappear. The hike back was pretty uneventful and we made good time with the trail being flat and and out and back. While we don’t normally like out and backs (one of us gets bored), this was good so we could make good time and have time for a picnic!
After our hike we drove north on Highway 1 and quickly made a left on Main Street to go to downtown Mendocino for our picnic. It was chilly and overcast so we stayed up on the bluffs near the visitor center and ate at their picnic tables while taking in the views. How lovely to hear the crashing waves below and nibble on cheese and crackers with your favorite adventure partner? Don’t hold back! Let us know how you enjoy yourself after a long hike!
Parking was free, pit toilet in the east side of the parking lot, mostly sun but cool enough on a warm day, dogs ok, great easy mountain bike trail, 9 miles, very little elevation gain/loss. Closest town is Mendocino! It’s adorable!
Map My Walk Stats (no laughing! We enjoy the hikes, we don’t speed hike)
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