Mendocino County and the Redwoods

Mendocino County and the Redwoods
Photo: Greg K. Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media
Article by Kim Hull


Mendocino County is one of the most beautiful areas of Northern California. Located about 3 hours north of San Francisco, Mendocino County is filled with wineries, quaint inns, the seaside village of Mendocino, and of course, the amazing redwoods.

Navarro River Redwoods State Park
Navarro River Redwoods State Park Photo: Greg K. Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

Getting there

Mendocino County map

Head north up the 101 toward Santa Rosa and Sonoma. At Cloverdale, take 128 west toward the coast.

Highway 128 is a winding road that runs through Mendocino County’s wine regions, which produce some excellent wines. Yorkville Cellars is about 17 miles west of Cloverdale and further into the Anderson Valley region are numerous wineries including Husch, Roederer Estate, and Goldeneye.

Heading further west lies the Navarro River Redwoods State Park. The 11 mile drive through the tall redwoods provides ample opportunities for a short hike, picnic or simply to photograph the redwoods and forest habitat. Emerging from the redwood forest, 128 meets Highway 1 and heads north toward Mendocino and Ft Bragg.

Navarro River Redwoods State Park
Navarro River Redwoods State Park Photo: Greg K. Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

Mendocino

Mendocino
Mendocino Photo: Greg K. Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

A charming village by the sea, Mendocino is a great place to explore shops and galleries, enjoy a bike ride or hike, or simply relax.

Mendocino
MendocinoPhoto: Kim Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

A variety of inns line the coast near Mendocino offering picturesque views of the rugged shoreline and a chance to unwind in an incredibly beautiful setting. We stayed at the very tranquil Stanford Inn by the Sea, which has lush gardens, a fabulous ocean view, and a fully-vegan restaurant. One of the most dog-friendly properties we’ve experienced, dogs are welcome everywhere on the property.  The rooms are rustic, the views are amazing and the breakfast, which is included, is a fabulous start to the day.

Mendocino County
Mendocino County Photo: Kim Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

More Redwoods & the Drive Thru Tree

Redwoods, Mendocino County, California
Redwoods, Mendocino County, California
Photo: Greg K. Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

No trip to Mendocino County is complete without a visit to the see the famous Chandelier Tree, also known as the Drive Thru Tree.

Drive Thru Tree Park in Mendocino County
Greg K. Hull © Chasing Light Media Photo: Greg K. Hull © Chasing Light Media

Heading further north on Highway 1, then winding inland through 20 miles of redwoods, the Drive-Thru Tree Park is located near Leggett. The Drive-Thru Tree Park states the Chandelier Tree is a Coastal Redwood or Sequoia semperviren and the hole in the tree was cut in 1936 or 1937. The tree is reported to be 2000 years old, approximately 315 feet high and 21 feet in diameter.

Drive thru tree park, Mendocino County
Drive-thru tree, Mendocino CountyPhoto: Greg K. Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

If you’re in the mood for more big redwood viewing, head further north up the 101 toward Eureka. Along the route, you’ll find the Tree House and multiple groves as you head toward Humboldt County, or head south on the 101 toward Ukiah.

Mendocino
Mendocino Photo: Greg K. Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media

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Mendocino
Mendocino Photo: Kim Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media
Mendocino County and the Redwoods
Mendocino County and the Redwoods Photo: Greg K. Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media