Mendocino Section 1

The ridge-top trail continues southbound, with many ups and downs, some quite steep but not very long. About 3.5 miles south of Chemise Mountain, you come to the ruins of a wooden building at the boundary between the King Range and Sinkyone Wilderness State Park. Soon after, the trail descends along a sharp ridge in front of a private home. Stay on the razor ridge along a not very stable fence, with the churning surf hundreds of feet below on your right. After more descent, the trail turns left to descend through a thick hardwood forest to Whale Gulch, where along the trail you pass a huge, deteriorating, laminated beam that was intended to bridge the creek, but was never installed. Instead, you boulder-hop or wade across this delightful, cool creek. The trail continues with a short uphill, then contours aside two small lakes. Watch for Roosevelt elk grazing in the thick growth in the swampy margins (but keep a respectable distance). After crossing a few small creeks, you pass through open grassy bluffs and come to Jones Beach Camp. There are campsites on the bluffs and under a grove of eucalyptus trees, with a nearby pit toilet. This is a great spot to watch osprey fish along the bluff, and to watch elk graze near your campsite. A use trail leads down the gully to Jones Beach Cove.

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