MacKerricher Beach Activities

Mendocino County

Nearby Activities and Events

Ricochet Ridge Ranch Beach Rides

24201 N. Highway 1
Fort Bragg, CA
(888) 873-5777 (toll free) or (707) 964-7669
Daily 1½-hour rides along Ten Mile Beach
Ricochet Ridge Ranch

World Champion Abalone Cook-off

October 6, 2018
South Noyo Harbor, Fort Bragg
Dance to live music, savor wines, sample abalone and clam chowder, silent auction
Cooks compete by preparing their favorite abalone recipes
Abalone Cook-off

Mendocino Whale Festivals

March 2018
3 weekends, 3 locations:

  • Mendocino, first weekend in March
  • Little River (Van Damme SP), second weekend in March
  • Fort Bragg, third weekend in March/li>

Whale Watching Festivals

All Aboard Adventures
Whale Watching Tours

Noyo Harbor, Fort Bragg
2-hour trips aboard the 30-passenger Sea Hawk
December 26 through April 30
All Aboard Adventures

Historic Walking Tours

Saturdays and Sundays, 11:00 AM
Kelley House, Mendocino
Docent-led 2-hour stroll through historic Mendocino, $10
Walking Tours

Mendocino Music Festival

July 7-21, 2018
Director and Conductor Allan Pollack guides the Mendocino Music Festival Orchestra
Mendocino Music Festival

Temple of Kwan Tai

45160 Albion St., Mendocino
Taoist temple dedicated to the Chinese god of war
Tours offered by appointment
Temple of Kwan Tai

Unbeaten Path Tours

Guided walking tours of unique places along the Mendocino coast
Stornetta Lands Tour, Architectural Tour, Photographer's Tour, Seascape Tour, and many more.
(707) 888-6121
Unbeaten Path Tours

of Local Interest

Surfing at MacKerricher Beaches

Hardy surfers tackle the waves along the MacKerricher State Park coast year-round. Among the most popular spots are Pudding Creek Beach and Virgin Creek Beach in the south and all along the coast in the north. A sharp drop-off along the southern part of park creates a heavy shoreline break and strong rip currents. The northern half of the park has a more gradually sloping beach.

Surf is often at its best with swells from the northwest, usually in summer and early fall.

Caution: Check with rangers or lifeguards that conditions are safe for your planned activities.

Diving at MacKerricher State Park

Divers find plenty of interest in the waters along the MacKerricher coast. A maze of canyons around Laguna Point is home to a variety of sea life. Divers enter from the steps at the tide pool area or from the main beach across from the campgrounds. The north side of the point is favored by most divers.

Sub-Surface Progression Dive Shop

18600 N. Highway 1, Fort Bragg, CA
(707) 964-3793   Sub-Surface Progression Dive Shop

Sales and rentals of SCUBA diving gear, abalone diving equipment, kayaks, and surfboards and boogie boards.

Wildlife around MacKerricher Beaches


Migrating whales are a big attraction along the MacKerricher State Park coast. Observers gather with binoculars at Laguna Point where there is convenient parking and a boardwalk leading out to several viewpoints. Whales reach their peak from December through March.

The Mendocino Area Parks Association offer weekend whale talks at MacKerricher State Park from late December through the end of March. Participants meet the docent at the visitor center and then drive to Laguna Point. The programs begin at 11:00 AM on Saturdays and Sundays. Binoculars are available.

The Mendocino Whale Festival is held the first weekend in March at Mendocino, the second weekend in March at Little River (Van Damme), and the third weekend in March at Fort Bragg. The Fort Bragg festival will include whale watching from Pomo Bluffs and other locations along the coast.

Whale Festivals

Tide Pools

The most accessible tide pools are at Laguna Point where steps lead from the boardwalk down to the tide pools. The best time to visit the tide pools is at a minus low tide, but even tides of +1 feet offer limited opportunities for viewing. Visitors observe crabs, anemones, sea stars, mussels, sculpins, urchins, nudibranchs, sponges, and chitons.

MacKerricher State Park tide pools, Mendocino County, CA


With such a variety ecosystem along the coast, MacKerricher State Park sees a wide variety of birds. Lake Cleone has a boardwalk along part of its shoreline and the wetland at the eastern end, making a convenient place for birding. A foot trail continues the remainder of the way around the lake once the boardwalk ends. Visitors have seen Brown Creeper, Osprey, Wood Duck, Jays, Pygmy Nuthatch, Red Crossbill, and even Northern Pygmy-owl, along with many others.

Shorebirds can be found all along MacKerricher's coast. Often sighted are Turnstones, Black Oystercatchers, Grebes, Surfbirds, and Rock Sandpipers. At Ten Mile Beach watch for the endangered Snowy Plovers.

Junior Rangers Shorebird Program

MacKerricher State Park's Junior Ranger Shorebird program is held at Lake Cleone on Wednesdays from 2:00 to 4:00 or 4:30 PM during the summer. The program is open for children ages 7-12.

Visitor Center - MacKerricher State Park

The Visitor Center at MacKerricher State Park features a 30-foot gray whale skeleton along with the skeleton of a California sea lion. Interpretive exhibits inside the Visitor Center provide information about the area's plants and animals. A woodland diorama with models of local animals is set up in the center. Profits from items sold at the Nature Store are used to enhance the park's educational activities and interpretive programs. The Visitor Center is located near the park's entrance station off Highway 1.

MacKerricher State Park whale bones, Mendocino County, CA

Lake Cleone

Lake Cleone was once a tidal lagoon, but the building of the haul road cut it off from the ocean, creating a permanent inland 30-acre lake and adjoining wetlands. A boardwalk trances the northern shore and wetlands. Beyond the boardwalk is a foot trail which completes the 1.1-mile loop of the lake. The lake is stocked with trout and is popular for fishing. Non-motorized boats can be launched there.

MacKerricher State Park's Environmental Education Outreach Programs

MacKerricher's environmental programs are designed to teach K-12 school children about the ecology of the area and how the habitats can be protected. Programs include Intertidal Habitats, The Rocky Shore Community, The Sandy Beach Community, Marine Algae, and more.
Mendocino Area Parks Association

MacKerricher State Park boardwalk, Mendocino County, CA

Inglenook Fen - Ten Mile Dunes
Natural Preserve

Access to the Preserve

To reach the Inglenook Fen, follow Highway 1 north to Ward Avenue, turn left, and drive to the end of the road. Park there and walk north a quarter mile on the Old Haul Road to the fen. At Ten Mile Creek visitors can park in a long parking area on the west side of Highway 1.

Restoration Program

The Inglenook Fen-Ten Mile Dunes Natural Preserve consists of coastal dune and wetland habitats. The Preserve supports a broad variety of plant and animal species as well as providing habitat for resident and migrating shorebirds. The restoration program currently in progress will remove invasive European Beach Grass and the remnants of the old haul road within the preserve. Doing so will improve the habitat for the snowy plover and other rare plants and animals. Visitors can still hike along the beach.

At Inglenook Fen visitors will likely sight a variety of shorebirds and perhaps some rare insects and salamanders. Rare plants in the area include the bright yellow Menzies' wallflower and Howell's spineflower. Howell's spineflower is found only in the sand dunes and coastal scrub near Fort Bragg, with 95% of them inside MacKerricher State Park.

Ocean Safety

California State Parks and Recreation cautions that "large surf, cold water temperatures, backwash, sudden drop-offs, pounding shorebreak, and dangerous rip currents can turn what seem like safe activities such as playing near the surf line, wading, or climbing on rock outcroppings, deadly." Learn more about ocean safety at CA State Parks: Ocean Safety

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