Anyone visiting Mendonoma for the first time will find that it has charms of its own. Mendonoma begins on the north coast of Sonoma County and includes the south coast of Mendocino County. Hence the name we have adopted for the coastal area, “Mendo” for one county and “Noma” for the other; they meet at the Gualala River in between. (Independent Coast Observer)
Road trip! We cycled our way up the North Coast from Valley Ford in Sonoma County to Mendocino in Mendocino County. This is a fantastic way to make your way along Hwy 1 N to Mendocino. Each loop travels inland along the gorgeous quiet country back roads before heading west for the southbound roll along Hwy 1 to the start/finish towns. Don’t let the low mileages fool you, the majority of the rides have steep climbs with a decent amount of elevation gain! This tour travels through the gorgeous coastal towns of Valley Ford, Bodega Bay, Occidental, Monte Rio, Duncans Mills, Jenner, Ft Ross, Cazadero, Timber Cove, Stewarts Point, Annapolis, Sea Ranch, Gualala, Anchor Bay, Point Arena, Manchester, Elk, Navarro, Philo, Boonville, Albion, Little River, Comptche, Mendocino, Caspar and Ft Bragg.
Get out and explore Mendonoma’s gorgeous country back roads around nature’s endless playground! The rhythm of the long climbs brings much calm and solitude as you pedal the many roads leading into and around the small coastal towns. This is conscious living….Life is wonderful-keep it simple.
*Hwy I is a very popular route for bicyclists heading north or south-it is not a easy ride! You have to be prepared for the steep grades, strong winds, heavy traffic and narrow to no shoulders on this two-lane road. There are minimal to no bike repair resources along the coast-carry tools and be self sufficient. Make sure your bike is in well working order before embarking on this journey! it is a good idea to ride with a rear view mirror, wear bright clothing and have a front & rear flashing light for higher visibility. Ride with great safety and have courtesy for others-it’s simple enough to stop to the side of the road at the pull outs or wider shoulder areas to let vehicles and big RVs pass when necessary.
Winds during the summer can be strong and usually blow from the northwest. It makes much sense to ride from north to south.
Take the time to stop at the vista points to enjoy all the stunning coastal views!
BE SAFE AND BE SEEN!
**There is limited to no cell coverage and Wi-Fi along the North Coast-be ready to be dis-connected. It’s a good thing!
*Free Wi-Fi at Gualala Point Regional Park Visitor Center in Gualala and at the Visitor Center Museum in Elk. There is limited cell/Wi-Fi in Mendocino and internet cafes in Fort Bragg and Mendocino.
- Day 1-Valley Ford-Coleman Valley-Duncans Mills-Bay Hill 55 Miles 4426′ elevation
- Duncans Landing-Sonoma Coast State Beach
- Day 2-Duncans Mills-Jenner-Fort Ross-Cazadero 36 Miles 3691′ elevation
- Day 3-Fort Ross-Timber Cove-Seaview-Hauser Bridge-Tin Barn-Skaggs Springs-Stewarts Point 33 Miles 4334′ elevation
- Day 4-Stewarts Point-Skaggs Springs-Annapolis-Sea Ranch 24 Miles 3091′ elevation
- Day 5-Gualala-Old State Hwy-Old Stage-Pt-Eureka Hill-Riverside-Pt Arena Lighthouse 46 Miles 3635′ elevation
- Day 6-Manchester-Mountain View-Boonville-Philo Greenwood-Elk 67 Miles 8159′ elevation
- Day 7-Elk-Phil Greenwood-CA 128 W-Navarro River 44 Miles 3465′ elevation
- Elk-Greenwood State Beach
- Day 8-Mendocino-CA 128 E-Navarro River-Flynn Creek-Comptche Ukiah 46 Miles 2762′ elevation
- Mendocino Village Walk
- Mendocino Headlands State Park Walk
- Day 9-Ft Bragg-Noyo Headlands-Glass Beach Coastal Walk
- Day 9-Ft Bragg: Jug Handle State Reserve-Ecological Staircase Pygmy Forest Trail Hike
- Day 10-Caspar-Point Cabrillo Lighthouse Coastal Walk
We street camped in Valley Ford, Duncans Mills, Stewarts Point, Elk and Mendocino. We camped one night at Reef Campground and two nights at Gualala Point Regional Park. Camp fees-$35 a night + $2 a dog. This is a very economical way to travel-our 10 day tour cost ~$500 for gas, lodging and food-that comes out to $50 a day for 2 people!
Check the local listings for campgrounds and other lodging in the area you’re visiting.
Take the time to discover Mendonoma yourself-you fall in love with the beauty of the coastal towns and beaches! It’s a great area for dogs too-Shadow loved it!
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