Mendocino Big River Road & Big River State Park


Wide, well-maintained, virtually flat, and picturesque; Big River is an ideal long run choice.

Directions: From Highway 1, take the "Mendocino Headlands State Park" exit on the eastern side of the highway (clickable map at right). Park at the beach if you'd like to begin or end your journey here. Continue driving to the yellow gate parking area to begin at Big River Road. There is a bathroom here.


Popularity: With good reason, this is a highly popular road. Many walkers of all ages and abilities, some runners. Keep an ear out for cyclists--many casual cyclists take this road and may not alert you if they are coming up from behind. You will find solitude once you are three or four miles out.

Run Profile: Click through the slideshow below. Be advised that there are a lot of mosquitoes on this road, so you may want to use bug repellent. I got a couple nasty bites through my tights on my last run! Though there is elevation in this run, is feels quite flat as you're on it (though my husband once declared that it is actually "uphill both ways").

elevation over 9 miles