Jug Handle State Reserve, a 769-acre park located on the Mendocino coast, preserves the unique ecology of the northern California coast. The park features a 2.5-mile self-guided nature trail, The Ecological Staircase, which explores five wave-cut terraces formed by the glacier, sea, and tectonic activity that built the coast range.

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Expert Review of Jug Handle State Reserve and Beach

Beach Review of Jug Handle State Reserve and Beach

Away Travel Expert: Christine Loomis
BeachExpert Rating 4.0 out of 5 Recommended for:
Scuba Diving
BeachExpert Tips & Helpful Hints
  • This is another of the area's popular dive spots. If you're looking for abalone, check first on the regulations. You can rent gear from one of the dive shops in town.
  • By far the reserve's most unique feature is the Ecological Staircase nature trail, so be sure to get out of the water and walk it.
  • The 2.5-mile Ecological Staircase trail takes you to five different terraces created by waves, glaciers, and tectonic activity. Each one has a different ecosystem (pine forest, prairie, pygmy forest), and each is 100,000 years older than the one below. It's a remarkable view of earth's movements.


Visitor Information

Telephone Number: 707-937-5804
Email: info@parks.ca.gov
The details, dates, and prices mentioned here were accurate at the time of publication.

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