Brewery Gulch Drive, a narrow paved, unused road that runs for about a mile along the steep bluffs of Mendocino Bay near Highway 1 (Shoreline Highway), is an easy and picturesque walk along the rugged coastline just south of the Big River Estuary. You can get there by taking Highway 1 south from Mendocino Village to its intersection with Comptche Ukiah Road, where Brewery Gulch loops off toward the bay. Surrounded by tall trees, shrubs and grass, the walk is both shady and sunny, and its position high above the Pacific catches the ocean breezes, and sometimes incoming bands of fog. Also known as Frontage Road, this short stretch features plenty of spots to throw down a blanket to enjoy the view and a picnic with your furry bestie.
Besides the pawsome views of Mendocino Bay and its rocky bluffs, looking northward across Big River treats you to a lovely vista that includes the Village and the Mendocino Headlands. A short, intersecting trail called the Mendocino Bay Viewpoint Trail exits from the parking area to a grassy bluff with a bench for enjoying the view, having a snack, waiting for the spectacular sunset, or getting married with your furry wingman as your best man! In the distance, Mendocino Headlands State Park beckons.
If you're planning to stay in the area for a few days, this trail offers proximity to Stanford Inn by the Sea, owned by dog lovers and managed to make Fido's stay as relaxing as your own. They provide amenities like stainless steel food and water bowls, doggy beds, special doggy sheets to protect the furniture, treats and eco-friendly waste bags. The Inn sits at the intersection where this trail begins.
While the omnipresent seagulls dominate the air, you may also spy woodpeckers and hawks, wild turkeys and squirrels, and the occasional deer along the trail or on one of the small unmarked dirt walkways to the edge of the bluff.
Whether this walk is simply a stop on your trek on Highway 1, or is a destination, you're sure to relax away everyday life, even if only for a short stroll and a sit!