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Highway 1 Near Elk

Photo Courtesy of Brendan McGuigan

Top 5 Scenic Drives in Mendocino County for Unforgettable Road Trips

From dramatic sea cliffs to rolling hills covered in vineyards, Mendocino County offers a wealth of stunning scenic road trips. Whether you’re in search of the perfect sunset view or a peaceful drive through the deep woods, these routes have it all, so bring your camera and put on your favorite driving mix.

Highway 1 Near Elk

Photo Courtesy of Brendan McGuigan

Highway 1

The ultimate coastal drive, Highway 1 offers breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean, rugged cliffs, and charming seaside towns. Stop at overlooks to admire the stunning vistas and explore local attractions, like Point Cabrillo Lighthouse and Glass Beach.

Photo Courtesy of Brendan McGuigan

Philo-Greenwood Road

This picturesque drive from the Anderson Valley to Elk is a hidden gem. The winding road takes you past lush vineyards, enchanting forests, and rustic barns, offering the perfect backdrop for a leisurely drive or a romantic escape.

Photo Courtesy of @erichuypham

Fort Bragg-Willits Road (Highway 20)

Connecting Fort Bragg to Willits, this drive takes you through dense redwood forests, including local-favorite Jackson State Demonstration Forest, past meandering creeks, and along winding mountain roads.

Photo Courtesy of Brendan McGuigan

Comptche-Ukiah Road

This rural drive – Orr Springs Road on the Ukiah side, and Comptche-Ukiah Road on the coastal side – connects the coast to Ukiah, offering a diverse landscape of redwood forests, open meadows, and oak-studded hillsides. Visit Montgomery Woods State Natural Reserve  along the way.

Photo Courtesy of @cmaizephoto

Highway 128

Arguably the most scenic stretch of highway in the county, Highway 128 between Cloverdale (in Sonoma County) and Navarro Beach and the Highway 1 Junction is a truly remarkable drive. You’ll see vineyards and redwoods, rustic barns and world-class wineries, an apple farm or two, and the Navarro River.

Photo Courtesy of @kcolley007

Skunk Train Route

Although not a drive, these historic train rides are worth mentioning. Enjoy the stunning scenery of Mendocino County, including redwood groves, sparkling rivers, and verdant meadows, from the comfort of a vintage railcar. Departing from both Willits and Fort Bragg regularly for roundtrip excursions.

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