Russian Gulch State Park

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Russian Gulch State Park
Russian Gulch Beach.jpg
The beach at Russian Gulch State Park, and the Frederick W. Panhorst Bridge above it
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Location Mendocino County, California, USA
Nearest city Mendocino, California
Coordinates 39°20′N123°47′W / 39.333°N 123.783°W / 39.333; -123.783 Coordinates: 39°20′N123°47′W / 39.333°N 123.783°W / 39.333; -123.783
Governing body California Department of Parks and Recreation

Russian Gulch State Park is a California State Park in coastal Mendocino County, California, two miles north of Mendocino and seven miles south of Fort Bragg.

California U.S. state in the United States

California is a state in the Pacific Region of the United States. With 39.6 million residents across a total area of about 163,696 square miles (423,970 km2), California is the most populous U.S. state and the third-largest by area. The state capital is Sacramento. The Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second- and fifth-most populous urban regions, with 18.7 million and 9.7 million residents respectively. Los Angeles is California's most populous city, and the country's second-most populous, after New York City. California also has the nation's most populous county, Los Angeles County, and its largest county by area, San Bernardino County. The City and County of San Francisco is both the country's second-most densely populated major city after New York City and the fifth-most densely populated county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs.

Mendocino, California Unincorporated area in California, United States

Mendocino is an unincorporated community in Mendocino County, California, United States. Mendocino is located 9.5 miles (15 km) south of Fort Bragg, at an elevation of 154 feet. The population of the census-designated place (CDP) was 894 at the 2010 census, up from 824 at the 2000 census. The town's name comes from Cape Mendocino, named by early Spanish navigators in honor of Antonio de Mendoza, Viceroy of New Spain. In turn, the etymology of Mendoza is "cold mountain."

Fort Bragg, California City in California, United States

Fort Bragg is a coastal city along California's Shoreline Highway in Mendocino County. It is 24 mi (39 km) west of Willits, at an elevation of 85 feet. A California Historical Landmark, the city was founded, prior to the American Civil War, as a military garrison rather than a fortification. Fort Bragg is a tourist destination because of its picturesque views of the Pacific Ocean. Its population was 7,273 at the 2010 census.


Park features

The park features 7630 feet of rocky ocean shores; [1] it is approximately 3/4 of a mile wide from north to south at its widest point, and extends for approximately three miles from east to west. [2] Russian Gulch is crossed by California State Highway 1, which passes over the gulch on the Frederick W. Panhorst Bridge, a large concrete arch bridge constructed in 1940. [3] The park entrance is on the west side of Highway 1, north of the bridge, and connects by a one-lane road under the bridge to the eastern part of the park. The smaller, western portion of the park consists largely of headlands with a blowhole and picnic areas, while the larger eastern portion of the park includes a campground, the park headquarters, and several trails for bicycles, hikers, and horses. [4] A 2.5 mile hike from the trailhead at the east end of the campground to a 36-foot waterfall largely follows an abandoned logging road along the creek. [4] [5] A small beach, physically in the western part of the park but accessed by a road from the eastern side, is equipped with a restroom and an outdoor shower; [4] swimming, skin diving, fishing, and tide pool exploration are all possible. [1]

Frederick W. Panhorst Bridge

The Frederick W. Panhorst Bridge, more commonly known as the Russian Gulch Bridge, is a reinforced concrete open-spandrel deck arch bridge on California State Highway 1, spanning Russian Gulch Creek in Russian Gulch State Park, Mendocino County, California, United States. It is named after Frederick W. Panhorst, who served as the Chief of the Bridge Section of the California Division of Highways from 1931 to 1960.

Concrete Composite construction material

Concrete, usually Portland cement concrete, is a composite material composed of fine and coarse aggregate bonded together with a fluid cement that hardens over time—most frequently in the past a lime-based cement binder, such as lime putty, but sometimes with other hydraulic cements, such as a calcium aluminate cement or Portland cement. It is distinguished from other, non-cementitious types of concrete all binding some form of aggregate together, including asphalt concrete with a bitumen binder, which is frequently used for road surfaces, and polymer concretes that use polymers as a binder.

Arch bridge bridge type characterized by its supporting arches

An arch bridge is a bridge with abutments at each end shaped as a curved arch. Arch bridges work by transferring the weight of the bridge and its loads partially into a horizontal thrust restrained by the abutments at either side. A viaduct may be made from a series of arches, although other more economical structures are typically used today.


The name "Russian Gulch" was given to the area by U.S. government surveyors, in honor of the Russian fur trappers who founded Fort Ross fifty miles to the south; [1] according to a more specific local tradition, a deserter from Fort Ross lived at Russian Gulch. [2] [6] In the second half of the 19th century, schooners would frequently make dangerous stops in the cove to take on coast redwood lumber and passengers; the headlands still contain iron rings used to hold ropes and move lumber when these ships docked, and a mill made redwood shingles on what is now the site of a park recreation hall. [1] Some of the land within what is now the park was farmed in the late 19th century, and in the mid-1920s a property developer from Los Angeles, F. O. Warner, bought land in the area with the intention of building a resort there. [2] The Native Sons of the Golden West began a drive to turn the area into a park in 1928, [2] and after funds were provided by A. Johnston, the county, and the state, the park was founded in 1933. [1]

Schooner Sailing vessel

A schooner is a type of sailing ship, as defined by its rig configuration. Typically it has two or more masts, the foremast being slightly shorter than the mainmast.

<i>Sequoia sempervirens</i> species of plant of the monotypic genus Sequoia in the cypress family (Cupressaceae)

Sequoia sempervirens is the sole living species of the genus Sequoia in the cypress family Cupressaceae. Common names include coast redwood, coastal redwood and California redwood. It is an evergreen, long-lived, monoecious tree living 1,200–1,800 years or more. This species includes the tallest living trees on Earth, reaching up to 379 feet (115.5 m) in height and up to 29.2 feet (8.9 m) in diameter at breast height (dbh). These trees are also among the oldest living things on Earth. Before commercial logging and clearing began by the 1850s, this massive tree occurred naturally in an estimated 2,100,000 acres (850,000 ha) along much of coastal California and the southwestern corner of coastal Oregon within the United States.

Native Sons of the Golden West

The Native Sons of the Golden West is a fraternal service organization founded in 1875, limited to native born Californians and dedicated to historic preservation, documentation of historic structures and places in the state, the placement of historic plaques and other charitable functions within California. In 1890 they placed the first historical marker in the state to honor the discovery of gold which gave rise to the state nickname "Golden State" and "Golden West." Former U.S. President Richard M. Nixon and former Chief Justice of the United States Earl Warren were both past presidents of the NSGW.

Russian Gulch was one of 70 state parks due for closure in 2012 due to state budget cuts. [7]

See also

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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Russian Gulch SP, California State Park System.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Russian Gulch State Park brochure (PDF), California State Park System, 2003, Archived from the original on June 9, 2004CS1 maint: unfit url (link).
  3. Russian Gulch Bridge, California State Park System.
  4. 1 2 3 Ostertag, George (2001), California State Parks: A Complete Recreation Guide, The Mountaineers Books, pp. 42–44, ISBN   978-0-89886-762-6 .
  5. Freeze, Dennis F. (2002), Mendocino Outdoors, Monolith Press, pp. 26–27, ISBN   0-9722769-0-4 .
  6. Stewart, George R. (1950), "Three Mendocino names", Western Folklore, Western States Folklore Society, 9 (2): 154–155, doi:10.2307/1496550, JSTOR   1496550 .
  7. Brennan, Pat (May 13, 2011), "State cuts force closure of 70 parks", Orange County Register .