Duncan’s landing overlook with kids
Duncan’s landing overlook is a stop-and-go type of hike, in fact a great location to walk around with little kids. Located between Point Reyes National Seashore and the rest of the Mendocino. The area is cordoned off so that people won’t disturb the natural habitat. The fence should deter your children from attempting to cliff dive into the Pacific ocean.
Technically it is a tiny loop that goes quarter of a mile (really more like and eighth) around the Duncan’s landing overlook and a nice pit stop in case you grow tired of driving on the windy Pacific Coast highway – Hwy 1.
Note: There are no restrooms at this stop, just FYI
The most notable feature of this State Preserve is a lush green carpet of succulent plants. You’ll just want to dive right in and lay out on the nature’s rug (don’t do it though – they are sharp).
The only two other places that have such an abundance of succulents we’ve seen before was: at the Fort Ord Dunes State park – Monterey bay; the second place – North Beach at the Point Reyes national seashore.
Duncan’s Cove beach & a Cave
There’s a way to get down to the Duncan’s Cove beach on the southern aspect of the Duncan’s landing overlook. Although given that it’s cold most of the year, you probably won’t need to get down to the water and can stay on the path.
Surprisingly enough there’s a small cave located in the middle of the outcrop. Which of course, being a kid at heart, we went to checkout. (Nothing inside, if you were wondering).
Whale watching at Duncan’s overlook
It’s one of those places that people probably stopped for a smoke with a view back in the days on the way to Sonoma. There are always little to no visitors at the lookout. Apparently some people come here to whale-watch. We didn’t see any whales though.
Check the seasonal migration routes if you don’t have a GPS ping on your favorite whale traveling up and down the California coast. Here’s a cool article if you’d like to watch some whales in your part of California.
Some people come here to watch the sunsets. Some people even formed permanent settlements on the rugged coasts. Battered with winds you can see the intangible nature’s force reflected in crookedly skewed branches of the cypress trees. Weather beaten houses also reflect Northern California’s “welcoming” sea breeze.
There are several more cool places you can check out along Pacific Coast Highway while on your way to see the glass beach at Fort Bragg.
Here’s a terrible quality vertical video for you to enjoy. =)
See the Mendocino Guide for ideas.