Fort Ross State Historic Park


What? : Fort Ross is a historical state park in Sonoma County, including the Russian fortress trading outpost, the adjacent coastline and the nearby redwood forests.

My highway 1 north section trip planner link:

Link to my Picture gallery from our Feb. 2023 visit to Fort Ross:

Blog Links Covering Nearby Attractions:

Where? : Located on the Sonoma coast, 11 miles north of Jenner on Highway 1.

Google Map Link

Due note 1 : Regular Day Use Fees, $8.00 per car


Due note 2: Good place to fill up gas and re-supply is at the small Fort Ross Store, located just 2 miles north of Fort Ross on hwy 1.



My thoughts: We decided to stop here on the way back south from Mendocino. This is a nice place for a short visit, learn about the history of Russian society in California. The fortress itself is nice but not something special, we went inside, took few pictures and went for a short hike at the high cliffs above the bay.

Overall, we enjoyed the stay over there, and this was a nice refreshing stop at the long way south.


The visit:

The Fort Ross was founded in 1812 by the Russian-American Company.

Fort Ross was the site of California's first windmills and shipbuilding. Russian scientists associated with the colony were among the first to record California's cultural and natural history. After few owners exchange the State of California

acquired the site in 1906.


Fort Ross, one of the main tourist attractions between Bodega Bay and Fort Bragg, the large park visitor center showing the Russian-era.


The Fort:

Today, the Fort consists of several buildings surrounded by stockade walls.  The structure of most historical interest is the Rotchev house, this is one of the only remaining original buildings from the Russian period.

Just near the parking lot you can see the old Fort Ross Windmill.



The 3,400 acre park offers historic structures visit as well as natural landscapes and hiking. There are several hiking trails stretching north and south of the fort along the coastal headlands.

We hiked to the cape north of the Fort, you can find here open grasslands and scrubs, coastal steep bluffs that drop several hundred feet into the sea below and to wide ocean view.

Another option is to hike from the Fort down on the main park road into the sheltered Sandy Cove beach.