Kruse Rhododendron State Natural Reserve


What? :

This preserve that is located just north of Salt Point State Park contains second-growth redwood, Douglas-fir, grand firs, tanoaks, and a rhododendron.

There are few hiking options but not a lot more than that.


I do not see this park as a must visit for people that are on their highway 1 road trip, there are more impressive redwoods forests in other nearby parks.



Where? :

Kruse Rhododendron State Natural Reserve is located adjacent north to Salt Point State Park.

Drive on highway 1 twenty miles north of the town of Jenner. The reserve is adjacent to Salt Point State Park on the inland side of Highway One.

Near milepost 43 you will see the clear sign, turn onto Kruse Ranch Road, the pavement ends with a warning: “One lane road 1,000 feet ahead. No turn next 4 miles.” If you’re in a passenger car, proceed 1,000 feet to the small roadside parking area.

Google Map Link



When? :

The preserve is open year-round.


Nearby destination blogs:


Due note 1: free entrance, the reserve has no restrooms or trash receptacles. Pack it in; pack it out.


Due note 2: Pets and bicycles are not permitted on the trails.


Due note 3: Roughly from mid-April to mid-June enjoy the clusters of pink rhododendrons.


Due note 4: Edward P. Kruse donated the land to the people of California in 1933 as a living memorial to his father.


Due note 5: State Park units in the Sonoma-Mendocino Coast District do not allow launching, landing, or the operation of drones on State Park property.


Due note 6: The road is in good condition for any passenger car but it is not recommended to long RV’s.



My thoughts:

I was not planning to visit here but when driving north from Salt Point State Park I saw the park sign on highway 1 and decided to visit here.

It was a rainy morning and the forest protect from the rain. As result of the heavy overnight rain all the small streams have running water.



The visit:

This preserve contains second-growth redwood, Douglas-fir, grand firs, tanoaks, and a plethora of rhododendrons. The state park service began a tan oak in the park during 1970 to preserve the rhododendron habitat by slowing natural succession.


When visiting here you can hike the two miles long loop trail that wind through the forest and mountain slops or only walk the short loop trail near the car parking.


When visiting here I did not have a lot of time, so I only walk the small loop trail near the parking lot. I drove up the 4 miles until a easy location where I can turn around.


A short and relaxing stop on my highway 1 road trip north.