We will be hosted by the River Ranch, family owned wild land of several thousand acres size. River Ranch is located in Mendocino County, at a 3.5 hour drive from San Francisco.
The magic of the River Ranch unfolds as you enter the main gate and pass through the pine forest over the crest of the mountain and see the valley created by Cherry Creek and the larger Eel River canyon beyond. A drive down to the river drops 3000 feet in 3 miles but the grassy benches nestled among the rocks, oaks and digger pines give a succession of little worlds in the long drive. Halfway to the river, you reach the cabins and their little oasis of water and the reminder that this is a working cattle ranch. This land was sculpted for generations by Indians who cared for and harvested the trees, deer herd and the fish in the river. This gave way to settlers who introduced pigs and even had a school house on the ranch. Next the bulldozers visited to sculpt the roads and spring fed ponds. Today it’s a quiet place with just a few people, cattle that help keep the plants diverse and the land open now that fire is no longer used to maintain the balance between wildflowers, grasses, bushes and trees. Once at the river, watch for river otters and the many animal tracks in the sand.