Virgin Creek

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Coordinates: 39°28′17″N 123°48′15″W / 39.4714°N 123.8042°W / 39.4714; -123.8042

Virgin Creek lagoon and beach from the haul road

Virgin Creek is a small stream in Mendocino County, California north of Fort Bragg. It is approximately 2.9 miles (4.7 km) long, with no tributaries, and drains a watershed area of approximately 4.2 square miles (11 km2). It passes from forested areas near its headwaters, at an elevation of 320 feet (98 m), through residential developments, to a sandy beach on the Pacific Ocean in MacKerricher State Park at its mouth. Approximately 1.5 miles (2.4 km) from the mouth, it passes over a waterfall approximately 9 feet (2.7 m) high that may form a barrier for fish; below the waterfall, young salmon have been observed.[1]

An old haul road, once used for logging and now a pedestrian and bicycle trail, crosses the creek on the west side of California State Route 1, and provides access to the beach at the mouth of the creek.[2][3] The beach is well-known as a surf break,[4] with swells up to 6 feet (1.8 m) in both directions.[5] Other beach activities include bird watching and tide pooling at low tide.[6] However pets are not allowed, even on leashes.[7]


  1. ^ Stream Inventory Report: Virgin Creek, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, 2008, retrieved 2018-01-04 CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (2009), Rail-Trails West: California, Arizona, and Nevada, Wilderness Press Series, Wilderness Press, p. 148, ISBN 9780899974897
  3. ^ California State Parks (2nd ed.), The Mountaineers Books, p. 39, ISBN 9780898869323
  4. ^ Thornton, Stuart (2016), Moon Coastal California, Moon Handbooks, Avalon Publishing, p. 490, ISBN 9781631213267
  5. ^ Surfer Magazine (2006), Surfer Magazine's Guide to Northern and Central California Surf Spots, Chronicle Books, p. 90, ISBN 9780811849982
  6. ^ Green, Stewart M. (2014), Scenic Routes & Byways California's Pacific Coast (7th ed.), Rowman & Littlefield, p. 194, ISBN 9781493004751
  7. ^ Stienstra, Tom (2015), Moon West Coast RV Camping: The Complete Guide to More Than 2,300 RV Parks and Campgrounds in Washington, Oregon, and California, Moon Outdoors, Avalon Publishing, p. 352, ISBN 9781612388083