Visiting Fort Ross State Historic Park


Fort Ross Map
Click on the map to enlarge.

Fort Ross, one of the main tourist attractions between Bodega Bay and Fort Bragg, is a California State Historic Park showcasing a historic Russian-era fort compound that has been designated National Historic Landmark status. Located eleven miles north of Jenner on California Highway One, one of the most scenic coastal routes in the world Fort Ross is surrounded by sandy beaches, panoramic coves, and redwood forests, with breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean.

The 3,400 acre park offers pristine natural landscapes as well as historic structures and exhibits that bring to life the former Imperial Russian settlement, early California Ranch era, and Kashaya territory. The park is approximately 45 minutes north of Bodega Bay and about 25 miles or an hour’s drive from one of San Francisco’s oldest retreats, the Russian River and 2 hours from San Francisco.

Fort Ross offers ample parking. The Visitor Center, restrooms, upper picnic areas, and trail to the historic compound are handicap-accessible via new ADA trails. There is also handicap-accessible parking near the fort compound. Directions: Visit here for Google Maps link.

Fort Ross State Historic Park is open EVERY DAY! The Visitor Center and the fort compound is open from 10am to 4:30pm. The park grounds are open from sunrise to sunset.

Regular Day Use Fees: (does not apply to special events such as Fort Ross Festival)

  • $8.00 per car
  • $7 (senior)
  • Bus (24 passengers or fewer) $50
  • Bus (25 or more passengers) $100

Dogs: Dogs are permitted (on leash)  anywhere you can drive a car (roads, parking lots), inside the limits of any structures (Visitor Center, Fort compound and buildings), picnic areas, and campgrounds. They are not permitted on trails, beaches, beyond the limits of roads, parking areas, campgrounds or picnic areas.

For more information:
707/847-3437 Fort Ross Conservancy office, staffed seven days a week
707/847-3286 Ranger Offices

THINGS TO DO

  • Things to Do — Describes various activities available at Fort Ross.
  • Places to See — Lists the many points of interest and provides historic background.

HOTELS
Please mention Fort Ross Conservancy when making your reservation.

  • Timber Cove Resort, luxe meets Lodge in 46 newly-designed guest rooms and suites, with forest, cove, or ocean views. Unplug and recharge in this hippy-chic, Frank Lloyd Wright inspired 60’s coastal icon, just ten minutes North of Fort Ross. Coast Kitchen, panoramic Pacific views accentuate the clean and crisp presentation of a seafood centric, farm-to-table menu of wine country coastal cuisine.
  • Fort Ross Lodge, less than eight minutes north of Fort Ross.
  • Ocean Cove Lodge, less than ten minutes north of Fort Ross
  • Sea Ranch, 45 minutes north of Fort Ross.
  • Jenner Inn, 25 minutes south of Fort Ross. Also newly remodeled with a new restaurant.
  • River’s End, Jenner, 30 minutes south of Fort Ross.
  • Bodega Bay Lodge, 1 hour south of Fort Ross on Hwy One, has numerous hotels as well.
  • Timber Cove Boat Landing, Brenda Verno: they manage a few rental houses in the area: 707/847-3278
  • Reliable Home Management, Alicia Frost: rents vacation houses in the area 707/847-3425
  • Raymond’s Bakery and Elim Grove Cabins: 707/632-5335

Or try the various towns along the Russian River: Duncan’s Mills, Monte Rio, Guerneville, Forestville.

EATERIES NEAR FORT ROSS

South of Fort Ross

North of Fort Ross

CAMPING
Please mention Fort Ross Conservancy when making your reservation.

Private Campgrounds

Public Campgrounds

  • Stillwater Cove Park reservations: 707/565-2267 [Monday through Friday 10am-3pm]
  • Sonoma County Regional Park campground reservations: 707/565-2267
  • Gualala Point Regional Park, one mile south of Gualala, 707/565-2267
  • Doran Regional Park, one mile south of Bodega Bay, reservations, 707/565-2267
  • Reef Campground at Fort Ross State Historic Park is on first-come, first-served basis. The campground will open as soon as winter storm damages have been addressed. Day use is closed.
  • Salt Point State Park, Gerstle Cove is open all-year-round. Woodside is open April 1-Nov 1.Reservations: 800/444-7275 (first-come first-served during off season, otherwise reservations available through Reserve America 800/444-7275.)

There are 109 family campsites at Salt Point State Park. Thirty sites are on the ocean side of the highway at Gerstle Cove Campground, and 79 sites are on the east side of the highway at Woodside Campground.

For more information on Gerstle Cove & Woodside campgrounds at Salt Point: 707/847-3221.


Fort Ross Conservancy’s Educational Programs:

Environmental Living ProgramThe Environmental Living Program provides hands-on learning which allows students to experience the joys of history as active participants, exploring the interaction between people and their environment. Immersed for a brief time in the past, students learn about the many cultures and lifestyles present at Settlement Ross. Through performing some of the tasks that were a part of daily life at Fort Ross, such as cooking, fishing, processing natural materials that have been gathered according to season, practicing artisanal crafts, dancing, students gain a better understanding of history and their relationship to it. During an overnight Fort Ross ELP, students, parents, and teachers sleep inside the historic compound buildings.

Educational OpportunitiesFor those groups that cannot sign up for a whole MEP or ELP, we offer Educational Opportunities that can run for one to four hours, delving into the natural marine ecology or cultural history of Fort Ross.  Pair this professionally led tour with other guided site visits to the orchard, cemetery, Sandy Cove beach, tidepools, plus a picnic lunch, and you have a day of wonderful activities for your school group!

Marine Ecology ProgramFRC’s Marine Ecology Program provides an experiential and exciting outdoor educational field trip for students, including:

  • Learning how to engage in hands-on marine mammal observation, identification, and survey,
  • Exploring the diverse and fragile intertidal zone and its beautiful life forms,
  • Keeping a field journal to record scientific data, thoughts, and sketches,
  • Studying current and historic ecological interconnections,
  • Discussing the importance of biodiversity and marine conservation,
  • Team building and collaborative learning in an outdoor classroom setting.