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Fort Ross State Historic Park

Sonoma Coast + Napa Area, California

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Fort Ross State Historic Park

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  • The fort at Fort Ross State Historic Park.- Fort Ross State Historic Park
  • Park entrance and visitor center. - Fort Ross State Historic Park
  •  Russian Orthodox Chapel.- Fort Ross State Historic Park
  • Northwest blockhouse.- Fort Ross State Historic Park
  • Fort Ross State Historic Park.- Fort Ross State Historic Park
  • Southeast blockhouse.- Fort Ross State Historic Park
  • Fort Ross.- Fort Ross State Historic Park
  • Armory in the Koskov House.- Fort Ross State Historic Park
  • Koskov House.- Fort Ross State Historic Park
  • Ocean views from Fort Ross.- Fort Ross State Historic Park
  • An illustration depicting a 19th-century ship loading chute at Fort Ross.- Fort Ross State Historic Park
  • Ocean coves surrounding Fort Ross.- Fort Ross State Historic Park
  • Ocean coves surrounding Fort Ross.- Fort Ross State Historic Park
  • Park grounds.- Fort Ross State Historic Park
  • Trail on the hills above Fort Ross.- Fort Ross State Historic Park
  • Typical site at Reef Campground.- Fort Ross State Historic Park
  • Sunset from Fort Ross State Historic Park. - Fort Ross State Historic Park
  • - Fort Ross State Historic Park
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Oceanside fort. Rich history. Coves and hiking trails.
Cons: 
None.
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Region:
Sonoma Coast + Napa Area, CA
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Parking Pass: 
State Park Fee
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Team

Perched on bluffs above the Pacific Ocean in coastal Sonoma County, Fort Ross State Historic Park has a rich cultural history as the site of the southernmost Russian settlement in North America. The fort was established in 1812 to provide the Russian-American Company an agricultural base to supply their more northerly Pacific settlements in Alaska. Constructed to protect the settlement, the fort also became a base for a productive but deleterious sea otter harvesting industry through the early to mid 19th century that housed a diverse cultural mix of Russians, native Alaskans, and Californians. Interestingly, Fort Ross was also the location of California’s first shipbuilding and agricultural windmills. 

Today visitors can tour the grounds of the fort by exploring the traditional reconstructed buildings within the stockade that include canon-fortified blockhouses, a Russian orthodox chapel, and an original surviving structure, the Rotchev House. A visitor center, museum, and bookstore provide access to the fort, and there is easy access to a series of hiking trails that traverse the coastal bluffs above scenic rocky coves. Reef Campground is located within the park grounds to the south of the park's main entrance (uses a separate access road off Highway 1), providing shoreline access.

The park’s stockade grounds and visitor center are open seven days a week from August 1 through September 30 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Outside of those dates the park scales back open hours to a Friday through Monday schedule for the rest of the year. Park grounds and hiking trails are accessible year round, but the parking area is closed outside of operating hours. Dogs are allowed in the parking area, service road, and campground, but they must remain on a leash.
 

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Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(7 within a 30 mile radius)

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(10 within a 30 mile radius)

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