This is a park that takes some time to truly appreciate. Visitors should schedule an hour and a half to two hours to complete the Ecological Staircase, but you will likely want to spend more time exploring the beautiful headlands at Jug Handle, or spending time on the beach. Visitors should keep an eye out for poison oak, as the lower part of the Ecological Staircase often has poison oak encroaching on the trail.
Jug Handle has one of the most beautiful beaches on the Mendocino Coast, as well, easily accessible via a staircase leading from the upper parking lot. The Ecological Staircase can be reached via the beach by crossing a creek – which may be small or large depending on the season – or by staircase from the upper parking lot. Jug Handle is located about halfway between Mendocino and Fort Bragg, with a parking lot directly off of Highway 1.