A Little Bit About Willits
The Willits Arch, located on Main Street near the City Center, heralds the town's role as "Gateway to the Redwoods."
Willits serves as the hub of Mendocino County, located within easy driving distance of redwood groves to the north and south, the North Coast and world renowned wineries.
We invite you to "Discover Willits" and the surrounding area. The region's diversity offers everything from unique wilderness and rural adventures to top-notch cultural treasures, cuisine, wines and brews.
Willits is a friendly little country town nestled at the western edge of the Little Lake Valley at 1,350 feet above sea level. Surrounded by the forested mountains of the coastal range Willits in centrally located in the heart of Mendocino Coounty at the juncture of Highways 101 and 20 West, approximately halfway between San Francisco and Eureka.
Willits has diverse cultural and educational amenities offered through the Mendocino County Museum, Willits Community Theater and the Willits Center for the Arts. A state-of-the-art teaching hospital with some of the best orthopedic doctors is right here!
We will always remember our roots, steeped in the traditions and solid values of our pioneer heritage. Willits Frontier Days celebrates our heritage every July 4th with California's oldest continuous rodeo in the state!
Willits tree-lined streets with its vintage Victorian and Craftsman-style homes transports visitors to the small-town ambience of yesteryear.
Much of Willits' architectural heritage dates back to its early years as a timber industry center with several buildings featured on the national historical registry.
Exploring the country roads around Willits can be a surprising and rewarding experience for drivers, bicylists and motorcylists.
Little Lake Valley is home to many horse, cattle and sheep ranches, some still owned by families of early settlers. In spring, colts, calves and lambs frolic in the fields, and in the early summer the scent of mown hay permeates the valley.
The northern half of the valley floods each winter, and by late spring blooms into a carpet of intense blue camas lilies.
In recent years, there has been a resurgence of producing locally grown food. Several small local farms sell produce, cheese and meats to local restaurants and at the Willits Farmers Market.
To taste this rural lifestyle, one must leave Highway 101 and travel the country roads. Photographic opportunities abound along the rural byways, from ancient weathered barns somewhat hidded in early morning mist, to active cattle drives or newborn lambs frolicking in the spring grass.
Migratory birds have stopped in the Little Lake Valley for eons and can be viewed easily from the roadside. Hawks, cranes and egrets routinely patrol the area. Herds of deer and flocks of turkeys are common sights, sharing the grassy fields with livestock. A small group of elk have migrated back into the valley.
Biking around Little Lake Valley on country roads is also a good way to experience these bucolic sights. The country roads provide easy loop rides with only minor elevation changes. The pastoral route takes riders along fields of horses, sheep and cattle, with the occasional llama and goat thrown in.
Motorcyclists flock to rural Mendocino County back roads. There are great paved loops, whether along Highway 20 from Willits to the coast and returning to Willits by Branscomb Road, or south on Highway 101.
Highway 163, which curves along the Eel River to Covelo, offers bikers a chance to view beautiful vistas and ride challenging terrain. And even a quick dip into the Eel River!