Gateway To The Redwoods

About Willits

Willits (formerly Little Lake and Willitsville) is a city in Mendocino County, California, United States. Willits is located 20 miles (32 km) north-northwest of Ukiah, at an elevation of 1391 feet (424 m). The population was 4,888 at the 2010 census, down from 5,073 at the 2000 census. Willits is at the center of Mendocino County and at the beginning of the county’s extensive redwood forests as approached by Highway 101 from the south. An arch donated to the city by Reno, Nevada in 1995 stands in the center of town and displays Willits’ slogans “Heart of Mendocino County” and “Gateway to the Redwoods.” The Sherwood Valley Rancheria of Pomo Indians of California is headquartered in Willits.

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About Willits

Points of Interest in WIllits

Explore Willits

The Skunk Train

Come ride the Skunk in its natural habitat. Forty miles of railroad run through majestic redwood forests, scenic mountain meadows, and over 30 trestles bridging the pristine mountain waters of Northern California.

Ridgewood Ranch

The Seabiscuit Heritage Foundation is a 501c3 that preserves and promotes the cultural legacy of historic Ridgewood Ranch, home of the legendary racehorse, Seabiscuit.

Willits Center of the Arts

The Willits Center for the Arts’ mission is to support active cultural participation and artistic expression in the City of Willits and its surrounding communities by providing a public space for gallery shows, arts activities, education, cultural activities, and community enrichment

Willits Chamber of Commerce

The Chamber of Commerce welcomes you to Willits, CA – Gateway to the Redwoods. This site provides the answers you need about doing business in Willits, relocating to our region, and joining the chamber.

Mendocino County Museum

The Mendocino County Museum collects, conserves and celebrates
the stories, artifacts, archives, and lives of the people and places of Mendocino County.

Barra Of Mendocino

We invite you to stop by our tasting room, open daily from 10 am – 5 pm and experience the family owned, estate grown wines of BARRA of Mendocino. And in case you can’t make it to Mendocino County, we have created a virtual tour just for you.

Willits Arch

The arch, which in June 1979 labeled Reno, Nev., “The Biggest Little City in the World,” after redesign and restoration in 1995 became the Willits Arch, naming its community the “Gateway to the Redwoods.”

According to the “New to Reno” historical site, the 1963 Reno Arch which became the Willits Arch was the second generation arch which did away with steel framework used in previous versions in favor of glowing plastic and a flashy rotating star. Because of its design, this arch was dubbed by some the “mod” or “hippie” arch but it was completely overhauled once it was donated to Willits.

Brooktrails Golf Course

Minutes from downtown Willits and surrounded by towering redwoods is the Brooktrails Golf Course, a 9-hole executive length course. Featuring 1,279 yards of golf for a par of 28, the course has a rating of 57.4 and a slope rating of 98 – great for beginners but also challenging enough for advanced players. The course also features a newly constructed 18-hole disc golf course.

Willits Community Theatre

2017 is Willits Community Theatre’s 40th year in service to the arts appreciative community in California’s Mendocino, Humboldt, Sonoma and Lake Counties …. and beyond! WCT is proud to present an annual season of new and classic plays every year.

McFadden Farm and Vineyard's

Our mission is simple: to provide the best products and service to our customers at the lowest prices possible. We take great pride in our company, our commitment to customer service and in the products we sell. Our online store is designed to provide you with a safe and secure environment to browse our product catalog.

Roots of Motive Power

Roots of Motive Power is an all-volunteer organization founded in 1982 to preserve and restore steam- and diesel-powered equipment used in the California north coast logging industry from the 1850s to the present.

Frey Vineyards Winery

We are a third-generation family-owned and operated winery located at the pristine headwaters of the Russian River in Redwood Valley, Mendocino County, California. At Frey Vineyards we combine the best of modern and traditional winemaking methods to showcase distinctive varietal flavors.

Willits Frontier Days

Willits Frontier Days, California’s longest continuously running rodeo celebrates Willits’ past and rodeo’s history with a two-week long celebration during the Fourth of July each year.

Local Events in Willits

Events and activities around Willits

Explore Willits

Local Restaurants and Things To Do around Willits

The Skunk Train

The Skunk Train will take you back in time as you are whisked away on a fantastic journey. This is a historically accurate train line running from Fort Bragg to Willits that showcases the phenomenal beauty of the area. Everyone will enjoy winding through the countryside over bridges and trestles and through tunnels.

See The redwoods

You have discovered the legendary California redwoods. At least once in your lifetime, you need to visit the magnificent coastal redwoods of Humboldt County—to walk, explore and soak up the silence and grandeur of forests unlike any others in the world.



The Mendocino County wine is an appellation that designates wine made from grapes grown mostly in Mendocino County, California. The region is part of the larger North Coast AVA and one of California's largest and most climatically diverse wine growing regions.

things to do

Willits is the ideal central location from which to enjoy the exceptional beauty of Mendocino County. To the north are the majestic redwoods and the Eel River, to the south award-winning wineries, and to the west is the rugged Mendocino Coast. We invite you to stay, play and enjoy Willits – the “Gateway to the Redwoods” and the “Heart of Mendocino County”!


Willits restaurants offer a mix of cuisines ranging from traditional American to Italian, Mexican, Greek and Asian. Most restaurants feature vegetarian options and several promote locally raised meats and produce. Reservations are rarely required and casual dress is welcome.


hiking trails

Five Hiking Trails You Will Love. There are several former logging trails in Brooktrails Township in Willits that have been restored into great hiking trails.



brooktrails Golf course

Minutes from downtown Willits and surrounded by towering redwoods is the Brooktrails Golf Course, a 9-hole executive length course. Featuring 1,279 yards of golf for a par of 28, the course has a rating of 57.4 and a slope rating of 98 – great for beginners but also challenging enough for advanced players.


Known simply as “the river” to locals, the Eel River is where most of Willits heads when summer temperatures climb. Numerous swimming holes can be found along Hearst Road in the valley and along Covelo Road about 30 minutes north of downtown Willits.


upcoming events

Rarely a week goes by without some kind of event taking place in Willits. From Arts happenings to political gatherings to family friendly festivals, there’s always something going on.