Ukiah – Main Office
Ukiah is two hours north of San Francisco, an easy drive on Highway 101. Not to be confused with Yreka or Eureka, Ukiah is a lovely valley dotted with vineyards, orchards, and redwood trees. It offers small-town charm and easy access to the city, the coast, and the mountains.
Ukiah is the Mendocino County seat and most of the county government facilities are located within or near the city.
Ukiah enjoys wonderful weather most of the year.
It does get warm in the summer, with temperatures in the high 90s and up to 100-plus degrees from late July through early September. However, there is a reprieve every evening when the sun sets behind the western hills. Regardless of how hot it gets, the humidity in the summer is a low 20-30 percent most days.
When it cools in the evening, you’ll need a light jacket or sweater for a walk in the park or to enjoy the numerous social gatherings open to the public most summer nights. And don’t worry about it raining on your parade or your picnic. Ukiah’s summers are dry and clear; it almost never rains between June and September, allowing the full orange moon to rise over the eastern mountains in a clear blue sky. It can take your breath away.
Fall usually starts in October with the ending of the grape harvest. From October until April, Ukiah gets most of its annual rainfall, which averages about 37 inches. Unlike the Central Valley, Ukiah has minimal heavy fog, usually limited to the winter months. A typical day can begin with low-lying fog, beautifully outlined by the hills that surround the valley. After the fog burns off by 10 a.m. or so, the remainder of the day can contain intermittent misting rain and sunshine. Rainbows are common around the Ukiah Valley during fall and winter. Thunder and lightning are rare.
Ukiah is located at 610 feet above sea level so snow is rare, but about once every five years the valley gets a light dusting. If you enjoy the snow, you won’t have to drive far. The hills overlooking Ukiah frequently get snow during the winter.
Spring brings blossoms to the pear trees and a profusion of flowering trees and shrubs on every block. The vineyards turn a bright green as they begin to bud, and cool mornings give way to warmer afternoons.
Ukiah has a newly renovated hospital and a well-established medical community that includes primary and specialty care.
Adventist Health Ukiah Valley (adventisthealth.org/ukiah-valley)
Adventist Health Ukiah Valley is a 78-bed, not-for-profit hospital located in Ukiah. As the largest and most comprehensive healthcare facility in the county, Adventist Health Ukiah Valley offers a complete range of health care services. The emergency department operates with a physician on duty 24-hours a day and is designated as a Level IV Trauma Center. Each year, Adventist Health Ukiah Valley treats more than 25,000 patients in its emergency room. It also performs more than 5,000 surgical procedures, delivers more than 800 babies, and performs more than 43,000 radiology tests.
Adventist Health also offers outpatient primary and specialty care through its Rural Health Center.
MCHC Health Centers (mchcinc.org)
MCHC Health Centers operates three federally qualified health centers: Hillside Health Center in Ukiah, Little Lake Health Center in Willits and Lakeview Health Center in Lakeport. It serves all citizens of the county, including the indigent and low-income citizens. MCHC Health Centers offers primary medical care for adults and children, dental care for children and adults, behavioral health for adolescents and adults, and the largest women’s health center in the area: Care for Her. Specialty services include HIV care, orthopedics, and dermatology, among others. MCHC treats more than 500 patients per day, and their Care for Her doctors and midwives oversee more than half the births at the Adventist Health Ukiah Valley Birthing Center.
The district’s many outstanding programs serve more than 6,700 students, and scholastic achievements of high school students in the district have consistently exceeded state and national averages.
UUSD offers education from preschool through adulthood. The district has six elementary schools located throughout the city and outlying valleys; two middle schools; and a comprehensive high school that serves approximately 1,600 ninth through twelfth graders.
Ukiah High School is located on a 60-acre campus on the northwest side of the city. The facility resembles that of a college with an outdoor swimming pool, a lighted athletic stadium, and a large hall for music and drama productions.
Half of Ukiah High’s graduates enroll in an institution of higher learning, including the University of California system and prestigious private institutions. Both college entrance exam scores and those on the California Assessment Test are well above the State average.
The school district provides an alternative secondary program through South Valley High School, where students who have fallen behind can make up credits. In addition, the Ukiah Adult School offers programs such as Licensed Vocational Nursing, General Educational Development (G.E.D.), and others.
Other Options: Charter Schools and Private Schools
In addition to Ukiah Unified schools, Ukiah offers charter schools and private schools. Charter schools include River Oak, Redwood Academy and Tree of Life. Private schools include a Buddhist school: Instilling Goodness Elementary, a Catholic School: Saint Mary of the Angels, an Adventist school: Ukiah Junior Academy, a Christian school: Cornerstone School, and a Waldorf School: Mountain Meadow Waldorf.
Mendocino College (Mendocino.edu)
The main campus is located on 127 acres approximately three miles north of downtown Ukiah. Additional centers are located in Lakeport, Willits, and Fort Bragg. Mendocino College draws an enrollment of nearly 5,000 students, 800 of whom are full-time students.
The college provides associate degrees or certificates of achievement in a wide range of vocational, technical, and service fields for those with a goal of immediate job entry.
Those considering a baccalaureate degree can complete their first two years of study at Mendocino College and then transfer as juniors to any campus in the California State, University of California system, or to other public and private four-year institutions across the United States.
In 2016, the median household income in Ukiah was approximately $42,200. Mendocino County’s economic base is highly dependent upon local entrepreneurship. Thirty-five percent of all jobs worked in the county, according to data from the U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Economic Analysis, were self-employment positions. Small businesses contribute to large employment and income from niche manufacturing, specialty retail, and personal services. These industries, in turn, contribute to the social environment that attracts many visitors.
Of the almost 90,000 people who live in Mendocino County, approximately 35,000 of them live in the Ukiah Valley, a rich agricultural area, abundant with pear orchards, grape vineyards, and commercial gardens.
There are more than 30 wineries in the valley, the largest of which are Saracina Vineyards, Parducci Winery, Mendocino Vineyards, Brutacao Cellars, and Redwood Valley Cellars. All employ many seasonal and full-time crews to make wine and operate tasting rooms.
The largest local employer is Mendocino County government, with more than 800 full-time and approximately 380 part-time employees. In addition to the Executive Office, Health and Human Services, and the Sheriff’s Department, the County operates the Mendocino County Public Library and the Mendocino County Office of Education—both of which are located in the Ukiah area. The City of Ukiah government employs 250 people.
Adventist Health Ukiah Valley, the local hospital, is also a large employer, with more than 700 employees; as is MCHC Health Centers with more than 300 employees.
The Ukiah Unified School District is another large employer with more than 600 employees. Mendocino College employs approximately 400 people.
Some of the large private employers include the Savings Bank of Mendocino County and Factory Pipe, LLC.
Spiritual Life (ukiahchamber.com/worship/)
The spiritual needs of the community are met by a variety of churches and temples, ranging from Assemblies of God to Zen Buddhist. St. Mary of the Angels Catholic Church, the Seventh Day Adventist Church, and the Dharma Realm Buddhist Association all operate private schools.
There is something for everyone in Ukiah, and it will surprise the newcomer just how many organizations, activities, and events there are for adults and children alike.
There are several city parks. Todd Grove Park features the municipal pool, a play area with new playground equipment, and a bandstand for summer concerts.
The city maintains a beautiful 18-hole par 70 golf course; and Low Gap Park offers miles of trails, an 18-stop fitness course, archery range, and the only disk golf course in the county.
Cow Mountain is a 50,000-acre Federal Government reserve located minutes from downtown Ukiah where California sportsmen hunt for Colombian black-tailed deer, bear, boar, turkey, and other wildlife. North Cow Mountain provides world class, off-highway vehicle recreation opportunities.
Lake Mendocino offers boating, camping, hiking, water skiing, and fishing opportunities. The area rivers abound in fish: salmon, steelhead, bass, and more. The Mendocino National Forest provides thousands of acres of off-highway vehicle recreation opportunities.
California’s largest state forest, Jackson Demonstration Forest, provides camping, horseback riding, mushrooming, bird watching, hiking, and excellent mountain biking recreation.
A bowling alley provides league play as well as individual games. A six-theater movie complex offers first-run movies; and for bingo lovers, there are games in progress somewhere in town Monday through Saturday. Popular bingo spots include Grange Hall and the Ukiah Senior Center, as well as many gaming casinos throughout the area.
For children, Ukiah offers every level of baseball, from T-ball to teen league play. It also offers youth soccer, basketball, softball and martial arts.
Car racing is held Saturday nights throughout the summer at the Redwood Empire Fairgrounds.
Ukiah also offers more cultural and arts entertainment than many cities its size, including fine concerts, dances, plays and musicals.