A hiking trail that takes you from historical property, along vineyards, through the redwoods to the park summit with views of all the local mountain tops and around the bend to views of the valley is pretty spectacular! The through hike from Jack London State Park to North Sonoma Mountain Regional Park has been on our list since the two were connected! The hubs and I parked one car at North Sonoma Mountain Regional Park and drove down the gorgeous Sonoma Mountain Road to the adorable town of Glen Ellen and up to Jack London Sate Park. This was just the beginning of the beauty we would see!
Start at the parking lot for the Beauty Ranch and enjoy the scent of the eucalyptus trees in the morning as you walk along the path to the historic barn. As we were passing the barn there was a noise inside…a ghost? More than likely a critter but it still startled us in the quiet morning! We have been all over Jack London State Park and love every bit of it! The seasons are gorgeous to watch here! We have learned to go before the mosquitos hatch, they are relentless around the lake!
We passed by the historic buildings and walked along the vineyard with views of the mountain ahead of us on the trail and the old grain silos to the right of the trail. We have hiked this trail before, check out our summit post from 2015 on our old site www.smilinginsonoma.com. Not much has changed. It is still gorgeous, it still kicked our butts.
The fire road winds through some old redwoods up to the lake. You can take Lower Lake trail or Upper Lake trail and they all meet up with the fire road Mountain Trail. All of them are beautiful to experience.
Once you pass the lake the trail begins to climb steadily. If you escape the mosquitos you are lucky! I think we were still early in the season for them but still ran through the shaded areas where the water stood still. There was still plenty of water flowing through the small creeks that crossed the trails causing us to hop across the rocks. Love the sound of water flowing!
After strolling through some tall redwoods, the landscape changed to meadows and oaks. This is where we saw a mama deer and her two babies in tow! We paused and let them get themselves to safety without startling them. The lack of shade, the increase in elevation and sunshine took a bit of energy from us and we had to stop and take a break at the bench with views overlooking the Sonoma Valley. Always come up with an excuse to pause for a bit with gorgeous views!
The Summit of Jack London State Park
From here we were refreshed and ready to tackle the next stretch of trail to the summit. We took the Summit Trail up and enjoyed all of the views that were starting to appear. As you climb you begin to see Mt Diablo to the south and the Sonoma Valley. Keep going to the summit and there are fewer trees and more meadows and views. Reaching the park summit you are greeted with a bench for your much deserved break.
Look around! If you are sitting on the bench (I couldn’t because the views were too spectacular!) to your left is Mt St Helena. Then the Mayacamas in front of you. You can see the burn areas and the bright green grass where mother nature is showing off her strength. You can see the entire Sonoma Valley below and Mt Diablo beyond. Don’t stop here! To the south and west is Mt Tamalpais. The view from the summit of Jack London State Park is so incredible on a clear day! We felt joy for making it to the top. We felt humbled for living so close to this much beauty.
North Sonoma Mountain
When you are done taking in the views, head back down to Mountain trail and go left. The trail sign to go to North Sonoma Mountain is small and you might get distracted by the draw of some shade on your hike but don’t forget to hang a left here or you will end up going back down to Beauty Ranch.
From here the hike is mostly shaded. The trails is lush with poison oak, ferns, oaks and bay. Some pockets of views of Annadel come in and out between the trees. The trail has a ton of switchbacks and is mostly level here. Water was flowing down the creeks on this side of the mountain also. It’s good to see. Water makes nature happy!
Follow the trail along and enjoy the gradual descent. When you hit the power lines the views open up across to Santa Rosa. Keep going and enjoy the shade! Once the trail opens up to a meadow with a frog pond you are almost there!
After passing through the meadow you are once again hugged by the redwoods and get to cross a beautiful flowing creek. This is truly a treasure on the mountain! Head up the trail after crossing the bridge and you will find the parking lot. Be sure to watch the YouTube video for our delirious antics on the bridge!
The hubs and I hopped in the car and headed to Glen Ellen Market for lunch out on the patio. Perfect end to a perfect day!
Parking at Jack London is $10 (or a pass) and North Sonoma Mountain Regional is $7 (or a pass), portable potty at Jack London trailhead and pit toilet at North Sonoma Mountain, 50% sun, 8.36 miles with the extra hike up to the top, 1,600 ft elevation gain, moderately strenuous, no dogs. Nearest food area was the cute town of Glen Ellen.
Map My Walk Stats (no laughing! We enjoy the hikes, no speed hiking here)
Things We Love:
KT Tape. This is another lifesaver for the bosslady. This is so versatile and a sort of miracle item for various sports related injuries. The bosslady has heel tendinitis and occasional back problems. This allows her to keep hiking and enjoying the outdoors with less pain! I, the bosslady, try and recommend this to everyone that asks what the fun colored tape is running up the back of my lower calf. Seriously without this, we wouldn’t be out hiking and exploring. When my back was having spasms a couple years ago I used it and was able to go to work and walk around. The minute I took it off I was in major pain. When my brother was having back problems I suggested this to him and it alleviated his pain so he could continue working and take care of his kids. Oh, and the last time I fell and hit my shin on the edge of a large piece of driftwood (have I mentioned I am a klutz?) my leg swelled up so much I was a little nervous. I went to the store and picked up this amazing KT Tape patch and placed it over the swelling. The next morning the swelling was almost gone and my shin was already healing to where I could walk without pain. I really love this stuff! Of all the hiking related items I could recommend, this would be very high on my list of items to have on hand!
Where else can you find us?
Don’t forget to check out the video of the hike on our Hike Then Wine YouTube channel!
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