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North Sonoma Mtn Trailhead to Sonoma Mtn Peak

Intermediate
 3.8 (6) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A gorgeous route including views of Bennett Valley on the way up to the peak of Sonoma Mountain.


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Map Key

9.7

Miles

15.6

KM

Out and Back

2,363' 720 m

High

1,066' 325 m

Low

1,747' 533 m

Up

1,748' 533 m

Down

7%

Avg Grade (4°)

34%

Max Grade (19°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Spring · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Overview

A stunning, longer day outing through rolling hills, up steep switchbacks, and alongside mountains and hills to the top of Sonoma Mountain. Lots of wildflowers line the trail in spring and there is plenty of wildlife to see as well. The peak has great views of different parts of Sonoma County, and on the way up you'll have a very scenic view of Bennett Valley. This is a fantastic route all around.

Need to Know

The drive immediately before parking is a narrow road. Be conscious and courteous of other drivers going to and from the trailhead.

Description

You'll enter in a thicket of trees and soon cross a bridge over South Fork Matanza's Creek. This will spit you out of the shade and straight into very open fields of rolling hills. As you wind your way through these hills, take a few moments to look back and enjoy Bennett Valley's lovely scenery. You'll reach the top of these gentle hills and face steep (but shaded) switchbacks. Once again, there's a gap between the trees, so be sure you take a few minutes to really let the beauty of the view sink in. Sonoma truly has its treasures and the sights here are among my favorites!

The switchbacks will end but the trail will still give you some elevation on the side of a hill range. There are many varied species of trees and flowers through this area until you're at the foot of the peak. Once you can see the radio towers at the peak of Sonoma Mountain, give it one last push up and around the corner (probably the steepest part of the trip!) and you'll be rewarded with awesome sweeping views of Sonoma County, including Glen Ellen, Mt. St. Helena, and so much more.

Well worth a day's efforts!

Flora & Fauna

In just one day, I saw tons of lizards, patches of wildflowers in the rolling hills, turkeys, bees, and a baby rattlesnake. Keep your eyes peeled, we stepped right over the snake. There's much more wildlife to be seen on other days!

Contacts

Shared By:

Kevin Bonner

Trail Ratings

  3.8 from 6 votes

#3354

Overall
  3.8 from 6 votes
5 Star
17%
4 Star
67%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
17%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#516

in California

#3,354

Overall
12 Views Last Month
2,420 Since May 7, 2016
Intermediate

17%
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83%
0%
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Photos

A section along the gentle hills. Wear sunscreen, you'll be exposed on this for a while.
May 7, 2016 near Eldridge, CA
Gorgeous Bennett Valley. Take your time and enjoy viewpoints like this one!
May 7, 2016 near Eldridge, CA
Sonoma Mountain Ridge Trail opens to the public, Spring, 2015.
Jun 1, 2015 near Eldridge, CA
Misty morning setting of the clearing near the top of Mountain Trail
May 17, 2016 near Eldridge, CA
Very beginning of the trail; nice and shaded.
May 7, 2016 near Eldridge, CA

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Check-Ins

Feb 21, 2021
Hayley Riggins
Nov 22, 2020
Trinity McKee
Some steep uphills, but beautiful views from the lookout point. Went on Saturday and wasn't too crowded. Drive to parking is narrow/steep. $7 to park 6.2mi — 1h 54m
Feb 17, 2019
Jen Manning
didn't quite get to peek