“A lovely short run with great views and oak forest trails.
— Kristen Arendt
Birding · River/Creek · Views · Wildlife
This route features sweeping views overlooking the Santa Rosa area and is a great option for a morning or afternoon run.
Need to Know
$7 parking fee or Sonoma County Regional Parks Pass. Remember these trails are four-legged friendly, including horse and dogs, as well as mountain bike friendly, so please be courteous to your fellow trail users.
Areas of these trails are rocky and a bit steep, but nothing too daunting.
Access this trail from the large parking area and trailhead on Petaluma Hill Road. When entering the parking lot from Petaluma Hill Road, head left (north) for day passenger vehicle parking. RV & Horse
Trailer parking is offered by turning right (south) when entering the parking lot.
The run begins on the Redtail Trail
which can be found along the north end of the parking lot next to the picnic benches and bathrooms. The trail jaunts through various small rocks while offering a variety of trees and wildlife. This trail acts as a gateway to the rest of Taylor Mountain.
From the Redtail Trail
, take a left on the short Connector Trail
to head up to the Western Route Trail
. Stay to the right at the next two junctions, and you'll find yourself running on the Western Route Trail
through an open meadow. In the spring, keep an eye open for wildflowers.
Stay right at the next junction, and the Western Route Trail
will come to a four-way intersection with the Eastern Route Trail
heading to your right and left, and the Sky Lupine Trail
continuing on straight ahead. You'll want to take a right here to continue your climb on the Eastern Route Trail
toward Taylor Mountain.
This section of the run will be a bit challenging, but don't worry as you'll soon be coming to a viewpoint where you can stop and catch your breath. The Eastern Route Trail
ends just shy of the Taylor Mountain summit, and from here you can enjoy sweeping views of Santa Rosa and beyond.
Once you are done taking in the views, retrace your steps back down to the Redtail Trail
where you can take a left to finish off the loop and return to the parking area.
History & Background
The park property historically was used for ranching, and cattle grazing continues in the park.