“A gorgeous route including views of Bennett Valley on the way up to the peak of Sonoma Mountain.
— Kevin Bonner
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.
Spring — Views — Wildflowers — Wildlife
The drive immediately before parking is a narrow road. Be conscious and courteous of other drivers going to and from the trailhead.
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!
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!