Sonoma Mountains High Point

  • Sonoma Mountains High Point.
  • 751 m
  • Primary factor 614 meter
  • Location: North 38.34597, West 122.57990 (GPS at the summit)
  • California
  • Difficulty: (YDS) class 1
  • Climbed March 4. 2018.


How to get there:
The city of Santa Rosa is a good point of reference. You get there via Hwy. 101 going north from San Francisco.
In Santa Rosa, locate Maple Avenue (crossing Hwy. 101), going east just a short distance, then locate the beginning of Bennet Valley Road. Follow this road out of Santa Rosa, and turn right on Sonoma Mountain Road. Keep left at a fork, then turn right at the signed access road to the park. Pay 7 dollar (2018) at a machine for parking. This location is N38.36320, W122.60474, elevation about 300 meter.
Route description:
The trail starts out slightly downhill, ignore all side trails. You now hike 4 miles along a very nice trail that winds its way, mostly gently uphill to a gate where you enter the neighbor park. Continue along until location N38.35093, W122.57089, elevation about 600 meter. Here, your trail hits a wide track that ascends, fork right (uphill) and arrive shortly at a signed trail fork at location N38.34874, W122.56985, elevation about 635 meter.
Going right here will lead you to a local view point next to a fence guarding various antennas. This is not the summit. The sign says that you should continue straight in order to get to the Park High Point. This is the correct way. Unfortunately, you will soon arrive at a closed gate. A small sign says "End of trail". The trail actually loops around to the point near the fence, location N38.34903, W122.57449, elevation about 730 meter. A bench has been placed there.
In order to get to the summit, it seems necessary to cross a few obstacles. First, climb across the closed gate. Continue to follow the track inside this fence. Thls will climb to a dirt road. Cross this road and aim for the highest point ahead. Pass a small pond and arrive at an electic fence (used to keep cows on the other side). Crawl under this fence or follow it to your right where you will locate a fence crossing. The summit is now in sight, a heap of rocks.
Having climbed Cobb Mountain in the morning, my plan called for Hood Mountain in the afternoon. However, arriving at the access road to the park, this was closed. I therefore decided to climb Sonoma Mountains instead.
I started at 1200 and kept a reasonable pace, arriving at the signed trail fork after about 1:20. I first climbed the park high point, arriving there at 1330. I was a bit confused as I thought that the park trail would lead me all the way to the summit. Only now, it became clear that one needed to climb a few fences. My route of ascent was not ideal, but I arrived at the summit at 1350.
Good views all around. A pretty extensive antenna facility is nearby. I left after 10 minutes, this time following the route outlined above. Getting to my car by 1530, the return hike took 1:30. Thus, this hike involves a fair amount of walking. It was nice to be out of the snow that had been present earlier in my first hike of the day.