The Sonoma Ridge Trail is a portion of the Bay Area Ridge Trail and is about 9.5 miles out and back to the park boundary at the Ridge Loop through the woods above Jack London’s Beauty Ranch. Take the Sonoma Mountain Trail to access the Sonoma Ridge Trail junction about 3 miles from the parking lot, mostly uphill. The featured hike starts at the Beauty Ranch parking lot, at about 700 feet and climbs to 2100 feet, then descends back to the trailhead. Elevation changes are mostly gentle, with numerous switchbacks. Continue past the park boundary on the East Slope Sonoma Mountain Ridge Trail to the Eliot loop for an additional 1.3 miles for a round trip of 12 miles.
Distance, Category and Difficulty
- This 9.5-mile out and back hike is moderately difficult, with about 1500 feet in elevation change.
- Exposure: More shade than sun.
- Trail traffic: Moderate around trailhead, light farther afield. Horses and bikes are allowed. Dogs are not allowed on any back-country trails in the Park.
- Trail surfaces: Dirt trail (Ridge Trail) and fire road (Lake Service Rd. and Mountain Trail).
- Hiking time: 4 hours, on horseback about 2.5.
- Season: Nice trail year-round; prettiest in early spring due to wildflowers and butterflies.