Glitter, sparkles, bright paint … there are all kinds of ways to add a little color to your life. Nature’s version? Wildflowers! And they’re popping up all over the East Slope Sonoma Mountain Ridge Trail. Access this high, rolling trail from Jack London State Historic Park in Glen Ellen. This is a long hike at 10.5 miles (round-trip). Early on, you’ll pass Jack’s manmade lake, and head up through a cooling forest of second-growth redwoods. Much of the hike is in the shade, making it refreshing on warm days. After a couple of miles turn onto the Sonoma Ridge Trail, a singletrack beauty that gradually ascends Sonoma Mountain. Enjoy wide-open views looking down on Sonoma Valley as well as glimpses south to San Pablo Bay. The wildflowers are in full bloom! Poppies, buttercups, red larkspurs, and blue-eyed grass color the landscape. After 4 miles you’ll reach the East Slope Trail, a ridgetop rambler that goes for 1.25 miles. You can turn around and return wherever you like, but we recommend going to the end for the full mountain experience. Return the way you came.
BONUS WINE: If you’re back down the mountain in time, stop at Kivelstadt Cellars, located just down the road in Glen Ellen. The tasting room is friendly (super nice staff), fashionable (reclaimed wood), and progressive (wines on tap!). Kivelstadt specializes in Rhône varietals like Syrah. Do a flight tasting or enjoy wine by the glass.
From the main parking lot at Jack London State Historic Park follow the signs to London Lake and the Lake Trail. Continue on the Sonoma Mountain Trail. After about 1 mile turn left on Sonoma Ridge Trail. Follow this for 2 miles until it becomes the East Slope Trail, where it continues for 1.25 miles until it dead-ends. Out and back is 10.5 miles. No dogs.