Wolf House in the Woods
Hike to Wolf House Ruins in Jack London State Park
The famous writer Jack London was known for his adventure stories, not mysteries. And yet his namesake state park in Sonoma Valley is home to an unsolved mystery: the Wolf House ruins. Visit Jack London State Park and do the short walk to the ruins of London’s dream home, Wolf House. It burned down just two weeks before Jack London and his wife, Charmian, were to move in, and no one knows how it happened. Some say London never recovered from the heartbreaking incident, and he died just few years later. The London gravesite is tucked among trees on a nearby knoll.
The hike to it is simple and beautiful during fall as most of it is forested, so leaves turn and flutter to the trailside. The ruins are totally intriguing. Sunlight whispers over the mossy walls and through the surrounding second-growth redwoods. Count the five chimneys among the remains.
EAT + DRINK BONUS: Wine-based organic vodka? Sounds healthy to us! Hanson of Sonoma Distillery (22985 Burndale Road, Sonoma) will definitely have you asking, “Why haven’t we come here before?” The Hansons created a grape-based, gluten-free, and non-GMO vodka, infused with organic ingredients like Meyer lemons, mandarins, and habaneros.
The tasting room is artisanal perfection with a marble bar and reclaimed wood, but nowadays you get to enjoy tastings at an outdoor table on their sprawling lawn surrounding a tranquil pond. Kick back in an Adirondack and taste the creations; or ask for a colorful cocktail surprise—guaranteed to brighten your spirits.
New regulations during Covid mean that to taste and drink here you’ve gotta order food. Lucky you! Hanson’s gourmet woodfired pizza is absolutely delicious (the dough is set for 72 hours!). We’ll drink to that.
LISTEN TO THE PODCAST: In the episode “Secrets of Sonoma County” Weekend Sherpa co-founders discuss hiking to the Wolf House Ruins at Jack London State Park.
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