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The Best of Bike Country: Sonoma County’s Top 16 Cycling Routes (For All Experience Levels)

It’s safe to say that Sonoma Valley has been validated as a certified cycling paradise. Pro riders from around the globe are starting to recognize our corner of the world for its incredibly diverse cycling terrain and moderate climate.

From rolling farmland to steep mountains and flat valleys, it’s almost impossible to get bored biking here. And, most importantly, you can find pretty much any kind of cycling experience you’re looking for without having to be a pro to enjoy it.

Not sure where to start? Don’t worry.

We’ve got you covered with the best cycling routes in Sonoma County for all experience levels —plus an honorable mention of our biggest and most grueling hills for anyone who wants to put their legs and lungs to the test.

In this article, you’ll find:

  • 3 beginner-friendly rides
  • 3 intermediate-level bike routes
  • 2 advanced bike routes
  • 5 expert bike routes
  • The 3 biggest climbs in Sonoma County

Check them out.

3 beginner-friendly rides

Whether you’re a casual cyclist looking for a quick ride or a strong cyclist in search of a short sprint or a great place for a personal record, you’ll love these routes.

Dry Creek Valley (Out and Back)

The quintessential Wine Country ride, this short and easy route has a few great pitstops along the way, including the town of Geyserville for a quick lunch.

Time: Approximately two hours

Distance: 25 miles

Climbing: 876 feet

Click here for the full route map via Wine Country Bikes.

West Country Regional Trail

This flat, paved, and scenic ride is perfect for anyone looking for a fun few hours out in the saddle. It’s well-suited to weekend cruisers and families. And, since most of the route is car-free, it’s also very safe.

Time: Approximately 30 minutes

Distance: 5.5 miles (but you can turn back at any point)

Climbing: 600 feet

Click here to view the full trail map via TrailLink.

Alexander Valley Loop

Just outside of Healdsburg, you’ll find a beautiful bike loop boasting rolling hills, vineyard views, and some great spots for lunch.

Time: Approximately two hours

Distance: 25 miles

Climbing: 791 feet

Click here to view the full route map.

3 intermediate-level bike routes

If you’re looking to get out and ride for a few hours but don’t want to dedicate a whole ton of hours to it, these routes will be enough to give you a great workout without monopolizing your entire day.

Lake Sonoma Overlook

If you’re a fan of great views and don’t mind climbing a few hills to earn them, you’ll love this ride through Dry Creek Valley and up to Lake Sonoma. On the way, you’ll pass by the fish hatchery, roll through the valley, and take in some spectacular scenery.

Time: Approximately three hours

Distance: 36 miles

Climbing: 1,865 feet

Click here to view the full route map via Wine Country Bikes.

Valley of the Moon

This region of Sonoma County offers a ton of different bike routes, but given that they often cross paths with busier roads, it’s good to go with a pre-set map in mind—like the one we’ve included below from the Santa Rosa Cycling Club. This route features a few small climbs, a handful of faster flats, and some beautiful scenery including oaks, meadows, and vineyards.

Time: Approximately two hours

Distance: 28 miles

Climbing: 1,968 feet

Click here to view the full route map via the Santa Rosa Cycling Club.

West Sonoma County and Graton

Down the east side of the Russian River Valley, you’ll bump into the Western Sonoma County foothills of the Coast Range. This ride features an abundance of micro-climates and varied terrain on your way to the Pacific Ocean.

Time: Approximately three hours

Distance: 33 miles

Climbing: 1,403 feet

Click here to view the full route map via Wine Country Bikes.

2 advanced bike routes

For intermediate to strong cyclists, these routes will make for a fun and challenging half-day of riding. Before you head out, make sure you’re stocked with lots of water and a few snacks to top off your calories and keep your energy levels high.

All Three Valleys

While this ride offers some distance, it doesn’t come with a ton of climbing, making it a smooth and enjoyable ride for stronger cyclists. This loop takes you through all three grape-growing regions in northern Sonoma Valley. While it’s mostly paved roads, it does offer a little bit of bumpy terrain as well.

Time: Between 3.5 and 4 hours

Distance: 52 miles

Climbing: 1,969 feet

Click here to view the full route map via Wine Country Bikes.

Cloverdale/Dutcher Summer Bridge

This unique and diverse rolling ride covers a good portion of the Alexander and Dry Creek Valleys. It takes you north through Alexander Valley before crossing Summer Bridge and then hugging the western base of the Mayacama Mountain Range. One thing to keep in mind: this is primarily a summertime ride as the Summer Bridge is typically open from June through October, rainfall pending.

Time: Between 3.5 and 4 hours

Distance: 48 miles

Climbing: 1,821 feet

Click here to view the full route map via Wine Country Bikes.

5 expert bike routes

If you’re in search of a full-day or multi-day ride, these long routes will give you what you’re looking for. But before you embark on these rides, make sure you’re well-packed with the essentials and that you know what you’re in for. These are optimal for well-seasoned cyclists and shouldn’t be taken lightly. You might also want to double-check the elevation because some of them pack some heavy hills.

Sweetwater Springs to the Redwoods

What it lacks in distance, it makes up in elevation. But, if you’re up for the challenge, this classic NorCal ride will take you through Wine Country, over Mt. Jackson, and deep into the Armstrong Redwood Forest.

Time: Between 3.5 and 4 hours

Distance: 35 miles

Climbing: 2,435 feet

Click here to view the full route map via Wine Country Bikes.

Bottleneck Rock

If you’re a seasoned century rider and you’re ready to tackle some hills, headwinds, and twisty technical descents, this is the challenge you’re looking for. It offers views of Mt. Snow and the Sierras as well as some incredible roadside scenery.

Time: Between 10 and 11 hours

Distance: 111 miles

Climbing: 9,162 feet

Click here to view the full route map via Wine Country Bikes.

Cavedale – Mt. Veeder

This is an unbeatable ride if you’re ready to test yourself against some long and often steep hills as well as twisty and technical downhill stretches. It’s equal parts fun and challenging so be ready for some variety.

Time: Between 4 and 5 hours

Distance: 46 miles

Climbing: 3,857 feet

Click here to view the full route map via the Santa Rosa Cycling Club.

Sonoma Coast

Head out of Wine Country through the vineyards of the inland valleys before climbing the steep Coastal Range and descending down to the Pacific Ocean. This is an incredibly beautiful route, but also an extremely challenging one.

Time: Between 5 and 7 hours

Distance: 69 miles

Climbing: 4,222 feet

Click here to view the full route map via Wine Country Bikes.


Not for the faint of heart, this loop is great for ultra-fit cyclists but can also be divided into a few days of touring for people who just want to enjoy the journey. This ride will take you north from Healdsburg, west through the mountains, south along the coast, and back through the Russian River Valley.

Time: Between 10 and 12 hours

Distance: 106 miles

Climbing: 8,763 feet

Click here to view the full route map via Wine Country Bikes.

The 3 biggest climbs in Sonoma County

Some people just love to push their legs to the limit with some massive and unrelenting bike climbs. So, if that sounds like you, check out the three biggest cycling climbs in Sonoma County.

Bald Mountain

This is known as the single hardest climb in all of Sonoma County, but it’s also the only one with 360-degree panoramic views at the top. So, if you’re up for the test, you’ll be rewarded at the end. On the plus side, you’ll get to cruise all the way back down as you let your legs recuperate.

Distance: 4.1 miles

Climbing: 2,122 feet

Average grade: 9.5%

Steepest grade: 17% for 0.25 miles near the top

Geysers Road South

This climb takes you up and out of the vineyards in the beautiful Alexander Valley. It’s renowned as Sonoma County’s second hardest climb and also one of its most scenic. Beware: there are literally zero feet of descent on your way up.

Distance: 4.1 miles

Climbing: 1,841 feet

Average grade: 8.7%

Steepest grade: 12.4% for 0.25 miles near the top (although it will very briefly hit 16%)

Ida Clayton Road

Another mesmerizingly scenic ride with views of Mount St. Helena to the easy, Knight’s Valley to the south, and hillside vineyards throughout. Like Geysers Road South, this route does not offer any reprieve in the form of leg-saving descent but it balances out with its jaw-dropping beauty.

Distance: 4.1 miles

Climbing: 1,807

Average grade: 8.5%

Steepest grade: 11.6% for 0.25 miles near the top (although approximately 30% of the route is between 10% and 15% grade)

To see the seven next toughest climbs in Sonoma County, check out this guide from PJamm Cycling. And, if you’d like to check out the best rides in the Rohnert Park area, you’ll find 17 of them here.

While Sonoma County is well-known for its wine, it’s also quickly earning accolades for its top-tier cycling for riders of all levels of experience. So, if you’re ready to saddle up and get out for a ride, you’ll find what you’re looking for in one of these 16 routes.

And if you’re in search of a work-live-play community that puts you in the heart of the best of everything Sonoma County has to offer—including some incredible local cycling routes—come visit SOMO Village.

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