9 of the Best Sonoma County Hiking Trails (for All Levels of Experience)
Living in Sonoma County likely means that you’re no stranger to the great outdoors. From cycling through Sonoma Valley to exploring seaside bluffs and lake loops, there’s plenty of things to see and do in nature here.
But just because there are lots of incredible outdoor activities to keep you busy, doesn’t necessarily mean you know where to start. Whether you’re new to hiking or new to Sonoma County, it can be a challenge to find a trail that suits your abilities and experience level.
This article will take you through some of our favorite hiking trails in the county—from beginner-level boardwalks to challenging summits.
Read on to find out more about:
- 3 easy Sonoma County hiking trails for beginners
- 3 moderate trails for intermediate hikers
- 3 challenging trails in Sonoma for advanced hikers
Our Top 9 Sonoma County Hiking Trails
Below you’ll find nine of our favorite hiking trails in Sonoma County to help you to choose where to go on your next adventure. Complete with approximate times, distances and elevation gains!
3 easy trails for beginners
These three trails are the perfect place to start if you’re new to hiking. Or if you just want to take it easy and have a relaxing nature walk.
1. Kortum Trail
Kortum Trail is a stunning out-and-back walk that offers scenic California coast views. The trail is located in Sonoma Coast State Park and expands from Blind Beach all the way to Wright’s Beach. Although the entire trail is long, you can choose to stop and turn around at any point.
Time: 4 hours
Distance: 8.9 miles
Incline: 931 feet
Kortum Trail is just under an hour drive away from SOMO Village. Click here to view the full trail map via AllTrails.
2. Bluff Trail Loop
With easily accessible paths and breathtaking ocean views, Bluff Trail Loop is located in Salt Point State Park. Along the way, you’ll have the opportunity to see the spectacular Salt Point rock formations. A word of caution if you trek out in the winter though—be aware of the waves, as they can get quite big.
Time: 2 hours
Distance: 4.7 miles
Incline: 200 feet
Depending on your route, Bluff Trail Loop is about an hour and half drive from SOMO Village. Click here to view the full trail map via Komoot.
3. Sonoma Coast Overlook Vista Trail
The easiest trail on our list today, the Sonoma Overlook Trail is also located in Sonoma Coast State Park. A looped paved walk, this trail is just under a mile long and has an elevation gain of only 49 feet. As the name suggests, it will take you to an overlook where you can take in the beautiful coastline.
Time: 30 minutes
Distance: 0.9 miles
Incline: 49 feet
When driving from SOMO Village, the Vista Trail is about an hour’s drive. Click here to view the full trail map via Google Maps.
3 moderate trails for intermediate hikers
The trails listed here are great for hikers who’d like to work up a sweat—without working too hard.
4. Pomo Canyon Loop Trail
Starting from Shell Beach, our first intermediate-level hike is the Pomo Canyon Loop in Jenner. A popular trail, you’re likely to see lots of people, as well as some beautiful wild flowers and stunning tree growth. Pomo Canyon is also a well known spot for campers, should an overnight stay in nature intrigue you.
Time: 3.5 hours
Distance: 6.5 miles
Incline: 1,266 feet
The Pomo Canyon Loop Trail is around an hour away from SOMO Village. Click here to view the full trail map via AllTrails.
5. Bald Mountain Loop
Located in Sugarloaf Ridge State Park, Bald Mountain Loop is the next trail on our list. This loop is situated on the edge of Sonoma, right by Napa Valley, and offers a hike that summits Bald Mountain. Many who have hiked it before, recommend going at either sunrise or sunset for the spectacular views.
Time: 4 hours
Distance: 8.3 miles
Incline: 1,500 feet
Sugarloaf Ridge State Park is only about 40 minutes away from SOMO Village. Click here to view the full trail map.
6. Lake Ilsanjo Loop
The scenic Lake Ilsanjo Loop is the closest trail to SOMO Village on our list today. The lake is located in Annadel State Park and it only takes about 20 minutes to get there by car. Conveniently, there is a parking lot right at the entrance to the trail. Since the trail loops around the lake, you end the hike back at your car!
Time: 2.5 hours
Distance: 5.16 miles
Incline: 650 feet
SOMO Village is only a 20-minute drive from the Lake Ilsanjo Loop. Click here to view the full trail map via Komoot.
3 challenging trails for advanced hikers
If you’re an experienced hiker looking for your next great challenge in the Sonoma County area, here are three trails you’ve got to try.
7. Bodega Dunes Trail
Another trail found in the spectalar State Park of Sonoma County, Bodega Dunes is for hikers looking for a more challenging trail. Unlike the Boardwalk Trail that you can meander along at Bodega Dunes Beach, this hike is challenging due to its sandy terrain. It’s the more advanced alternative for those who would like to explore the Dunes and Bodega Head area.
Time: 3.5 hours
Distance: 8.1 miles
Incline: 738 feet
Bodega Dunes Beach is about a 40-minute car ride away from SOMO Village. Click here to view the location via Google Maps.
8. Sea to Sky Trail
Located in the Jenner Headlands Preserve, the Sea to Sky Trail leads hikers up to the top of Pole Mountain, Sonoma Coast’s highest peak. This out-and-back trail is considered one of the harder—if not the hardest—hike in the area.
Time: 2 hours
Distance: 15 miles
Incline: 3,600 feet
The Sea to Sky Trail is a 60-minute drive from SOMO Village. Click here to view the full trail via AllTrails.
9. Half a Canoe and Rancheria Loop
The last trail on our list today is the Half a Canoe and Rancheria Loop located in the Lake Sonoma Recreation Area, near Geyserville. Showcasing spectacular views of Lake Sonoma and the surrounding region, apparently this trail got its name because those who created it found half a canoe as they built the loop!
Time: 3.5 hours
Distance: 7 miles
Incline: 1,260 feet
If you were driving from SOMO Village, it would take you about 45 minutes to an hour to get to the Lake Sonoma area. Click here to view the full trail via AllTrails.
Regardless of your experience level, there’s a hiking trail in Sonoma County for you. Now get out there and enjoy all the beauty our little corner of the world has to offer!
If you’re interested in living in a close-knit community that provides the conveniences of city life with the best of country living, then we invite you to download our Residential Project Brief to learn more about SOMO Village or to get in touch with us today.