The Hiker's hip pocket Guide
to Sonoma County, 3rd edition

by Bob Lorentzen

In the first hikers guide to sonoma countyfull revision in 12 years of this classic guide, the 50 original hikes have been fully updated and revised. Eleven completely new hikes in Sonoma County’s State, County and City Parks have been added to bring the total of fully described hikes to 60. New hikes cover Sonoma Coast State Beach's Red Hill Trail, Bodega Bay’s Shorttail Gulch Trail, Salt Point's Stump Beach Plantation Loop, Riverfront Regional Park, Cloverdale River Park, McCormick Ranch Addition to Sugarloaf Ridge State Park, new trails at Hood Mountain Regional Park, Crane Creek Regional Park, the Sonoma Overlook Trail, Bartholomew Park Winery, and Petaluma's Shollenberger Park. The new edition also features new trails at Helen Putnam Regional Park, Foothill Regional Park, Shiloh Ranch Regional Park, Jack London State Park, and of course the fully reworked network of trails at Annadel State Park.

These join the classic hikes at these state parks: Salt Point, Fort Ross, Sonoma Coast, Armstrong Woods/Austin Creek, Sugarloaf Ridge, Jack London, R.L. Stevenson, and Bothe-Napa, plus all major Regional Parks and huge Lake Sonoma Recreation Area. The new edition also has an expanded emphasis on places you can hike with your dog. The new edition also has 54 other suggestions for hikers, cyclists, mountain bikers, equestrians, wheelchair users and other nature lovers.

The author has personally extensively re-hiked the original trails, plus hiked and described over 100 miles of new trails first covered in this new edition. With all the natural and human history readers expect from our flagship series.

“From its rocky, windswept coast to its lush forests, rushing creeks, and rolling hills, Sonoma County has an amazing array of natural riches to be explored. This guide, now in its third edition, was one of the first to provide detailed information about the county's parks and trails, and it is still one of the best. Revised and expanded to include 11 new trails, totaling 100 more miles, the guide provides lists of which routes are handicapped-accessible, which allow dogs, and which allow bicycles, and includes suggestions for backpacking and beach walks. Bob Lorentzen has been hiking North Coast trails and writing about them for more than 20 years now, and his knowledge of —and love for—Sonoma's wild, natural places shines through on every page.”
~ California Coast & Ocean, Autumn 2007

256 pages, 4" x 9", new full-color cover, 40 maps, 28 illustrations, bibliography, index.
ISBN 0-939431-31-9 trade paper

Price: $16.00


From the Back Cover

Put Sonoma County in your hip pocket. More than 60 hikes from one to 16 miles (or more), choices to suit every nature lover. Explore the Sonoma Coast, Lake Sonoma and all the State and County Parks.

“Bob Lorentzen is the North Coast's pied piper of publishing: He writes, we follow.”
~Santa Rosa Press Democrat

“Choices to fit the taste of every nature lover. In short, something for everyone.”
~Sonoma Style

“An improvement even on the remarkable high quality of its two predecessors.”
~Ridge Review

“Rich, interesting details combine to paint a picture of (Sonoma) County both in time and in space.”
~The Paper (West Sonoma County)

The essential reference for Sonoma County hikers and nature enthusiasts

“Bob Lorentzen’s Hip Pocket Hiking Guides have long been the hiking guide of choice for me and my fellow Sonoma County hikers. Meticulously researched, Lorentzen’s 3rd edition of The Hiker’s hip pocket Guide to Sonoma County does not disappoint.

This inspiring volume contains all the necessary information for over 60 trails, including distance, difficulty, elevation gain, potential hazards, commentary on the flora and fauna of the area, a discussion of the viewpoints, maps, and directions to the trailhead. Each trail is lovingly described, and each description is concise and easy to understand.

This latest edition includes over 100 new miles of trails that have opened up over the past few years. The trails range from easy to difficult, from 1/2 mile to 16 miles or more in length. The book includes discussions of trails appropriate for children, dogs, equestrians, mountain bikers, backpackers and handicapped hikers.

Best of all, all of this information comes in a handy size that really does fit... in your hip pocket.

Thank you, Bob, for continuing your dedicated research!”

Amy Racina, Author of Angels in the Wilderness

From the Table of Contents:




How to Use This Book 12

The Dangers 12

The Symbols 13

The History 16

The Climate 18

Get Ready, Get Set, Hike! 19




Gualala Point Regional Park/Sea Ranch 22

1. Headlands to Beach Loop 22

2. River Trail South 25

3. Blufftop Trail 28

4. Salal Trail 31

5. Other Sea Ranch Trails 33

Salt Point State Park 35

6. Chinese Gulch/Phillips Gulch Loop 37

7. Fisk Mill Cove to Horseshoe Cove 40

8. Fisk Mill Cove to Stump Beach 45

9. Stump Beach/Plantation/North Loop 47

10. Pygmy Forest Loop 50

11. Salt Point to Stump Beach 52

12. Salt Point’s Southern Coast 55

13. Stockhoff Creek 58

Fort Ross State Historic Park 61

14. Fort Ross North Headlands 63

15. Kolmer Gulch 66

16. Fort Ross Creek 70

17. Sonoma’s Lost Coast 73

Sonoma Coast State Beach 79

18. North of Jenner 80

19. Pomo Canyon to Shell Beach 83

20. Blind Beach to Shell Beach 87

21. Shell Beach to Red Hill 90

22. Shell Beach to Wrights Beach 93

23. Bodega Dunes Loop 96

24. Bodega Head North to Dunes 100

25. Bodega Head Loop 103

26. Pinnacle Gulch to Shorttail Gulch 106


Lake Sonoma 111

27. Woodland Ridge Loop 111

28. Half–a–Canoe Loop 114

29. South Shore to Old Sawmill Camp 118

Armstrong Woods/Austin Creek 124

30. Armstrong Woods Loop 124

31. Austin Creek 128

32. Riverfront Regional Park 136

33. Ragle Ranch Regional Park 135

34. Helen Putnam Regional Park 138


35. Cloverdale River Park 133

36. Foothill Regional Park 135

37. Shiloh Ranch Regional Park 136

38. Mount Saint Helena 140

39. Ritchey Canyon 145

40. Spring Lake/Lake Ralphine Loops 150

Annadel State Park 154

41. Rough Go/Canyon/Spring Creek Loop 155

42. N. Burma/Louis/Canyon/Marsh/S. Burma Loop 158

43. Steve’s S/South Burma/Two Quarry Loop

44. Lawndale/Marsh/Ridge Loop 162

Hood Mountain Regional Park 170

45. Santa Rosa Creek Headwaters 166

46. McCormick Ranch

47. Ponds Loop

Sugarloaf Ridge State Park 170

48. Hood Mountain from Sugarloaf 171

49. Sonoma Canyon/Pony Gate Loop 174

50. Bald Mountain Loop 177

51. Brushy Peaks Loop 183

52. Crane Creek Regional Park 186

Jack London State Historic Park 192

53. Jack London’s Wolf House Ruins 195

54. Sonoma Mountain 198

55. Canyon/Ridge Loop 204

56. Maxwell Farms Regional Park 208

57. Sonoma Overlook

58. Bartholomew Park Winery

59. Shollenberger Park

60. Sonoma’s Other Shore 211

Comon & Scientific Names of Plants 217





Sonoma rolls across the green and golden hills north of San Francisco Bay. These hills shelter a promised land of rich botanical diversity, where a thousand miles of meandering back roads deliver you to new, unexpected views with each turn, and dozens of parks entice exploration on foot.

Once the untamed home of grizzly bears and mountain lions, Sonoma County’s million acres now stand as a transition between the sophistication of the Bay Area and the rugged forests and mountains to the north. Premium vineyards and upscale subdivisions vie for its sheltered valleys, while a wilderness of deep woods, graceful grasslands and tangled chaparral climbs its high ridges and hunkers in its deep canyons. These wild lands provide shelter for an array of wildlife.

This book tells how to find and walk, hike, jog or ride over 250 miles of scenic trails through beautiful country. The trails range from easy walks to difficult backpacks, with choices to fit the taste of every nature lover. The trails lead to a variety of habitats: beaches, tidepools, lagoons, dunes, headlands, marshes, grasslands, forests, stream canyons, ridges and mountain tops. You may also hike to waterfalls, a wildlife refuge and ghost town sites and along old railways. Five trails explore the broken country around the San Andreas Fault, and others investigate the literary heritage of Jack London and Robert Louis Stevenson. In short, there is something for everyone.

So get out of your car and use your feet, bicycle, horse or wheelchair to explore Sonoma County.

Books and Maps on Related Topics:

Monterey Bay Map by Bluewater Maps

The Hiker’s hip pocket Guide to the Humboldt/Del Norte Coast, 3rd Ed. by Bob Lorentzen

San Francisco: Intellect and Passion by Ken Auster

The Hiker's hip pocket Guide to the Mendocino Coast—4th Edition by Bob Lorentzen

Field Guide to Manzanitas: California, North America, and Mexico by Michael Kauffmann, Tom Parker and Michael Vasey; Photographs by Jeff Bisbee

Mendocino Coast Recreation Map by GeoGraphics Maps & Photos

The Wild Mushroom Cookbook; Recipes from Mendocino For Cooks Everywhere by Alison Gardner and Merry Winslow

Mendocino Coast Map, Coastal California Series by Bluewater Maps

Sierra Nevada Topographic Map by Imus Geographics

Wildflowers of the Trinity Alps Including Marble Mountain Wilderness, Russian Wilderness, & Trinity Divide by Ken DeCamp, Julie Kierstead Nelson, & Julie Knorr

Hiking the California Coastal Trail Volume Two: Monterey to Mexico—The Guide to Walking the Golden State's Beaches and Bluffs from Border to Border by Bob Lorentzen and Richard Nichols

The Essential Geography of the United States of America by Imus Geographics

Exploring Eastern Sierra Canyons: Bishop to Lone Pine by Sharon Giacomazzi

Conifers of the Pacific Slope by Michael Kauffmann

Exploring Eastern Sierra Canyons: Sonora Pass to Pine Creek by Sharon Giacomazzi