I climbed Hood Mountain and Baldy Mountain in Sonoma County on Saturday March 24, 2007. Before heading back to Oregon I wanted to get in one more hike on Sunday morning. First I found a place to car camp on Saturday evening on Adobe Canyon Road. It’s hard to find a quiet place to car campthat isn’t on private property in this area, but I spotted this place on my way to Baldy Mountain earlier in the day. I wanted to climb Sonoma Mountain the next day and it is only a few miles up Hwy 12 from my camp spot.
I didn’t have to get up early the next morning because Jack London Historical State Park doesn’t open until 9:30AM. I slept in a little and took my time getting ready. I got to the entry kiosk for the state park early and just waited there until they opened the gate. I paid my $6 for the day use fee and parked at the trailhead. I was the first car into the park, so I didn’t have any problem finding a parking place.
It didn’t take me long to put on my boots and pack and head up the trail towards the lake. It was a beautiful morning, but it was cloudy. It didn’t look like rain, just a marine layer of clouds parked overhead. I made good time up around the vineyard and then through some redwood groves before getting up to the lake. The lake was calm with a few ducks swimming around. They didn’t seem to mind me walking by.
I continued up the trail which really is a gravel road. There aren’t many views along the trail, but it is scenic through the redwoods. Soon the trail emerged above the trees and it became grassier with oak trees. Around one to the corners I walked up to a group of about 5 turkeys. They hurried off into the brush and I continued on my way.
Near the park summit the road dwindled down to a trail and came to a place that was the obvious park highpoint. I could see the communications facility beyond a barbed wire fence and I knew the Sonoma Mtn. summit was near there. I climbed the fence and headed straight across the grassy slope towards the summit. I passed the communication towers and crossed a small paved access road before approaching the summit.
Just as I got close to the summit, I saw a coyote running off to the south. I took a few pictures and headed back the way I came. Not far from the summit I was passed by 4 mountain bikers on their way to the top. On my way down towards the lake, I passed several hikers on their way up the hill. At the lake there were probably 20 people exploring the area. I got back to my truck 3 hours after I started. The hike covered about 8.5 miles and I gained just over 1,900 ft in elevation. After changing clothes I hit the road and had dinner at home in Medford about 7:00PM.
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