Jack London State Park is located in Glen Ellen, California. It is on London Ranch RD which is reached from Arnold DR. A day or annual pass is required to enter the park. Hiking, dog walking, picnics, and guided tours are the primary activities. Biking and horseback riding are allowed on designated trails. We parked at the lower parking lot which included restrooms and a water spout. Cell phone service was moderate. I recommend calling the park to make sure it is open because when we were there it was scheduled to be closed every Tuesday and Wednesday.
We had two kids, ages five and twenty months, in our group so we explored the easier trails that start from the lower parking lot. We hiked a 1.5 mile clockwise loop that included the House of Happy Walls Museum, Jack London’s Grave, and the Wolf House Ruins. The loop trails are gently rolling with a range in elevation of 100 feet.
Our first stop was at the House of Happy Walls Museum.
It features Jack London’s writings and items he collected on his world travels.
The trail continues towards his grave site. The trail is wide and smooth with a mix of sun and shade. Signs raise awareness regarding the fact that rattlesnakes, mountain lions, and poison oak have all been found in the park.
In addition, there are signs detailing the history of the landmarks in the park. For example, his ashes were placed next to those of two children who had lived at the ranch prior.
The loop continues clockwise to the Wolf House Ruins via an asphalt path. People needing assistance can be escorted via a golf cart to the ruins. I recommending talking to the park ranger at the entrance to determine if this service is available on the day you visit.
Jack London’s house, known as the Wolf House Ruins, burned down a month before it was completed. It was to be 15,000 square feet with 26 rooms and nine fireplaces.
An overlook has been constructed to provide a second story view into the center of the house. The overlook peers down upon what was supposed to be a reflection pool.
From the ruins, we completed a loop by following the asphalt path to the far end of the lower parking lot. The last stretch of path boasts a view of a vineyard. Notably, we carried our 20 month old in a chest carrier for most of the hike. Our five year old walked most of the way but it was hot and I carried her on my shoulders for the last 0.4 miles.
In sum, we found the lengths of the trails near the lower parking lot to be a good fit for our two children. In addition, the adults in our group enjoyed the scenery and history. I recommend exploring the nearby Sonoma Valley Regional Park.