Sonoma Overlook Trail – Sonoma, CA

The Sonoma Overlook Trail was located a half mile north of Sonoma Plaza. We parked at the lower trailhead and arrived there by driving north on 1st Street W. There was space for about eight cars and a water fountain but no restrooms. Dogs, mountain bikes, and horses were prohibited in this park. My cell phone service was intermittent.

We hiked 2.5 miles with a gradual gain in elevation of 400 feet.


The first segment of the Lower trail was mostly smooth and shaded.


However, most of the rest of it was rocky and rugged.


It was quiet as we only saw a few other hikers.


It featured several signs that identified the plants and trees that were growing near the trail. The first of which was a Pacific Madrone with its interesting bark that naturally peels away.

Pacific Madrone

The Sticky Monkey Flower, also known as orange bush monkey-flower, was not flowering but can be expected to have petals with colors ranging from white to red.

Sticky Monkey Flower

The higher we climbed the more open the landscape became.


We followed signs for the Upper Meadow Loop and on our way passed a marked intersection which connected this trail system to the Montini trail.


California Bay Laurel was another marked tree.

California Bay Laurel

The next intersection we passed was for the Toyon trail, which started from the upper trailhead. It offered a shorter approach to the Upper Meadow loop.

IMG_3361 The Upper Meadow loop sat atop a hill and was narrower and short in length.IMG_3365

There were several stone memorial benches throughout the park; the last of which featured an expansive view that spanned from San Francisco to Mount Tamalpais to Sonoma Mountain.


We also saw some California Holly which we first learned about on the Seven Springs Loop trail in Cupertino.

Toyon (a.k.a., California Holly)

In sum, we had a pleasant experience on this quiet and gently sloping trail. In addition, we appreciated how easy it was to get to it from downtown. We’ve also had fun at the nearby Jack London State Park and Sonoma Valley Regional Park.

Before the hike, we visited the Depot Park Museum which had seasonal hours of operation.
IMG_3323Admission was free and it featured wirelessly controlled trains that entertained our kids for almost a hour.


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