Pomo Canyon Red Hill Trail

HARD 28 reviews
#1 of 8 trails in

Pomo Canyon Red Hill Trail is a 6.5 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Jenner, CA that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

6.5 miles 1671 feet Loop

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

beach

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

no dogs

An old California ranch overlooking the coast and Jenner headlands. Red Hill provides a series of trails climbing the tallest ridge just south of the Russian River on the coast. This exposed landscape of grasslands and chaparral provides plenty of sweeping vistas overlooking the mouth of the Russian River watershed out to Jenner, coastlines down to Bodega Head, and some great overlooks into Willow Creek. The hike includes some long and steady uphill segments right from the start with the only level areas along the ridge between the Hill and Willow Creek and the upper meadows. There's plenty of variety to break up the view and provide surprises when rounding knolls. Dropping down into Willow Creek is via a fairly steep trail through an amazing stretch of mixed and Redwood forest lush with ferns on the ground. Overall, a great walk. A partnership between Sonoma County and the State Park Systems recently added Willow Creek to the group of parks called Sonoma Coast State Beach. The "Beach" is actually a series of beaches separated by bluffs and headlands extending 17 miles from Bodega Head to a point 4 miles north of Jenner.

11 days ago

13 days ago

Wonderful and manageable multi layer hike with stunning views.

Suggest Shell Beach to Pomo Canyon and come back on the Red Hill trail.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful views everywhere.

2 months ago

2 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

The description on this trail says it is "Dog Friendly" it isn't. There are signs posted everywhere that say dogs are restricted, but we saw many jerks who brought their dogs, let them run off leash and crap all over the trail. There was a disgusting amount of obvious dog feces - NOT COOL.
Please, do not bring your dog on trails that say they are not permitted, but if you must (because you're an a$$hole who thinks the rules don't apple), the least you can do for other hikers and, you know, the natural environment, is pick up and take out their waste.
other than that, this was a one of my favorite hikes. We started at 9am from Shell Beach, walked all the way to the other trailhead, by the campground then looped back, taking the Red Hill trail to Shell Beach. Gorgeous views of the Russian River Valley shrouded in fog, several old growth forests dotting the loop that offered shade once the sun came out, and got a few good hills in. All in all, a lovely day despite rude dog owners.

hiking
3 months ago

Wonderful hike! Will do it again soon! And we took Red Hill on the way down, highly recommend.

4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

Beautiful hike! You get to see the Redwoods, Russian River, and the ocean from this trail. Pretty moderate with some minor steep uphills. Please note that online this trail says dog friendly; however, there are signs posted at both entrances that says dogs are not allowed.

walking
6 months ago

Beautiful. Somewhat challenging to do round trip. A great achievement for the occasional hiker. Will do it again for sure. From our parking spot trough the trail to the beach and back was probably 7+ miles. Loved it

hiking
7 months ago

Gorgeous hike- I started at shell beach and took the Pomo canyon trail and then skipped the campground and took the red hill trail and did a loop- worked out to about 5.5 miles

hiking
7 months ago

I had planned to try and combine the Pomo Canyon / Red Hill trails with the Wright Hill Road track shown on the AllTrails site. However, from the top of Red Hill, the route seemed blocked by a property fence and cattle on the far side of it. I ended up settling for a shorter hike (about 6.5 miles).

Many parking spots at Shell Beach (down toward the beach or just off CA 1 if you want to be closer to the trail-head. That trail-head is just across CA1 from the parking lot entrance. The sign says "Dr David C. Joseph Memorial Trail" but wooden posts along the trail will help identifying "Pomo Canyon Trail" and "Red Hill Trail".

The first part of the trail (about 1.3 miles) is fully exposed (bring water and hat/cap) and offer sweeping views of the coast and later the estuary of the Russian River. On the Pomo Canyon trail (north side of the loop) you will reach an overlook with wooden table off to the left after a bit more than 1 mile. Continuing on, the trail was noticeably narrower and progressively overgrown as well as muddy in spots (late April, small run-offs on the trail). That section also offers series of shaded spots, including short strolls though stands of Redwoods.

At about 2.5 mile, and just before descending toward the Pomo Canyon Campground, the Pomo Canyon trail intersects with the Red Hill Trail. A right turn on the Red Hill trail and the ascent toward the top starts in a sustaine fashion, offering open views to the East and then to the North, overlooking the Russian River from a higher vantage.

After crossing a last stand of Redwoods, the trails goes around to the South Slope and then up to the top. In late April, the grassy slopes around the top were nicely adorned with a spattering of wildflowers.

The top is a grassy and flat-ish mound and the views are fully opened over the Pacific and the coast from Bodega Bay (even Point Reyes in the distance) in the South to to upper reaches of Sonoma County to the North.

A trail descends almost due West to eventually rejoin the Red HIll trail and, further down, the Pomo Canyon (David C Joseph) trail for a return to the parking lot. That descent offers constant views of the Coast and Russian River along with a few nice rock formations for better photography....

Back at the parking lot, and if this loop was too short, there is the option to walk a few more miles on the Kortum coastal trail North or South.

All in all, a very nice place to hike. You will however not be alone as the trail is fairly popular.

8 months ago

Gorgeous! Took the Red Hill trail offshoot overlooking the coast.

hiking
9 months ago

1 year ago

1 year ago

Only did

camping
1 year ago

I loved the trail, I loved the campsite. What I loved of the campsite that its a perfect weekend getaway, not that far from the bay area. I do have a question, I heard the campground has been closed for a while now, does anyone know if it has opened? or when it will be? its been about 4 years since the last time i was there. Thank you

hiking
1 year ago

This was a really great trail! Well maintained and a perfect distance. But, it is not easy! It should be rated as moderate. Steep uphill both ways. :-) But, it is gorgeous! Starts in the redwoods, ends at the beach. Not much more that a person could ask for. A little tricky to find because no cell service, so make sure you have your directions written down. Also, campground is closed, so you have to walk about a mile out to the trailhead. Lovely day all around!

hiking
1 year ago

I take this hike every year around New Years (will hopefully be returning for the 10th time in late December!) the weather is always lovely and the scenery throughout the duration of the trail is spectacular. If you start at the trailhead in the canyon you'll end up at Shell Beach which is a great place to rest your legs afterwards. Perfect for people of all ages!

mountain biking
1 year ago

Beautiful! I love it here.