We went on a hot day in the middle of June and in the early afternoon- probably not the best time. Go earlier in the day and you’ll be fine. It was bearable due to the shade from the trees every so often. There was no one on the trail, the camp sites were empty and not too many boats on the lake so we had the little beach to ourselves. I will say that somewhere between halfway and 3/4 of the way up to the lake, I debated turning around but saw the lake off to the left and that was motivation enough to keep going. The stream you have to cross early on was low this time of year but got swarmed by mosquitos in that area. There was some sort of bone and lots of animal scat so just be cautious. It is a moderate hike but the weather can make it harsh & watch out for rattlesnakes.

We liked going counterclock once at 1/2 Canoe.. that is gradual downhill and short steep uphill to Bummer Peak. Picnic tables under oak trees about 2/3 way up is a great rest stop

24 days ago

The trail was completely empty on a Friday afternoon in June. The trail is overgrown in a few spots so would definitely wear thick socks! Really great ending at the beach. Perfect for a picnic!!

Beautiful views, A variety of landscape, easy to navigate, perfect for a quick morning hike!

Well marked, water access (didn’t see trail to water), gradual descent one direction, shorter steeper ascent going back. Choose either direction. We left fire road to North Ridge Trail for last mile or so.

Great trail; well kept; well marked. Plenty of shade along the trail, bathrooms and benches for resting/snacking.

I really enjoyed this trail. Some nice shade, but overall I think it would be too hot for afternoon hike in midsummer. Not crowded and has some great views. I saw one bobcat :)

Did this four something hour hike in two and a half. Beautiful scenery.

Great trail! We saw a small red bellied snake, red tail hawk hunting in the large fields, stopped at the lake for a dip and watched a huge fish breach the water. Lots of scat and animal prints on the trail. We hiked it mid April and the flowers were blossoming and bright. The trail ends with a pretty big up hill hike with no shade. Bring a fair amount of water and sunscreen. I got crispy.

We hiked this trail late April and the weather was perfect. The forest floor was still lush and green and the wildflowers were bountiful. There is a small river crossing about 30 minutes into the hike so we took our shoes and socks off and waded for awhile. On the way back the cool water and rocks felt good on our sore feet. At the end of the trail you will run into Sonoma Lake and Buck Pasture, where there is 3 camp sites set up nicely with outdoor restrooms and picnic tables. Perfect for hike-in camping. I love this trail. So beautiful and the perfect amount of elevation gain for my skill level.

washed out
4 months ago

Beautiful views, trees, lake, and birds, Horses have put some big holes in the mud, there is just room to step around. My Garmin measured 5.1 miles, so did AllTrails, as did my wife’s Apple watch. However the ascent is about 1200 feet. Recommend it.

I walked this trail on a warm sunny day in January - great hike! Here are a couple of tips: - If you use the car park at the beginning of No Name Trail (which is the place the GPS will map you to) there is a $5 parking fee. Bring your Sonoma County Parks Pass! -No matter if you take this trail clockwise or counter clockwise there will be a portion of the trail that involves a lot of uphill walking so be prepared for that. -Not a lot of shade. I would NOT recommend hiking this trail in the middle of summer. Go in the cooler months instead.

We did this and added on the 1.2 mile boar scat trail for about 6 miles total. Did the look counter clockwise. Strenuous hill action which we were all feeling the next day. Great views and scenery throughout above the lake. Highly recommended.

Great Trail! 25% shade. At mile 2.8 go right instead of left and you can fill up on water by the picnic tables. At mile 5.4 you can go down the road and go swimming! Great work out. Saw some deer.

horseback riding
10 months ago

I enjoyed riding this trail. It's not too difficult and took about two hours. Mostly shady although it's still a good idea to ride early on hot days. Nice view of the lake from a distance and up close. The trail dead ends in a little cove. I dismounted the last bit because it's steep and slippery. Lots of flies today so be sure to use spray repellent or fly masks.

In reality the trail is about 6.3 miles long. We spent about 3.5 hours out there including a dip in the lake and took our friend’s dog. the first part of the hike was VERY warm without a lot of tree cover and 90* out. We went right at the trailhead to get the lake on towards the end of the hike. Very nice trail with great signage and super engaging.

no shade
10 months ago

Beautiful trail, and you can make a slight detour to go swimming at Madrone Point - definitely worthwhile.

11 months ago

Beautiful trail for hiking or trail running. A good amount of tree cover with fun single track and good amount of fire road which I did not mind since it's snake season. Easy access and scenic lake views. Passes through variety of foliage to include oaks (some poison), redwoods, and madrone. Not technical or extreme ups or downs but solid workout. I did it counter clockwise but if I do it again, I will try clockwise for both loops. I think will be easier to find trails and keep what I think was the prettiest area for last (but a climb out). Large parking lot and outhouse at trailhead. Bring $5 and pen for fee/ fee envelope. Trailheads for either direction are at the same spot in parking lot- counter clockwise starts on Dry Creek and heads down hill, and clockwise starts on No Name Trail and crosses the road. Note: You'll be on 1/2 Canoe and Outcrop Trails in the middle of the hike. Looking at the All Trails map and seeing the middle top of what looks like a heart on the left loop was confusing and actually on the road for more than it appeared, and could have taken a bit of the blue dash trail instead of back tracking on payment. Hard to explain but might make sense once you're out there. Hope you enjoy it!

11 months ago

A very nice hike down to the lake. Wasn’t too strenuous and no other hikers were around when we went on a Sunday afternoon. Some shade and some exposed areas in the sun. Save your energy for the hike back up to the parking area.

Sun Jun 02 2019

Trails in great shape! Nice views. Take a dip in the lake.

First time on the trail and I like it for a short hike. Not much tree coverage, so in the summer time it will be hot, but you can cool off in the lake about half way through as the trail drops down to the shore. Lots of intersecting trails to explore in this area. I'll be back!

Nice loop hike over 2 separate ridges. Be careful with heavy rain and storm crossings. One near the Lake on cove trail was big.

Beautiful loop trail, well marked, with ample opportunities for additional loops to extend the hike. Not many people on it! A lot of vinegar weed (Trichostema Lanceolatum), a very pungently aromatic herb used by indigenous populations for medicinal purposes. Easy to access with moderate climbs.

nice trail.

I was stunned to have the whole place to myself during a week were every hike-in site along the point Reyes seashore was booked up. Here in the pristine live oaks nothing but empty sites as far as the eye can see. I will mention that because of the spring rains the first creek crossing was running a bit high (knee level, I’m 5’5”)

Sat Dec 30 2017

Great terrain, varied with the up and down hill, and gorgeous throughout! Will definitely be coming back

Great place to backpack right on the water. Moderate hike with older kids. Note stream crossing about 3/4 miles in. Tables and fire rings at campsites. Bass fishing is productive off the banks. Best to go in fall and early spring to avoid the heat and summer boat-in overnighters.

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