This is one of our favorite Sonoma County hikes! You experience true Sonoma County variety on this trail: beach, redwoods, vistas, ferns, meadows, solitude, and a good workout!
You can start this hike from either Shell Beach on Highway 1, just South of Jenner, or from Pomo Canyon, off Willow Creek Road. We prefer to start from Shell Beach so we can chill out and play in the sand afterwards.
Round trip this trail is 7 miles long. It will take you approximately 3-4 hours, depending on your hiking speed.
If you choose to start at Shell Beach you can park in the Shell Beach parking lot on the West side of Highway 1. The trailhead is directly across the highway.
The trail starts with a slow and steady incline on a wide and open trail. If it's clear you will have some views all around you of the ocean and the valleys below.
The trail winds through some scrub brush and some coastal trees.
Eventually leading you right into a beautiful redwood tree grove.
Once you are deep in the redwood forest, the trail begins to go downhill into Pomo Canyon.
At the bottom of the hill you reach Pomo Canyon, an environmental campground.
Remember that what goes down must come back up! The climb out of the canyon is strenuous, but a great workout! Go back the way you came and get ready for some great views at the top.
If you want to take a short detour, you can take the Red Hill trail which climbs up towards the top of Red Hill and comes back down again to join the Pomo-Shell Beach trail. The Red Hill trail is open and exposed, but on a clear day can give you another viewpoint. Check out the trail map on the WEBSITE.
When you return to the trailhead, you can walk down to Shell Beach and hang out on the rocks. A beautiful end to a beautiful hike!