Summit! Jack London State Historic Park

Jack Londong SHP | Smiling in Sonoma

We have hiked all around Jack London State Historic Park and it never disappoints! This time we got to meet our future selves!!! It’s as if a time machine was built and the hubs and I got to see what our lives will be like in 20 years….more on that further down in the post.

The hubs and I decided to hike up to the park summit at almost 2,400 feet, we are still gearing up for our big hike at the end of the month so we figured this would give us the incline part we need to train for. Jack London State Historic Park is located on Jack London’s old property, every time we are here I just imagine we are back in the early 1900’s and how it must have been back then. I can see why he was so inspired to write.

The trail starts by walking through eucalyptus trees past a couple old barns, his cottage and around a working vineyard then heads on up into gorgeous redwoods. We decided to take the lake trail to the lake spur trail to the upper lake trail this time and see what we had been missing by always going up the fire road/mountain trail.

The lake trail to the upper lake trail was more narrow and forested but a little longer than the fire road. Definitely worth exploring if you have been here a few times and you want a change. Once we met back up with the mountain trail we kept climbing…enjoy the shade while you can! At May’s clearing we ran into a park volunteer who asked where we were headed and told us there was a great spot at the bench before we head up to the summit that had amazing views. Love that the volunteers are out on the trails! He must have been part of the time machine because this is where we met our future selves. The hubs and I were walking up at a steady pace when out of nowhere this “older” couple came up and passed us! We met them at the bench with the amazing views. They were so friendly and just as excited that we made it up as we were. We chatted for a bit about their exploration of Sonoma County and their pending trip that they were training for which is why they passed us up! I sure hope the hubs and I are this active in 20 years!

They wished us luck on reaching the summit and headed back down the hill (I am sure to go on another adventure!). We headed up and up in and out of shade till we reached a sign for the summit. From here, go left!! Don’t try and be crazy and go straight…that would hurt! We like to take the path of least resistance so left we went and had a lovely gradual climb up to the park summit.

Um, not sure what to say about being at the summit. I am in awe every time we are lucky enough to experience these incredible views of this place we call home. It’s humbling, exciting, breathtaking, jaw dropping, and exhilarating!

Find your shade and have your snack here, there’s 4 miles to get down from here. We traced our steps back to the fork in the trail and took Hayfields about .5 mile down through forest and shade to the North Sonoma Mountain trail or Cowan Meadows trail…not sure I would recommend Cowan Meadows. The trail was only a couple of feet wide and along a good drop off that gave way a few times and some poison oak closer to the trail. It was just through the forest so not much prettier than the trail up. I would probably just have made this an out and back instead of doing the loop but this is why we explore places right?

I always feel at peace when we are in the redwoods. This was a welcome sight on our way back down. Just pause and enjoy the giants…

As you make your way back don’t forget to enjoy a few wild blackberries and the peacefulness before you hit the tourist area of Jack London Park. It’s wonderful so many people are still so interested in such an incredible part of our NorCal history.

Hiking is my happy place, I get to spend time with the hubs and see amazing sights and am so very thankful we get to do this! Check out other people’s happy places here!

Trail details:

Jack London State Historic Park
2400 London Ranch Road, Glen Ellen, CA 95442

$10 fee (totally worth it!) for this hike go to the right and park (only a porta-potty), then don’t forget to check out the museum that is at the other parking lot (flushing toilets here).

8.6 miles, 1,700 feet elevation gain and completely worth it! I guess moderate to strenuous but really not all that bad.

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