Added by Emily Kent
This is a gorgeous one-hour hike along Sonoma Creek through lush green tree canopies, fern beds, and mossy boulders, taking you to a 25 foot waterfall.
The Pony Gate-Canyon Loop within Sugarloaf Ridge State Park is a new favorite of mine on my list of family and kid-friendly hikes. Our little girls did great with this hike and loved it. If you can get moving early in the day and begin your hike around breakfast time, you might find there are few or no others on the trail with you, even on a weekend day.
To get to the trail head, take Hwy 12 to Adobe Canyon Road. Continue on Adobe Canyon Road for 3.2 miles until you reach the posted trail head parking lot (spaces are limited, so it's beneficial to get an early start). Begin your hike at the trailhead and head up the hillside through the oak canopies and pines. Soon you'll come to the junction with Pony Gate Trail. Stay left here. You'll reach a fork and again, stay left here and follow the creek downstream. Descend to Adobe Canyon Road (just over a mile in), and take the Canyon Trail down the steps into the forest of oak canopies and fern beds. Cross over a small footbridge and head off the path to the right to check out Sonoma Creek Falls.
After you've soaked it all in, head back to the trail to begin your climb back toward Adobe Canyon Road.
- Park day use entry fee = $8 (Sugarloaf Ridge Park Info)
- Waterbottles and snacks
- Hiking boots/shoes
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Spring, Summer, Autumn
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This is a great find. We saw it on the map it was on the way from Mendocino to our next stop, Napa Valley. So glad we took the time to visit.