Walking in Sonoma County…mostly

walking for those with bad knees, bad habits or bad attitudes

Thwarted Walking II – Pomo Canyon

This time the thwarting of a walk wasn’t due to lack of trail, but more because of an excess of chronic diseases and  ill-working joints that struggle on a sharp climb.

But we choose to test ourselves from time to time and I had my poles. We’ve loved our hikes on Red Hill and thought we’d come up the ‘easier’ backside above Pomo Canyon. The park is on Willow Creek Rd off Hwy 1 at the Russian River.

Pomo Canyon Trail

It wasn’t easier, though we got high enough to see the fog at the coast.

View to Coast above Russian River

With Pomo Canyon campground already closed for the year, the walk started with a mile on a gravel road. This area is riparian near Willow Creek and open meadows. The Pomo Canyon trail starts zigzagging through the campsites, then straight up to the ridge.

View above Pomo Canyon

We stopped often to catch our breath and enjoy the massive redwoods and the scant undergrowth of sorrel, trillium and ferns. Douglas Fir, bays and oaks also towered. The quiet was wondrous, no road noise and no fellow hikers.

Blue Flax LilyThe trail narrowed as it flattened out near the ridge. I sent myself reminders to check for ticks when I got home. We met a few hikers who came from the coast and shared opinions on the berries – blue (blue flax lily) and white (snowberries).Snowberries

The trail led out of the woods to a drier area, with meadows and tanoaks in various states of dying . We could see the fog clinging to the coast. A few flowers still bloomed in the late summer, clarkia, thistle and common wild aster (purple). The poison oak displayed its fall color.

Poison Oak Meadow above Pomo Canyon

When the trail started to go down we figured we had given it our best and were not about to have another climb.

Maybe we’ll we try from Shell Beach on a fogless day. Trail sign Shell Beach or Pomo Canyon

Or just walk on the old Willow Creek Rd, that used to go through to Occidental.

Pomo Canyon Road

See you on the next trail!

Lynn Millar

Photos by Mike Millar

Poison Oak in Fall

8 comments on “Thwarted Walking II – Pomo Canyon

  1. montucky
    September 15, 2012

    I like the photos! That’s a pretty place to hike!

    • badwalker
      September 15, 2012

      It is lovely. Funny, that I thought it would be easier from the ‘canyon’ side than the beach side.

  2. Arletta Dawdy's Blog
    September 15, 2012

    Hi Lynn, I can’t place the Pomo Canyon or campground, nevermind Willow Creek Rd or Red Hill…despite living in Guerneville 22 years and traveling out that way often. Can you clarify?

    • badwalker
      September 16, 2012

      Morning Arletta,
      Hwy 1 at Bridgehaven (where Tandoori Restaurant is on the south bank of the Russian River – near Jenner) is Willow Creek Rd. Maybe a mile in it splits left to Willow Creek campground, along the river and right it continues up the valley to Pomo Canyon. PC campground is on the right when the road takes a sharp left and crosses the actual Willow Creek. Road used to go through to Occidental. I have some links on the page, but nobody was providing very good maps of the area. – Lynn

      • Arletta Dawdy's Blog
        September 16, 2012

        Hi Lynn, Thanks for clarifying the route…of course, I’ve been down that way several times in the past. I’ll have to build up my stamina and go for that walk.

      • badwalker
        September 16, 2012

        Sometimes we go places, know them, but don’t have the names. Have a good hike! – Lynn

  3. Barbara Toboni
    September 16, 2012

    I love reading your blog and seeing the sights. Inspires me to get out and explore. I’m taking notes.

    • badwalker
      September 16, 2012

      Thanks Barbara. I hope to provide vicarious walks – and encourage people to get out there. You might join me on next month’s Y walk at Armstrong Woods. Open to non-members at no cost. – Lynn

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This entry was posted on September 15, 2012 by in Coast and tagged , , , , .

Lynn Millar

I am a writer of short stories, poems, plays and two someday-they’ll-be novels.

Join my walks on Saturday mornings -October 11, 10am, Sonoma Valley Regional. Check out Groups and Other Walks page for more.

The pictures are by my husband and walking companion.

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