One of the best hikes in Western Sonoma County is the four mIle loop to the top of Red Hill. It begins on the coastal bluff above Shell Beach and climbs, steeply at first, then gradually, to the 860′ summit.
My wife and I enjoyed watching the aerobatic antics of a pair of ravens, the purposeful and deliberate manoevers of birds of prey, and the turkey vultures’majestic slope soaring and thermaling.
On a clear day you can see north to Fort Ross, south to Point Reyes, east to Mount St. Helena, and more than 35 nautical miles out to the Pacific Ocean’s horizon.
The views are long and the scenery is varied–forests, rangeland, ocean, the lower Russian River Estuary, and the tiny seaside hamlet of Jenner.
If you’re able to get away for a half day in natural splendor, this is a great place to visit.