Into boating? Fishing? Hiking? Lakeside camping? How about archery practice? It’s all here at Lake Sonoma Recreation Area. Filled in 1983 by the Army Corps of Engineers after the construction of Warm Springs Dam, Lake Sonoma extends 9 miles up the Dry Creek Valley and 4 miles up the Warm Springs drainage, creating the Dry Creek and Warm Creek arms of the lake.
Lake Sonoma is a summer hot spot for boaters of all types. The sun heated water is a home for motorboats, sailboats, and smaller paddle craft. Water skiing is permitted in the central portions of both lake areas, but as you head further up, there are no-ski zones followed by no-wake zones.
Boat-in camping is popular here, with over a dozen boat-in primitive campgrounds dotting the lakeshore. Two boat ramps, one near Rockpile Bridge, the other at Yorty Creek, provide lake access. There is also a private marina between the two arms located off Stewarts Point Road; here you will find a boat ramp, boat rentals and other boater services.
Liberty Glen campground is the main developed camp at Lake Sonoma with almost 100 sites available. As of June 2014, advance reservations are required to camp at for Liberty Glen. First-come, first-served camping is available at the Lake Sonoma Marina.
The lake is home to 47 miles of trails for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. The trails provide access to hidden coves, ridges, and camps that are not reachable by car. Keep a watchful eye for rattlesnakes during the warm months, and always check for ticks when exploring the Lake Sonoma backcountry. Poison oak is also present off of the trail.
A wealth of information is available at the Lake Sonoma Visitor Center and Park Headquarters off Skaggs Point Road, prior to reaching the lake. Adjacent to the visitor center you'll find a fish hatchery, a picnic area, a disc golf course, and cultural displays focusing on the culture of the Pomo tribe that inhabited Dry Creek Valley.
Some of the parking and points around the lake require a $5 day use fee. Boat launches are $3.
Reservations for boat-in and hike-in campsites can be made at Recreation.gov, or by calling 707.431.4533