Lake Sonoma lies nestled in the
beautiful coastal foothills of Sonoma County, a
forty-five minute drive north of Santa Rosa.
Kayakers will enjoy exploring the lake’s scenic
shoreline and coves, surrounded by 8,000 acres of
oak woodland. With its outstanding kayaking, hiking
and fishing opportunities, Lake Sonoma is truly a
Lake Sonoma is also one of the best boat-in
camping destinations in California. The lake boosts
nearly 100 boat-in campsites scattered around the
lake. Some campsites lie close to the lake's ski
zones while others are situated in more secluded
regions perfect for fishing or swimming.
wish to sleep on their boats may anchor anywhere
within the park, but boats must be equipped with
anchor lights. If kayakers wish to tie up to the
shore, they must be at one of the designated
Lake Sonoma allows all types of boating, so
beware of fast-moving watercraft, especially during
foggy conditions in the middle of the lake near Warm
Springs Dam. On warm days the lake is buzzing with
motor-driven watercraft and jet-ski activity.
There are no-ski areas and 10 m.p.h. speed zones in
the Warm Springs and Dry Creek Arms and 5 m.p.h.
speed zones in Cherry Creek and Yorty Creek inlets.
The lake’s two main arms provide an array of
scenic inlets to explore. There are three launch
locations. To reach the Yorty Creek boat launch, Hot
Springs Road is not recommended for motor homes or
vehicles pulling trailers. The shape of the lake is
not well suited for novice paddlers, unless they
only paddle the very upper or lower arms of the
The largemouth bass at Lake Sonoma
can grow big due to the abundance of threadfin shad.
The record for largemouth bass was 15.37 pounds. The
lake also provides exceptional fishing opportunities
for sunfish population, including crappie, redear,
and smallmouth bass which are frequently caught by
anglers, fishing by the dam. The submerged trees
from the flooding of the lake provide excellent fish
Open: Kayaking is allowed daily, 24 hours a day,
year-round. The boat speed limit is 50 m.p.h. There
are 5 and 10 m.p.h. boat speed limit zones, except
in the designated jet and waterski areas.
Fees: There is a fee for day use, to launch and
Lake Facilities: Lake Sonoma is open to all
boating and jet skiing. There are boat rentals
(including canoes), a full-service marina, four boat
launches, a snack bar and small store, fishing,
windsurfing, swimming, hiking and horseback riding
trails. The Warms Springs Recreation Area nearby
Lake Sonoma has a picnic area with a group pavilion.
Directions: From the city of Cloverdale, drive
two miles south on U.S. Highway 101 to the town of
Geyserville. In Geyserville, take the Dutcher Creek
Road exit and turn left. Drive northwest for four
miles, then turn left on Dry Creek Road. Dry Creek
Road turns into Skaggs Spring Road. After crossing a
small bridge, the visitors center will be on your
right, near the dam.