Lake  Sonoma          

kayaking lake sonoma
Photo Credit Lyrinda Snyderman

Lake Sonoma Kayak, Canoe, SUP & Kayak Fishing Information

 Lake Sonoma lies nestled in the beautiful coastal foothills of Sonoma Ckayaking lake sonomaounty, 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 superb getaway.

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.

 Boaters who 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 campgrounds.

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. kayaking lake sonoma 

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 lake.

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 habitat.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
High 57 62 66 73 80 87 90 88 84 76 64 57
Low 39 42 44 46 50 53 54 54 53 49 43 39

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 to camp.

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.

The Best Places to Kayak in California Guide BookDirections: 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.    


Copyright © 2013, Janice L Green Paddling