In the wilds of northern Sonoma County, California, and the shadow of Mount Saint Helena lies thousands of acres of protected lands. The gateway to this natural landscape is Audubon Canyon Ranch’s newest sanctuary, the Modini Mayacamas Preserves. The preserves total 3,000 acres and sit on the slopes of the Mayacamas Mountains above Highway 128 in the Alexander Valley.
A favorite spot for birding, the Modini Mayacamas Preserves are traversed by Pine Flat Road, a public county road that meanders through the preserves allowing visitors to enjoy the views and birdwatch from roadside pullouts anytime without appointment. Please drive very cautiously, this is a one-lane winding road with very limited sight lines.
The preserve hosts public hikes guided by knowledgable ACR staff and local experts.
Hikes are free, though donations are appreciated and support the programs and preserves of Audubon Canyon Ranch.
Unless otherwise noted, outings meet at the listed start time at the intersection of Pine Flat Road and Red Winery Road, about 7 miles northeast of Healdsburg. From there we carpool into the sanctuary. Please see the Directions page.
In order to hike independently on the Modini Mayacamas Preserves, ACR asks that you attend an Access Orientation session, which will qualify you for future hiking adventures. The orientation sessions are outdoors, so bring a chair or cushion to sit on if you like. There is no hiking during the orientation, but you are welcome to stay afterwards to hike independently. See the online calendar for access orientations.
Steep, Wild Country, No Facilities, No Pets
When visiting the Modini Mayacamas Preserves, please dress for the weather and bring at least one quart of drinking water. You may also wish to bring a hat, an extra layer, and a snack. There are no toilets, no water fountains, no restaurants, no trash collection...this is a primitive and wild place! Please wear appropriate clothing and footwear for the outing. For hikes you will want shoes that protect your toes and give you good traction on uneven ground, such as sneakers or hiking boots. Please leave your pets at home.
- David Self