By Alexa Chipman Mar. 6, 2016
Nestled in the countryside of Sonoma County, this hidden gem of primarily Asian botanical collections is a treat for visitors. It ranges up and over an old quarry that has been turned into a paradise of trees, waterfalls, bridges, and flowers. The garden is not large, but it is extremely steep—be ready for sharp inclines to fully explore the area.
Benches and picnic nooks are interspersed throughout, allowing for quiet meditation or a lively discussion with friends. The sheltered arbor is a lovely spot for drawing or photography if so inclined, and the garden offers events throughout the year that might appeal to you. Visit the website for a calendar.
When arriving, park at the bottom of the hill and visit the small gift shop to purchase tickets, then hike straight up for access to the garden, which offers sweeping vistas of the landscaped hills and a variety of exotic plants mingled in natural plantings. Spring and summer are the best times of the year to visit.
To fully experience the gardens, join as a member for annual access to watch the seasonal changes from rich autumnal colors to refreshing spring blossoms and a luxurious sweep of green during the summer.
This is a beautiful hidden valley of horticultural collections that is often overlooked by locals and tourists alike–while out wine tasting in the area, take a few hours to explore it; you will not be disappointed.
Why hike at Quarryhill Botanical Gardens?
- Horticultural education of plants from around the world
- Splashing waterfalls and creeks for entertaining crossings of bridges and stepping stones
- Steep hills give a good workout going up and down
- Variety of trail types from narrow green tunnel paths to wide paved road
- Well tended—no need to worry about logs or trail damage