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Plump Wine Grapes, Sonoma County, California

Wine Grapes in SonomaView All Sizes

JOURNAL : August 19, 2009

Lake Sonoma & Liberty Glen Campground

California > United States

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Just off the Redwood Highway (101) at Healdsburg about 70 miles north of San Francisco is Dry Creek Valley, one of the vital viticultural regions of famed Sonoma County. Though jarred temporarily by Prohibition, this valley has produced premium Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes from most of the last century into this one.

Exit Dry Creek Road from 101

The valley is bisected by Dry Creek Road which roughly follows the eponymous Creek until Warm Springs Dam and the mouth of Lake Sonoma. All along the route are picturesque vineyard vistas and winery villas reminiscent of Beaune and the French Countryside.

Dry Creek Valley Vineyards of Sonoma County, California

Dry Creek Valley VineyardsView All Sizes

Lake Sonoma

The lake itself is a man-made reservoir created by Warm Springs Dam to provide consistent water for the endless vineyards that traverse the valley. Popular recreational activities in the area include boating, fishing, camping, hiking and swimming.

Lake Sonoma Reservoir and Bridge

Lake Sonoma & BridgeView All Sizes

Lake Sonoma Reservoir

Lake SonomaView All Sizes

Liberty Glen Campground

Following Dry Creek Road past the dam and over the Lake Sonoma bridge will eventually lead past Liberty Glen Campground on the left. I had discovered it in the highly recommended book Camping With the Corps of Engineers. The campgrounds were virtually empty except for a few other campers spread out amongst 97 camp sites. The fees is $16 for single sites and double for double sites.

Liberty Glen Campground Sign

Liberty Glen Campground Sign

No Water?

Yeah, no water was available while I was there, despite being adjacent to a reservoir with about 2,700 acres of surface area. Since the grounds sit up on a ridge, perhaps the cost of pumping up the water is high. Thus, bring ample stores of water for drinking, washing and so forth. I came at the end of a long hot summer at the tail end of a long drought, so it's possible conditions have improved.

You can still get your water fix by heading over to Lake Sonoma for swimming, boating or water-skiing. You won't die of thirst up there!

Dry Creek Valley Winery of Sonoma County, California

A Winery in the DistanceView All Sizes

Liberty Glen Campground

Liberty Glen CampgroundView All Sizes

Notwithstanding the lack of water, Liberty Glen Campground is highly recommended. For family get-togethers an amphitheater and playground are available. There are restrooms and showers, but due to the lack of water use the porta-potties. The grounds were well-maintained, and the roadways and facilities constructed with the military strength and efficiency typical of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Like nearby Lake Mendocino, these recreational sites and campgrounds are often part of strategic water resources like reservoirs and rivers.

Liberty Glen Campground Amphitheater

Liberty Glen Campground AmphitheaterView All Sizes

Lake Sonoma is right around the corner and picturesque Dry Creek Valley is on the way.

Plump Wine Grapes, Sonoma County, California

About this day

Lake Sonoma & Liberty Glen Campground

August 19, 2009

California > United States

Tags   Lakes · Country · Camping · Driving · Valleys

Series | All United States Locations

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