Sonoma County High Point Trip Report

Cobb Mountain - west rim

Date: January 5, 2003
Author: John Garner

After hiking back down Mount St. Helena, I had a bit of time, so I scouted the base of Cobb Mountain, hp of Sonoma County. This hp is on private land, and all of the other reports I've seen show hiking up a private road from the community of Whispering Pines. However, the new topo shows a bunch of roads crisscrossing the area near the summit, so I investigated.

Specifically, there is a road running to Geyser Rock, at a saddle close to the summit. From there, the hike would only be about a mile at most. However, the entire area is leased to a geothermal company, the Calpine Corporation. Calpine leases the area from various landowners (including the owner of the hp). The access road runs up the back side of Cobb, several miles northwest of Whispering Pines. I went to the bottom of this road and found a manned, gated checkpoint. I tried to sweet-talk the guard, and he made several phone calls, but his bosses shut me down. They did say, however, that they DO entertain visitors occasionally, but not unannounced on Sunday afternoon.

The normal route is across private land on the east side of the mountain, but I've never seen anyone actually get permission. If you want to shorten the hike, or if you want to get legal permission, try calling the Calpine Corporation. According to the people I spoke with, there would be at least a reasonable chance you get approved.