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Jack London and the Valley of the Moon: A Glimpse into Jack London State Historic Park

While Sonoma County is well-known for its wineries, it was also home to one of America’s most famous writers, Jack London. Just 15 minutes outside of Sonoma in the little town of Glen Ellen, you can visit Jack London’s property. Come see for yourself why he loved the Valley of the Moon.

The Park

Jack London State Historic Park is a unique combination of gorgeous landscape and rich history. With 1400 acres and over 29 miles of hiking trails, there’s so much beauty to be seen. Encounter diverse landscapes, from redwood groves to meadows and rolling green hills. There are also many historic sites such as London’s cottage, his ranch, and his gravesite.

Park Hours are from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm and there is a $10 vehicle entry fee.

Hiking

From a 2,000 year old redwood to stunning vistas, there is no shortage of natural wonder to explore. Whether you want to stay on the main trails or hit the back-country, you can find detailed trail maps here.

Some Notable Sites

  • The Wolf House was London’s dream house, designed by San Francisco architect Albert Farr. A few years and $50,000 later, the project was almost complete. However, the building caught fire in a spontaneous combustion and nearly everything was burned. You can see the remnants of this grand structure—the stone walls covered in moss surrounded by forest.
  • The Cottage on Beauty Ranch was London’s primary dwelling. You can see inside the wooden house for $3.
  • The Grave Site is where the children of the original owners of London’s property were buried. Scottish and Irish immigrants John and Lillie Ann Greenlaw farmed on the land that London later purchased. However, when a Phylloxera epidemic broke out affecting many vineyards across California and France, the Greenlaws abandoned their vineyard. Their children, David and Lillie, remain buried there, their causes of death unknown.
  • London requested to be interred there beside the bodies of the Greenlaw children. When his wife died, her ashes were buried there as well.

Summer
Summer Young is a senior at Sonoma State University pursuing a Bachelor’s in English. When she’s not in class, you can find her drinking coffee and exploring the world or on instagram @_justaseason_.

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