Flower-filled canyons, the beautiful Mayacamas Mountains, and an Audubon Nature Preserve are all part of the Pine Flat Road experience. If you’re up for it, a bicycle is a nice way to go, but if you have a camera and a dog as I do, a vehicle is appropriate.
Directions: Pine Flat Road starts in Jimtown in the Alexander Valley. To get there take HWY 101 to the Healdsburg Dry Creek Rd exit. Go east on Dry Creek Rd for 2 blocks, then take a left on Healdsburg Ave. Follow this road north to Alexander Valley Rd, which veers off to the right. Take Alex Valley Rd all the way to Jimtown (Look for the famous Jimtowm General Store on the left). Pine Flat Rd continues straight when Alex Valley Road turns southeast towards Calistoga. It narrows and begins to wind up a low grade and the houses soon disappear. You have arrived.
Note: Pine Flat Road goes on for miles, through an protected Audubon Nature Preserve and geyser/geothermal land as well. You can drive on and on into the Mayacamas Mountain Range and get fantastic views if you have the time. For wildflower hunting I find the first few miles are the best, where it is a canyon with a paved road.
This is the best place I have found for the variety, but the flowers come over a period of a few months not all at once. Plan to visit at least 3 times in the spring!
IndianPink, Elegant Clarkia, Golden Fairy Lanterns, Chinese Houses and Canyon Larkspur are some of the more beautiful finds along the way. Just find a shoulder to park your vehicle and walk the quiet road.