Local Guides
Sonoma County
Monte Rio, California

Monte Rio, CA Local Info


Monte Rio, California, nestled along the Russian River in Sonoma County, offers a charming retreat amidst towering redwoods and scenic vistas. Situated at the northern tip of the Bohemian Highway's scenic 10-mile stretch, Monte Rio stretches gracefully on both sides of the river.  To the northeast of Monte Rio lies the touristy town of Guerneville, while to the west, where the river meets the ocean, is Jenner.

Monte Rio's picturesque setting along the Russian River and towering redwood makes it a popular destination for outdoor adventure seekers. Visitors can enjoy a variety of recreational activities, including kayaking, canoeing, fishing, and swimming in the refreshing waters of the river. The nearby Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve provides opportunities for hiking and picnicking amidst majestic old-growth redwood trees. The historic Rio Theater, built in the 1940s, hosts film screenings, live performances, and community events throughout the year, providing entertainment for residents and visitors alike. 

The historic town, tucked away in the forest on the northern bank, is definitely worth the visit, especially during July 4th celebrations. Otherwise head to the local general store to stock up on all of your necessities and refreshments before you head to the beach.

Since the 1870s, Monte Rio has been intertwined with the North Pacific Coast Railroad, serving as a pivotal stop connecting Cazadero to the Sausalito ferry in California. Initially fueled by the booming redwood lumber industry, which supplied materials for San Francisco's construction, Monte Rio transformed into a haven known as Vacation Wonderland.

Despite the extensive logging activity during the latter half of the 19th century, the Sonoma Lumber Company safeguarded a pristine 160-acre grove of old-growth redwood trees. This invaluable tract was eventually acquired by San Francisco's Bohemian Club in 1899. Over time, the club acquired numerous other parcels in the vicinity, amassing thousands of acres in the area, which serve as the backdrop for its summer retreats.