Profile of Monte Rio, CA

Monte Rio, an historical “Vacation Wonderland,” is nestled in the redwoods, four miles west of Guerneville and eight miles from the coast (Jenner by the Sea). Monte Rio’s key attractions are a great beach, a movie theater built inside a mural-coverd quonset hut, spectacular river views and top restaurants offering riverside dining.

After centuries of habitation by the peaceful Miwok and Valley Pomo, the first real intrusion occurred at the start of the 19th century when Russian trappers canoed up the river, and in time decimated the beaver population. Fort Ross State Historic Park (ten miles north of Jenner on Highway 1) is home to the actual fort established by the Russian trappers. By mid-century the trappers were gone but the white man was entrenched, forming permanent communities, eventually bringing in the iron horse to the Russian River station in 1876. In 1902 the station boasted a  hotel and restaurant and became Montrio, the town’s name until 1924 when the Post Office officially changed it to Monte Rio. By 1909 the area had become the queen of the Russian River area, a “Vacation Wonderland.” The town’s heyday lasted through the ’20s, ending when the train stopped running in 1935. But the area had already established itself as a vacation destination, and thrives today in quiet magnificence. For more information, contact the Monte Rio Chamber of Commerce at 707-865-2304 (, or the Russian River Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center at (707) 869-9000 or (877) 644-9001. |