|census-designated place & unincorporated community|
|Total||7.117 sq mi (18.435 km2)|
|Land||7.116 sq mi (18.431 km2)|
|Water||0.001 sq mi (0.004 km2) 0.02%|
|Elevation||118 ft (36 m)|
|Density||50/sq mi (19/km2)|
|Time zone||PST (UTC-8)|
|Summer (DST)||PDT (UTC-7)|
|GNIS feature ID||220749|
Cazadero is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) in western Sonoma County, California, United States with a population of 354 as of the 2010 Census. Nearby towns include Jenner, Annapolis, Stewart's Point, Duncans Mills, Villa Grande, Rio Nido, Guerneville, Monte Rio, and The Sea Ranch. The downtown of Cazadero is quite modest, consisting of two churches, a general store, a post office, a hardware store, an auto repair garage, the well equipped main station of the Cazadero Volunteer Fire Department and a few homes.
Cazadero is generally regarded as the area from the confluence of Austin Creek and the Russian River along California State Route 116 along the Cazadero Highway up to the town. The town is approximately 6 miles from Route 116. Cazadero Highway roughly parallels Austin Creek which is a principal tributary of the lower Russian River. Austin Creek flows southward through the town. Just north of the town, Cazadero Highway is joined by Fort Ross Road which is a winding, narrow road that meanders west before reaching State Route 1 on the Pacific Ocean near an old fort established by the Russian trappers in the 19th century. Located in the Sonoma Coast AVA, Cazadero can also be considered part of the Wine Country. Flowers Vineyard and Winery is in Cazadero. Cazadero is approximately 10 miles (16 km) from the Pacific Ocean, the rugged Sonoma Coast and the mouth of the Russian River.
Many creeks in Cazadero join Austin Creek as it makes its way to the Russian River. The principal tributary in the area is Kidd Creek which finds it source on the south east slopes of Pole Mountain which rises to approximately 2,204 feet (672 m) just a few miles from the Pacific coastline. Kidd Creek flows west to east before joining Austin Creek about 3 miles south of town. The rapid rise in elevation from the coast to mountains west of Cazadero ensures that the area receives substantial rainfall as Pacific storms come onshore in spring and winter releasing rain from clouds saturated with ocean moisture. Cazadero receives an average of 85 in (220 cm) of rain a year, and is reputed to be the second wettest town in California, after Gasquet.
The area is home to a number of camps, including the Cazadero Performing Arts Camp. There are numerous vacation rentals in the area and ample opportunities for recreation in Cazadero, including fishing, hunting, swimming, boating, camping and particularly rich bird watching opportunities.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP covers an area of 7.1 square miles (18.4 km ), 99.98% of it land and 0.02% of it water.
Cazadero is in a forested area where there is diverse plant life, including redwoods, oaks and bay trees. Tanoak is a common species, although sudden oak death is putting pressure on it. Rarer plants in the area include the calypso orchid (Calypso bulbosa), which can be found on the floors of redwood forests, fern glens and boggy areas in the area. The orchid occurs throughout the Northern Hemisphere, including Asia, Scandinavia, Northern Europe and North America.
Wildlife in the area is particularly rich. Common birds are Steller's Jay, common raven, great egret, great blue heron, hummingbird, pileated and acorn woodpecker. Careful birders will occasionally catch glimpse of a northern flicker as well. Mammals include the mountain lion, coyote, deer, bobcat, wild boar and fox. River otters have also been reported in the area. Anadromous fish such as Coho salmon and steelhead are found in local streams but are threatened by overfishing and habitat destruction caused by logging practices. Skunk, opossum and raccoon are also abundant. The area is also home to numerous frog and toad species owing to the wet landscape and the presence of numerous seasonal vernal pools. Creeks in the area are abound with crawfish, newts and rarer freshwater shrimp.
Cazadero was the northern terminus of the North Pacific Coast Railroad, originally laid as narrow-gauge track in the 1870s.
The 2010 United States Census reported that Cazadero had a population of 354. The population density was 49.7 people per square mile (19.2/km ). The racial makeup of Cazadero was 318 (89.8%) White, 1 (0.3%) African American, 7 (2.0%) Native American, 5 (1.4%) Asian, 0 (0.0%) Pacific Islander, 5 (1.4%) from other races, and 18 (5.1%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 23 persons (6.5%).
The Census reported that 100% of the population lived in households.
There were 164 households, out of which 37 (22.6%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 71 (43.3%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 12 (7.3%) had a female householder with no husband present, 6 (3.7%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 18 (11.0%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 5 (3.0%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 49 households (29.9%) were made up of individuals and 15 (9.1%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.16. There were 89 families (54.3% of all households); the average family size was 2.75.
The population was spread out with 60 people (16.9%) under the age of 18, 20 people (5.6%) aged 18 to 24, 83 people (23.4%) aged 25 to 44, 142 people (40.1%) aged 45 to 64, and 49 people (13.8%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 46.7 years. For every 100 females there were 122.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 117.8 males.
There were 335 housing units at an average density of 47.1 per square mile (18.2/km ), of which 65.9% were owner-occupied and 34.1% were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 1.8%; the rental vacancy rate was 9.2%. 67.8% of the population lived in owner-occupied housing units and 32.2% lived in rental housing units.