Hike Pomo Canyon Trail to the deep redwoods of Pomo Environmental Campground, then loop back up over Red Hill for lunch and great views of the Sonoma coastline and mouth of the Russian River.
The path used to be an ancient trading route of the Pomo and Miwok people. Lot's of history here! The hike offers panoramic vistas of the lower Russian River, Willow Creek, the town of Jenner and of course the rugged coastline! It's 7 miles with an elevation gain of appx. 1500 ft but the altitude gain is spread out.
We start out at the Shell Beach parking area, and head east across highway 1. A short but firm climb will take us above the coast and Russian river where we traverse through varied forests and open scrub. After a few miles we head down into the depths of Pomo Canyon where we roam around and venture through the campground and through the redwoods.
At this point we retrace our steps back up to the Red Hill cut off and up, up, and away we go up to the scenic top of grassy Red Hill and the Fern Tree. We are going to wait until we reach the top of Red Hill for lunch. It will be warmer and probably we will have a great view...bring something to sit on. Great spot for some wine if anyone feels up to lugging some along!
The top of Red Hill is very grassy. If the weather is good inland, even if foggy on the coast, Red Hill can be above the fog, leaving us to bask in the sun, so bring a big floppy hat if the sun bothers you! After having lunch and gazing at the views we head directly down the west side of Red Hill back to the parking lot.
If coming from 101 and River Rd, or up 116, Head to Guerneville and continue to Highway One on Highway 116. After the 116 hits route one (just south of Jenner) cross the Russian River Bridge and continue 1.6 miles south to the posted Shell Beach parking lot on your right.
Difficulty: Moderate... there is 700 feet of elevation gain each direction on this hike for a total of 1,400 feet.
Duration: About about 4 hours
Lunch: Pack a lunch for the top of Red Hill
Shoes: Hiking boots or a good pair of trail shoes
Clothing: There's likely to be patches of Poison Oak. Dress in layers as it could be cold and foggy in the morning hours.
A short description may be found here: http://trailhead.blogs.pressdemocrat.com/12138/shell-beach-to-pomo-canyon/
Please do not RSVP unless you are sure you can make it. We understand if emergencies come up, but lately we have had long wait lists discouraging real interested hikers from signing up, only to have as many as 1/3 of the "Yes" RSVP-ers drop out the day before the hike. This is unfair to those that would like to hike, but don't want to pin their weekend plans on hoping the wait list might clear. Please do not sign-up if you only think you might like to join the hike... Sign-up when you are making firm plans to hike. Thanks.
- Windsor - in front of the closed Denny's at Safeway, suggested leave by 8:20
- Santa Rosa - Coddingtown Library parking lot, suggested leave at 8:20
- Petaluma - Lucky at the intersection of Lakeville and Caulfield Ln. Park closest to Payran St., suggested leave by 8:20
- Other - e.g. Marin, Napa, etc. Please suggest time and place in comments section, below.
- If planning on joining a carpool, mention so in the comments section so that others may be on the look out for you there (though there won't be anyone with a 'Wanderers' sign, or anything)
PLEASE if possible try to use the three locations above. The more locations we have the less effective we are and it's so much more complicated. Exceptions would be if you are not close to either location.
Car pool etiquette:
Come prepared to drive, be aware that there may be no others wanting to car pool from your selected location or there might be a lot of people and everyone might want to ride. We determine who gets the rider seats by who has most recently been a driver in the past. This is worked out based by who shows up at the car pool location. We can't guarantee anyone a seat because we never know until that day who will show up. We do our best to work it out and make everyone happy but we need everyone to pitch in and help make it work!
General room of thumb...$5 one hour or less to trailhead $8 over one hour to trailhead Please insist your driver accept the money. It's to cover more than gas money...it's the wear and tear on the vehicle. We like to take care of our drivers!
- Always check the website the night before just in case there have been any necessary adjustments
- Bring plenty of water
- Wear comfortable hiking shoes
- Dress in layers..we will be on the coast and the weather is unpredictable!
- Arrive prior to the starting time..how sad if miss you due to your late arrival
- Bring your positive attitude and a smile!
- Bring a picnic lunch for the top of Red Hill