It's the end of one of the most FANTASTIC years... get out your party hat... grab your noise maker! Please be advised that this is a PARTY HIKE!! We will have noise makers, we most likely will be loud and raucous....if you are looking for a quiet serene hike...this is not the one for you. This is a hike of celebration....to celebrate the wonderful year we just completed and to joyously welcome in 2014 and all the new memories and experiences we have yet to create!
Bring beverages for the top and a chilly bottle of champagne for the bottom. We are sending out the year in GRAND style while leaving you plenty of time to get to any party you might be attending later. THERE WILL BE A PRIZE FOR THE MOST SPIRITED OUTFIT!!!
We head up the mountain on mostly single track trails, but we come down the mountain on the fire road. It can be steep, and some people don't care for fire road hiking. BUT, if that does NOT include you then, this is a great hike for you!
On a clear day there is no place more beautiful than the top of Bald Mountain. We'll probably be off the trail by 1:00, leaving ample time to enjoy the rest of your day and get to other parties!
This is a spectacular trail with a 360-degree view at the summit. We will start on Lower Bald Mountain Trail, which immediately starts to climb up the bottom of Bald Mountain. We pass through grasslands as we climb up to Bald Mountain Trail. Bald Mountain trail is a fire road, and we are on it for a short, steep section... And we are all relieved when we exit the fire road onto Vista -- a lovely trail that basically travels along the relatively flat flanks of the mountain, with gorgeous sweeping views of St. Helena and Glen Ellen. We then turn onto Headwaters, which will give us the second good uphill section. Once the winter rains have started, this section is lovely, because we follow a stream that cascades it way down the side of the mountain right beside the trail! This section ends on Red Mountain trail, where we make our way to the beloved Gray Pine fire road which gives us our last good huff and puff section to make it to the top. We will come down the paved Bald Mountain Trail. This is a moderate to difficult, delightful trail. Steep and narrow trails, at some points, with the contrast of a fire road on the way down but highly recommended, if you are a moderate hiker that has be hiking consistently.
On a clear day you can see from the Sierra Nevada Range to the San Francisco skyline and the Golden Gate Bridge. This is not easy, and we will huff an puff as we slowly climb,but it IS very worthwhile! Our way down will be on the paved fire road.
This is a 7 mile loop with an elevation gain of appx. 1700 feet.
The link to the park brochure and trail map is below:
CARPOOLING: Always try to car pool if you can. Please give your driver money for gas, wear & tear on their car, and the effort of driving. For less than an hour to the trailhead, please give $5.00. For more than an hour, please give $8.00. We like to take good care of our drivers!
Car pool etiquette- Come prepared to drive, but 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!
Then PLEASE, if possible, try to use the two locations below. 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 locations:
Santa Rosa: Caltrans Park & Ride lot adjacent to the Santa Rosa Veterans Memorial building. We gather near the Airporter pick-up point. Suggested leave by 8:25.
Petaluma: Lucky's at the intersection of Lakeville and Caulfield Ln. Park closest to Payran St. Suggested leave by 8:10.
Adobe Canyon Road: near the entrance to Landmark Winery. Park on the dirt area, alongside the road. Suggested leave by 8:45.
Please read and be familiar with the guidelines of the group as listed below.It’s important before you come on a Wanderer hike that you agree to, and are prepared with, the following
We combine enjoyment of the trail with respect for everyone’s time. A steady pace, and we just keep going! If you are in the lead, you will end up waiting at trail junctions. If you are in the back, you will be asked to do your best to keep up with the group. At waiting points, the group may move on as soon as you are within sight. Our pace averages 2.5mph. We do get separated from time to time, as everyone walks their own pace, but please bear in mind that you will need to be able to stay within minutes of the group. Make sure this is something you are prepared for and would enjoy.
Please always check your email the night before just in case there are any necessary adjustments. Cancellations or any adjustments will be posted by 10 pm the previous evening.
Give yourself time to find the trail head so that you arrive prior to the scheduled time. That is the time we head out on the trail. It would be disappointing to miss having you on the hike due to late arrival. You will be left behind if you are not ready to head out at the hike start time.
Wear comfortable hiking shoes with good rugged soles that are well broken in.
Duration: 3-4 hours
Facilities: at the trail head
Dogs?: none allowed here
Bring plenty of water. More than one bottle is usually a good idea.
Dress in layers. The hike starts off cool but rapidly warms up.
Bring a snack, your party hat, beverages for the top, and champagne for the finish!!!
Bring your smile and great attitude! Once again....this is not about finishing the hike in record time...it's about enjoying ourselves and the outdoors! If you are a fast hiker you will be waiting for those of us that huff and puff our way up the trail. If you are a slow hiker you will find that we head off up the trail as soon as you catch up with the group. Please make sure this is something that you will enjoy! We are ALL about trail enjoyment while respecting everyone’s time!
See you on the trail!