Please take note!! There is now an $8 fee to park in the Gunsight parking lot. You will need exact change as it is a self service envelope. Your state park pass is still good if you have one.
This is going to be a training hike for the Wanderers going to the White Mountains in September and any other member that wants a challenging hike. (Only recommended for experienced hikers) This is not our regular Gunsight hike.
The trail begins on the west side of the mountain in Sugarloaf Ridge State Park. The hike is on the Goodspeed and Nattkemper Trails. There are several other ways to get to Gunsight Rock but this trail is reportedly the favorite. We cross over to Hood Park at the 2.0 mile mark to finish the last 1 and 1/2 miles. This trail is relentless and wouldn't be considered enjoyable unless you are up for a good workout. We will zigzag through big leaf maples and then through chaparral and manzanita...then crossing through grassland with amazing views. Once we get to "The Saddle" we will be headed down again to the beginning of the middle of the trail (the bench) and then we get to go up again all the way to Gunsight were we will enjoy a short lunch and be rewarded with spectacular views from Gunsight Rock Overlook. The vistas extend to Mount Diablo and over Sonoma Mountain to Mount Tamalpais. The middle of the trail is steep and has places you have to scramble up and then back down on the return. You must be steady on your feet and injury free to enjoy this hike (specially since we will be hiking this section twice).
If you want pictures and a more detailed description, I've provided a link to a great site!
If you want to look at the maps...I've provided links to both the maps of both parks that we will be hiking in:
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 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 and 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 a reasonable distance from 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 to the hike details. Cancellations or any adjustments will be posted by 10pm the previous evening.
RSVP etiquette must be followed. Only RSVP when you can commit to attend. Once you have RSVP'd if you have an emergency that means you have to cancel please change your RSVP by 5pm the prior day. This will avoid a "no-show" reflecting on your participation history. Over 3 "no-shows" might mean we have to excuse you from the group. We try very hard to respect each other in this group.
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: 5- 6 hours
Dogs?: None allowed
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. We always have a break at the top.
Bring your smile and great attitude! We are ALL about trail enjoyment while respecting everyone’s time!
Car pool etiquette- First and foremost....come prepared to drive. Yes.....I know.....a lot of you are trying to car pool because you don't want to or can't drive for whatever reason. I don't want you to be disappointed, so if you can't drive please be aware that you might not be able to join the hike. There is always that risk if you are counting on others to be your transportation. 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. You might arrive late, be in the wrong spot or get stopped by a swarm of your paparazzi...come prepared to drive to the trail head if you want to hike! If we have a gang wanting 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 rule of thumb for riders...$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!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: Safeway on Calistoga and Hwy 12 to leave by 7:40. We meet at the far end of the parking lot (farthest from Safeway's front door) by Calistoga Rd.
PETALUMA-Lucky at the intersection of Lakeville and Caulfield Ln. Park closest to Payran St. suggested leave by 715