Kortum Trail: Wright's Beach to Goat Rock & back (Moderate) 8+ miles

  • November 6, 2012 · 9:45 AM
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The Kortum Trail. Hike part of the Sonoma Coast State Beach!

Our Hike: This is a ‘there and back’ hike. Most guides I have found write about easy stretches of the Kortum Trail, many describing trail segments starting from Shell Beach and heading either north to Blind Beach or south Wright’s Beach, with fairly minimal elevation gain.

Instead, we will start at the south end at Wright’s Beach, head north past Shell Beach, and onward. The north terminus of the trail is generally listed as the bluffs 200 feet above Blind Beach. From there, we will take the (rough) trail down to Blind Beach for a lunch and some time to explore. If the tides allow for it, we will then take a 3/4 mile beach stroll up to Goat Rock Beach.

From beyond Goat Rock, we will take a gradual climb up the paved road from Goat Rock Beach, traversing along the high bluffs, rejoining our original trail at Blind Beach for our return south to our starting point.

Overall, when including Goat Rock Beach, this trek is about 9 miles. We do have a high elevation point of ‘Peaked Hill’ at 360 ft elevation, just south of Blind Beach. I am expecting to be on the trail (including lunch) for about 5 hours. With the climb up Peaked Hill each way, and a few other dips, we will end up with about 900 feet of elevation gain overall.

From the Guides: The state beach is actually a series of sandy beaches separated by rocky 100-foot bluffs and headlands.  This rugged coast has secluded coves, reefs, tidepools, natural rock arches, sand dunes and wildflowers!  This trail follows the coastline with some wandering over the inland wetlands.  If you love the ocean than this hike is perfect for you!

This hike is not for beginning hikers or those newly returning to the trails due to the length and the total climb of 1000 feet.

Directions:

From Highway 1 and Highway 116 (just south of Jenner) cross the Russian River bridge on Hwy 1 to the Wright's Beach parking lot. There is a campground at Wright’s Beach, but we will meet in the gravel lot just above the beach at the entrance to the campground, just off the road. The lot is located 1.4 miles south of the Shell Beach turnoff at mile marker 16.8.

PARKING: Free Parking is somewhat limited at Wright’s Beach… Carpooling is highly recommended. Can probably squeeze in 6-8 or so cars in the area just in at the turnoff to Wright’s Beach. But we won’t be the only ones trying to park there - so we really want to fill up our cars. Additional cars will have to park in the ‘fee’ area for Wright’s Beach picnic and camping (will need $8 exact change to stuff in the slot).

Car pools to be posted as determined by participants.  If you ride please give your driver a minimum of $5 to cover gas and car expenses.  We want our drivers to feel appreciated.

As always:

  • Please always check your email the night before just in case there are any necessary adjustments.  This is especially important if there are any weather issues.  Cancellations due to weather will be posted by 10pm 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.
  • Wear comfortable hiking shoes with good rugged soles that are well broken in.
  • Duration: 4-5 hours
  • Facilities:  The Wright's Beach campground is open, there are restrooms there, as well as at Shell Beach and at Goat Rock.
  • Dogs?: None allowed
  • Bring plenty of water.  It is a long hike (8-9 miles), I suggest at least 2 liters of water.
  • Dress in layers.  The weather at the coast in unpredictable!
  • Bring a snack/lunch.  We will take a leisurely picnic break at Goat Rock beach.
  • Bring your smile and great attitude!  We are ALL about trail enjoyment while respecting everyone’s time!
  • Once again, always try to car-pool if you can.  If there is a noted car pool that is full or doesn’t work for you it would be wonderful if posted your own on the hike’s comments spot.  If you are a rider than make sure to give your driver gas money as mentioned above.

See you on the trail!

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  • A former member
    A former member

    Beautiful! We certainly lucked out with the great weather.

    November 7, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    that was the kind of November day that can take you through the winter.

    November 7, 2012

  • Richard M

    Looks like you all had a perfect day. Awesome!!

    November 7, 2012

  • Leigh

    Wow!! Wow!! Wow!! That's about all I have to say! Well...except for...when can we go back?!

    November 7, 2012

  • Shawna

    I enjoy this trail in just about any weather, but in weather like today's it's spectacular.

    November 6, 2012

  • Dustin H.

    Quite a nice trail, but I wish more were on the beach. I wonder if a low tide might....

    November 6, 2012

  • Lynda K.

    It was 5 stars +! Where did my other review go?

    November 6, 2012

  • Stephanie B.

    Beyond beautiful!!! Loved visiting with the Wanderers and thanks to Leigh for her amazing timing.

    November 6, 2012

  • Kathie B.

    A glorious day on the coast with our wonderful group. Life doesn't get any better. Thank you, Leigh and fellow Wanderers!

    November 6, 2012

  • Marinoly R.

    Leigh worked her magic again! Best election day ever!

    November 6, 2012

  • Lynda K.

    Thank you for confirming! What fun!

    November 5, 2012

  • Mark

    Maria & Julie, Lynda is right about the most direct route. We could meet at the Park & Ride 1350 Maple Avenue, Santa Rosa (across from the Veterans Memorial Bldg and right under Hwy 12) to leave at 8:45 and then stop for Lynda in Sebastopol.

    November 5, 2012

    • Julie

      I'll be there at 8:45.

      November 5, 2012

    • Mark

      Maria and Julie: see you at 8:45 at the Park & Ride in Santa Rosa. Lynda: Maria, Julie and I will see you at 9 in Sebastopol.

      November 5, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    8:20. Roger that.

    November 5, 2012

  • Leigh

    Hi Everyone...I just realized that I should make you aware that there might be a photographer from the Press Democrat joining us at the trailhead to take some pictures. They are doing an article on fall hiking and they might want to take pictures of the group. They are thinking of coming to this hike.
    Seems like a long way for them to come for a picture but we will see!

    November 5, 2012

    • Lynda K.

      should we wear our crowns??? LOL....

      1 · November 5, 2012

  • Lynda K.

    Maria and Julie , French Garden parking lot is on your RIGHT as you leave Sebastopol at the top of the hill (I had told you left on my e-mail, Maria) Mark knows where it is...

    November 5, 2012

  • Mark

    Sebastopol 9 AM French Garden for carpool. I'll be there to drive... or ride.

    November 5, 2012

    • Marinoly R.

      Mark, would you like to meet Juli and me at the Trader Joe's in Santa Rosa Ave. We could meet Lynda in Sebastopol.

      November 5, 2012

  • Marinoly R.

    I would like to carpool from Santa Rosa or can meet in Petaluma.

    November 5, 2012

    • Marinoly R.

      Sound great! See you there.

      November 5, 2012

    • Lynda K.

      Maria and Julie, French Garden parkinglot in Sebastopol is the most direct route to Kortum from where you are in Santa Rosa. River Road is NOT. Call me if you want to carpool or indicate here.

      November 5, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Is Wright's Beach a county park or state? I have a county pass.

    November 4, 2012

    • Shawna

      It's a State Park, but I don't think you don't need a pass to park at the trailhead parking lot. I've never bothered to display my parking placard there.

      November 5, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Office Depot 8:30, works perfectly.

    November 5, 2012

    • Leigh

      oh Gretchen...I'm having quite the morning-having to change times! :) ...can you be there by 8:20?

      November 5, 2012

    • A former member
      A former member

      Yes, no problem, I'll be running a couple errands down that way in the morning. See you there!

      November 5, 2012

  • Lynda K.

    Ok. Last call. Hike starts 0945. I will be at French Garden parking lot on Hwy 12/ Bodega Ave. Sebastopol to lv at 0900. 30 min to trailhead

    November 5, 2012

  • Leigh

    Hi Kortum Hikers! Please note the time change to 9:45. Sorry for any confusion this might cause!

    November 5, 2012

  • Barbara P.

    Would anyone like to carpool from Petaluma...i will be happy to drive

    November 4, 2012

    • Karen S.

      Yes, Stephanie and I would like to meet you in Petaluma.

      November 4, 2012

    • Barbara P.

      Do you know the petaluma park n ride at petaluma blvd south....do you think 8:30 would be good time

      November 4, 2012

  • Karen S.

    Where in Petaluma should Stephanie and i meet you, Barbara?
    Thanks for being willing to drive.

    November 4, 2012

  • Lynda K.

    Mark. Do you want meet at French Garden like last time? Hwy. 12 on way to Bodega, anyone?

    November 4, 2012

  • Mark

    I can drive or ride; coming from Santa Rosa.

    November 4, 2012

  • Lynda K.

    I will be coming from Sebastopol to the coast travel on Bodega/hwy 12 west.. Anyone want to meet me in prkng lot of French Garden at 0845 let me know.

    November 3, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hburg carpool time? I'm looking forward to this. Opted for day before my birthday group hike instead of day of solo hike.

    October 30, 2012

  • Lynda K.

    I am in. One of my favorite hikes!

    October 21, 2012

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