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Warm Springs Arm/Lake Sonoma exploration! 15 mi+ (strenuous) Shuttle hike

An exploration hike means that I haven’t done this hike before and that we will be following a map. An exploration hike can hold delightful surprises and as the leader I reserve the right to head off in the wrong direction, calculate the mileage wrong, misjudge the altitude gain and expect everyone to have a fantastic time! If you aren’t the adventurous type that you might want to wait until this hike is posted as an official hike!

We are going to loop our way around the whole Warm Springs Arm of the lake!

You can view what we are going to do by looking at the trailmap:

We will meet at the Southlake trailhead to leave our cars as this is where we will end up. We will squeeze into as few cars as possible to drive over to Little Flat Trailhead (appx 1 mile away)

We head out from Little Flat up to Bummer Peak and the Half a Canoe trail. We stay on Half a Canoe for about a mile and then veer off on Rancheria. From Rancheria we will curve around the end of the lake and hit South Lake Trail. Should be fun...I have NO IDEA what to expect up at the end of the lake. I've wanted to see that area for a long time!

FOR car pools ...we have a change. Please document your car pool info in your RSVP comments NOT the general comments below. That will eliminate many msgs to the hike attendees. 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!

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.

Windsor Office Depot parking lot at 7:55

Lucky's Petaluma 7:25


Take the 101 North to the Dry Creek Road exit. At the bottom of the exit make a left onto Dry Creek Road. Take Dry Creek Road about 12 miles continuing straight through both stop signs. Dry Creek Road passes the Lake Sonoma Visitor Centor and heads up the hill by the dam. Take your first left onto Skaggs Springs Rd and look for your first righthand turn to the Southlake trailhead. We will meet there

As always:

  • We combine enjoyment of the trail with respect for everyone’s time. A steady pace and we just keep going!
  • 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: 5 hours appx.
  • Facilities: None
  • Dogs?: Not allowed on exploration hikes.
  • 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 a scenic spot about half way.
  • 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. And car poolers if you are riding with someone other than your leader please chip in for gas and the use of their car.
  • Bring your smile and great attitude! 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!

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  • Brenda P.

    I am so lucky you all waited for me, because I really needed that adventure. Thanks for the day I won't forget quickly. Perfect!

    December 7, 2012

  • Leigh

    Oh!! To the best of my calculations for the 4 of us last standing...17 miles...3200 feet gain!

    December 6, 2012

  • susette

    Ten stars to the rest of our wonderful group for waiting, so patiently ?! for us. Can't imagine NOT going on that hike!! Not only was it an adventure to the nth degree but it was filled with nature's incredible scenery every step of the way. I don't seem to tire of either so I will be back for more!!! Until next time. . . : )

    December 6, 2012

  • Leigh

    Well....where to start? Maybe the tiny tiny trailhead sign that made the trailhead hard to find for two wanderers? Or maybe the decision to NOT shuttle and walk the additional mile so that we do a COMPLETE loop on foot? Or should we go into detail regarding the ferocious guard lamb? This was the FIRST TRUE exploration hike....I must admit the others were like preschool! :) You know when we start talking about UFO abductions that things have taken a turn into wonderland!
    Maybe the fact that I will make headlamps mandatory on all further exploratory hikes..or maybe that I was willing to lay down in the middle of the road to get a ride back to our cars will impact future trips and better prepare future participants on the EXPLORATORY hikes!!!!!! I don't know though....because I had the time of my life. I loved it! I certainly had the right people with guys were terrific...fantastic...and the best companions..... I love you guys!

    December 6, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Leigh. Any idea on elevation?

    December 2, 2012

    • Leigh

      My best guess would be not more than 2200

      December 3, 2012

  • Marianne W.

    Can't make that date but hope it works for everyone.

    November 28, 2012

  • Leigh

    I've rescheduled this hike for Thursday, December 6th due to heavy rains. I hope you all still can make it. If not, we'll miss you! Simply change your RSVP and you are all set.

    November 28, 2012

  • Marianne W.

    I'm going to cancel this one. Not up for it in the rain.

    November 28, 2012

  • Leigh

    Hi Everyone...I just wanted to give you a heads up that this hike might be rescheduled to the Thursday of the following week if the weather report doesn't improve. Right now the Sonoma Lake area is expecting almost 3 inches of rain during the day on Thursday. Cross your fingers and check back Wednesday evening!

    November 26, 2012

  • Brenda P.

    Does anyone want to carpool from Rohnert Park?

    November 19, 2012

    • susette

      Sure, Brenda - I'll be coming from Petaluma.

      November 20, 2012

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