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Sonoma Coast - Wrights Beach, Shell Beach, Red Hill
This hike includes beaches, bluffs, rolling hills, and peaceful redwood groves on the rugged Sonoma coast. Great views on a clear day. This is a 9 mile hike with a shorter 5.5 mile option. Both are very close to 1000 ft elevation gain. For the full hike we start at Wright's Beach Campground in Sonoma Coast State Park. We will head north on the Kortum trail, which meanders across the bluffs. We have great views up the coast, and enjoy the sound of the waves crashing on the rocks, cliffs, and beaches to our left. A bit over a mile and a half on the bluffs, then we arrive at the Shell Beach parking area where we pick up the short option hikers. After very carefully crossing Hwy 1 we head inland on the Dr. David C Joseph Memorial Trail. After a short, steep start we bear left on Pomo Canyon trail. This section of the trail is moderately rolling and leads us gently uphill. We have views across the Russian River valley, to Jenner, and east towards the Mayacamas Range. Pomo Canyon trail is mostly protected, with approx 70% cover and a variety of vegetation (including a little poison oak). Soon we take a right on Red Hill trail, then a spur left to the summit. Red Hill trail is mostly exposed, with one stunning exception being a cathedral-like redwood grove we pass through as we near the summit. At the top of Red Hill we have great views up and down the coast. If it isn't too cold or windy we will stop there for a short rest and lunch break. To finish the hike, we will come back down the spur trail then follow Red Hill trail left to loop back to the highway. At the Shell Beach parking area the short option hikers will sign out. We will then retrace our steps along the bluff back to Wrights Beach. On the way home we have an option to stop and warm up with socializing and refreshments at my favorite sourdough bakery, Wild Flour Bread in Freestone! Please wear proper hiking footwear. Bring plenty of food, water, sun protection, and clothing layers. Be prepared for cold wind on the coast, and possible mist, rain, or fog, even when it is hot and sunny inland. At least a fleece and shell are recommended. Heavy or steady rain forecast during the hike, or prolonged rain in the 24 hours before, will cancel the hike. I will make a decision and post on Meetup by 8 PM the night before, regarding any weather cancellation, so please check back the night before. Carpooling is recommended, participants are responsible for their own carpooling arrangements. Parking is free at Shell Beach and the upper gravel area at Wright's Beach. $8 cash in the large parking area at Wrights beach. Unfortunately, dogs are not allowed on the trails. Full hike group meet at the Kortum Trailhead sign at Wright's Beach Campground (top of the bluff, not down on the beach). Meet at the sign at 10 AM to depart at 10:15. Off Hwy 1, turn into the Wrights Beach Campground road. Immediately after leaving Hwy 1 and before continuing downhill to the beach and campground, there is a short gravel road to your right, which ends at the trailhead sign where we will meet. You can park there. If needed, there are restrooms and additional parking at the bottom of the hill by the campground and beach. Participants for the short option hike wait at the ocean end of the Shell Beach parking lot next to the Kortum Trail map and informational signs near the pit toilet. Please be prepared to start hiking when the group arrives from the south on the Kortum trail around 10:45. We will take a quick 10 minute stop to sign-in, then continue hiking. Questions: [masked] [masked] Hike Rating: 2B

Wrights Beach Campground

7095 Highway 1 · Bodega Bay, CA


What we're about

Please go here to join our group. Rainbow Sierrans is an outings and conservation club for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered people, and our friends. We are an official activities section of the Bay Chapter of the Sierra Club. Founded in 1986, the Bay Chapter Rainbow Sierrans was the Sierra Club's first gay and lesbian activities section. Throughout the year, we sponsor a variety of activities which offer something for almost everyone who enjoys the outdoors. Rainbow Sierrans outings run the gamut from easy urban strolls to vigorous peak hikes; relaxed car camping to demanding wilderness backpacks and naturalist-led walks; to hands-on restoration and trail maintenance projects. Everyone is welcome on our outings, whether or not they have joined Rainbow Sierrans.

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