- WHAT TO BE PREPARED FOR: (1) Arrive on time and be prepared to immediately carpool or caravan from the meeting place to the trailhead. (2) Reaching the trailhead may require driving 1.5 miles on rough gravel road. This may not be suitable for all vehicles. (3) The terrain at the King-Swett Ranches is difficult. All ages are welcome, but those with health, breathing or balance issues should consider an easier hike. Participants on this hike must be prepared for the following: A potentially strenuous pace hiking 4 to 6 miles up and down slippery, steep, and rugged hills that may be full of sticky seeds, thorny plants, and poison oak. (There are very few trails and those that do exist are unimproved—expect rough, rocky, uneven ground.) (4) These are working ranches where free-range cattle roam as they please. (5) Visitors must be accompanied by a docent at all times. (6) Since the ranches are otherwise closed, the entry and exit gate will be locked except for the start and end times of the hike. (7) There is no drinking water. (8) There are no bathrooms. (9) In order to protect wildlife, cattle, and rare plants—and for your pet’s safety—dogs are not allowed. (10) Take only pictures, leave only footprints. (11) Maintain a safe distance from cattle and wildlife, and be aware that this is tick, mountain lion, poison oak, and potentially rattlesnake country.
- WHAT TO BRING: (1) Hiking boots or trail running shoes with good grip (to prevent falls on the slippery, steep, rugged terrain). (2) Long socks pulled over long, sturdy pants (to protect your legs from thorny plants and any poison oak, and to make any ticks more visible so that you can brush them off you). (3) Protection from the elements—sun (sunscreen, hat, sunglasses), wind, fog, rain. (4) A backpack with plenty of water and snacks and/or a bag lunch. (5) You may also want to bring hiking sticks (to prevent falls), gaiters (to further protect your legs from thorny plants), bug repellent, binoculars and a camera.
- MEETING PLACE: Since there is no parking lot at the King-Swett Ranches, please meet your guide promptly at the (unmarked) Park-and-Ride lot where McGary Road, Hiddenbrooke Parkway, and American Canyon Road intersect (on the Hiddenbrooke side of the American Canyon/Hiddenbrooke Parkway exit, off Interstate 80). Be ready to immediately carpool or caravan from there to the trailhead. Map: http://goo.gl/maps/YNpgX
- WEATHER PLAN: Only heavy rain or high fire danger cancels—call Jim at 925-519-1834 if the weather is uncertain.
Be sure to register at https://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/eventReg?oeidk=a07ee8e2p4ybcb27ea8&oseq=&c=&ch=