Stay and Explore
Help Sugarloaf with trail restoration work. Work includes bridge and step construction, installing signs, clearing, lifting, carrying and hiking. Bring gloves, hat, and water that you can carry hands-free (i.e. bring a backpack).Wear long pants, boots or sturdy shoes and sunscreen. Poison oak is present, so long sleeves are suggested. We have tools and trained crew leaders with tasks for all. Those under 18 years old must be accompanied by a responsible adult. We will provide tools, food and beverages. If you are a current State Parks volunteer, signup in vicnet. If you are an SEC volunteer, sign up here: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f0e4aaca62ca3ff2-sugarloaf1
Join us for a 1.4-mile nature hike along the Sonoma Creek. On the hike your leader will teach you about the plants, animals, and aquatic life of Sonoma Creek. The hike starts at the visitors’ center. No fee, but parking charges apply.
The Robert Ferguson Observatory (RFO) is open to the public at least once a month, usually on a Saturday near the time of the New Moon (see schedule at left).
Daytime Solar: Solar telescopes are set up so you can safely look at and listen to our favorite star, the Sun.
For more information, visit: rfo.org
The Robert Ferguson Observatory: Both peaked roofs roll back to reveal the telescopes inside.
The dome opens and revolves with its telescope. The tall poles attached to the sides of the building
are part of RFO’s radio astronomy set-up that allows us to listen to the Sun. Photo: Mark Hillestad
The Robert Ferguson Observatory (RFO) is open to the public at least once a month, usually on a Saturday near the time of the New Moon.
Star Parties: Presentations on astronomical topics are given in the classroom throughout the course of the evening. Starting at dusk, the Observatory’s three main telescopes are open for your viewing. Docents set up additional telescopes in front of the building. Friendly and knowledgeable docents are available to answer your questions.
- Map and Directions
- When to arrive: We keep the observatory open as long as there are visitors, but you must arrive within 3 hours after start time to ensure that we remain open for you. Summer Star Parties begin with tours and presentations until it’s dark enough for observing.
- Bring warm clothing, even in summer—observing is done outdoors.
- There is a short walk from the parking area to the Observatory and you may wish to bring a small flashlight.
- White Light: No white lights should be used after dark; the observatory is a red-light-only area to protect everyone’s night vision. We will supply red cellophane to cover flashlights. Please note:
◦ Bring a SMALL flashlight (large camp lanterns, light sticks, etc., cannot be adequately covered by red cellophane).
◦ Cell phones or cell-phone flashlights are acceptable but must be covered in red cellophane. (No cell service at the observatory).
◦ Some head lamps are difficult to cover with red cellophane. Once covered, head lamps should be worn around the neck or used pointing down as they are usually very bright at eye level.
◦ Red flashlights are available for $5 at the observatory.
- Alcohol is prohibited on Observatory grounds.
- The Observatory is not open to the public except for scheduled events.
Classroom presentations are always offered on Star Party nights even if the weather is poor. For current conditions call the observatory at 707/833-6979.
For more info please visit Robert Ferguson Observatory Website: http://www.rfo.org/.
Celebrate Sugarloaf’s 50th, and view as many as 18 different fireworks displays!
We climb the tallest mountain in Sonoma Valley—Bald Mountain—for a spectacular evening vantage point. This strenuous hike covers 6.5 miles with 1500 ft. elevation gain—including some steep sections.
Upon arrival at the top, you’ll enjoy a sumptuous mountaintop reception. We’ll serve hearty snacks and sweets, lemonade, libation, and water. Kick back, relax, and enjoy the sunset and then beautiful sights of fireworks display that span the Bay Area—from Windsor in the north, Berkeley, and Oakland in the east, San Francisco to the south, with possible views of the south bay.
Space is limited and we expect to sell out. Reserve your space now!
Price per ticket is $50, and 100% of proceeds support Team Sugarloaf’s operations of Sugarloaf Ridge State Park.
Kids 12-17 are $10. Not recommended for children under 12.
The hike is approximately 6.5 miles round trip. Expect approx. 1.5 hours hiking time each way.
Please arrive at the group campsite (near the Observatory) NO LATER THAN 6:45 PM. Hike begins promptly at 7 pm in order to assure our arrival at the top before dark.
WHAT TO BRING:
* Drinking water for the hike up. We’ll have plenty to drink at the top
* Headlamp or flashlight
* Binoculars, optional
* Blanket and warm clothes (it is often cold on top!)
WHAT TO WEAR: Proper attire with sturdy hiking or trail shoes and layered clothing is a must. It will may be cool and windy at the top. Please be prepared with an extra layer.
We will return to the parking lot at approximately 11 pm.
The Hiking series costs $80, or free (plus free parking) for hikers with a ParkRx from a Sonoma County Medical Provider. Click here for ParkRx info.
1) Sat 7/6–Waterfall Loop, 2 miles, 595 ft [meet @ main lot]
2) Sat 7/13–Vista Trail Loop, 3.6 miles, 700 ft [meet @ white barn lot]
3) Sat 7/20–Goodspeed to Nattkemper, 4.2 miles, 1060 ft [meet @ Goodspeed lot]
4) Sat 7/27–Hillside / Brushy Peaks – Neptune Picnic Table, 4.6 miles, 780 ft [meet @ white barn lot]
5) Sat 8/3–Grandmother Oak (McCormick Addition), 4.2 miles, 1060 ft [meet @ Hood Mtn Regional Park’s Los Alamos lot]
6) Sat 8/10–Vista Trail Loop – ccw, 4.7 miles, 1000 ft [meet @ white barn lot]
7) Sat 8/17–Brushy / Grey Pine (Hillside start), 6.5 miles, 1230 ft [meet @ white barn lot]
8) Sat 8/24–Bald Summit (w/ optional Headwaters wiggle = 5.8 mi), 5.25 miles, 1500 ft [meet @ white barn lot]
(routes subject to change based on group and weather)
Sonoma County Trails Council volunteer trail work day at Sugarloaf Ridge State Park. From 9am to about 1pm. We will provide parking passes, tools and Clif bars with beverages and snacks afterwards.
Bring gloves, a hat and water that you can take with you (hands free!) while working, and wear long pants, boots or hiking shoes and sunscreen. No experience necessary – we have tools and trained crew leaders with tasks for all strengths and sizes of volunteers.
In order to make sure we have enough tools and after-work beverages reply to firstname.lastname@example.org if you plan to attend. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us.
Your donations help keep Sugarloaf open for all!
Camping at Sugarloaf
You can enjoy camping year-round at Sugarloaf with 47 family-friendly, alcohol-free camping spaces nestled in a large meadow and bordered by a year-round stream and a hillside forest.
Stargazing at Robert Ferguson Observatory
Completely dedicated to public viewing and education, the Robert Ferguson Observatory is the LARGEST in the western United States and it’s right here at Sugarloaf Ridge State Park.