Monday, December 31, 2007

Newest Version of Yolohiker is Now Up!

It took a Christmas break and a cold to give me enough time to finish the revisions to the website. You'll notice a few new things, so feel free to look around.

  • New maps in .pdf format for easy printing, to scale
  • GPS track logs you can download and put on your GPS unit to guide you on the hikes.
  • New trails navigation menu, using Google Maps, so you can get directions to each trailhead from your home address
  • Google Earth files so you can see the trails in 3-D using Google Earth.
  • A sitemap for easy navigation direct to each page
  • More local trails, including the Fremont Weir State Wildlife Area and Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Updates on

I've been working feverishly on the newest version of the site, so you've likely noticed the lack of news updates and the like. I'm making great progress, and have most of the pages converted over to the new design. What people will be most interested in are the new features, such as downloadable .pdf trail maps, GPS track files, and Google Earth trails and placemarks.

I hope to have the revised site up in January, 2008!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Cache Creek Weed Control Project - Results Are Great

On May 25th, I went down the Wilderness Run of Cache Creek, to look at how Tuleyome's work was holding up from last year. It was nice to see that the invasive tamarisk and arundo plants we had treated last year were nice and dead. Only a few re-sprouts!

By the end of this year, we should be done with over 90% of the weeds on this 19-mile stretch of river. Feels good. Tired...but good.

A large arundo clump, now dead. Notice the slash from out cutting, on the left of the photo.

Another Arundo clump at Kennedy Flats. This was huge and took part of the evening and the next morning to cut, last year.

A large tamarisk clump at the confluence with Trout Creek. It's brown because it's dying. The center wasn't sprayed last year so we got it this year.

Andrew Fulks

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Fremont Weir State Wildlife Area – Road 16 Access Threatened

This has been the hot topic here at Yolohiker. Wildlands, inc., a landowner out next to the State Wildlife Area, has been having problems with trespassing, vandalism, poaching, etc. So they are looking to abandon a portion of the public road, thus turning it private and (so the thinking goes) reducing their problems. I understand their problems, being a property manager myself, and deal with these issues daily.

Only problem is that if the public abandons Road 16, we will have no access to the Wildlife Area from the east. This will mean if you live in West Sacramento, you’ll have a lot further to drive to get to the other side. And those who want to fish in Tule Canal on the Wildlife Area will have to walk quite a ways to get there. We ought to be encouraging responsible public use of our lands, not closing them off.

I think the solution is for the landowner to put up ‘No Trespassing’ signs (didn’t see any out there), a fence along the road (right now it’s open onto their fields), gates on their farm roads (they are open to the road so anyone can drive on the private roads), and that the County should put in a real parking area/trailhead/formal entry area for the Wildlife Area at the end of Road 16. Then you’d make it an amenity; give better access to over a thousand acres of public open space (only 22 minutes from Davis and 11 minutes from Woodland)!

Closing the public out of the public land isn’t the option. And no, once the road is abandoned, you can’t just hike it. It becomes private and closed to everyone. This would mean no access from the east, north, and south. Why give up our eastern access, for no public benefit?

You can find a sample letter to protest the closing, at

Image of the Wildlife Area from the end of Road 16, looking west.

Also looking west.

Aerial view of the State Wildlife Area. Most folks don't know this part of Yolo County. I think that should change...

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Kayaking Season is upon us

This winter had very little rain. So why, you might ask, would we be talking about kayaking? In Yolo County, our agricultural water supply comes from inner-coast range lakes; Clear lake and Indian Valley reservoir. These are rainfall-fed lakes and while there wasn't a lot of rain this year, last year had enough to carry over. This season the irrigation has started earlier so a 'benefit' is that boating season is also earlier. I've talked with the District and it looks like it will last through August, meaning we get more boating than usual. But before you jump up and down too much, remember that if we don't get a good winter this coming season, next season may be a bad kayaking year. So it all kind of evens out....

This year, Tuleyome's Cache Creek Weed Eradication project will have three overnight kayak trips. You are invited. Send an email to if you want to help out. Bring your own kayak!

Trips are:
June 9-10, 2007
July 7-8, 2007
August 18-19, 2007

I will also be leading 4 or so trips on various Fridays during May through July. If you can get off on the second or fourth Fridays of each month, and want to come with us, let me know.
Tuleyome Earth Day Event

Come on out! It benefits our teen rafting program

Monday, January 08, 2007

Exploring Bear Canyon, off Rayhouse Road

I'd been laid up with a sinus infection for 8 weeks during November/December (seriously, it wasn't cool), so as soon as the cold was gone, I was more eager to get outside than a kid with homework on a sunny Saturday. Didn't care if it was raining, so this hike was done in pouring rain. Irony being, of course, that it hasn't really rained much since then....This hike was in late December.

So, we started off hiking up Rayhouse Road, until we got to Bear Canyon. Then it was cross-country rock-scrambling up the canyon. Great waterfalls up there, including one which was at least 50-feet in a three-stair step. I just wish it had rained more beforehand, since the falls were pretty meager. Still, now that I've seen it, I'll be sure to go back during higher flows.

After getting above the falls, we headed cross-country to the 'Langs' USGS marker (ok, really it was a California Department of Transportation marker). Great hike through oak woodlands, including some of the largest stands of Black Oak I've seen in the county. After getting to Langs, I snapped a photo of the brass marker, then we headed downhill to intersect the Frog Pond trail and head back to the car. Well worth the rain soak!

Finally Hiked Up Wildhorse Canyon

For quite some time, I've been dying to hike up Wildhorse Canyon, which is connected and to the east of Cold Canyon. It's a cross-country rock scramble, but well worth the effort. We haven't had much rain this year, so the flow was non-existent at the upper end and only a few small pools were located along the watercourse. However, I found numerous rock formations that will be wonderful waterfalls and swimming holes in the springtime. Can't wait to go back. It's BLM-managed public land, and quite extensive. Lots of exploring to do. Further up the canyon were some plastic tubes from the marijuana growers that were busted up there in 2005. I'd like to lead some cleanups back there in the future.