Galbreath Guided Hike

Explore a scenic and wild part of SSU’s 3600-acre Galbreath Preserve in southern Mendocino County with a team of students and community members. Be a trailblazer.


The hike follows an old ranch road to and above the dramatic Livingston Falls. From there, we’ll head up a 25-acre open meadow with expansive views to both the south and north. The trail winds up 300 to 400 feet through large isolated white and valley oaks to a saddle ridge. This point is 1.25 miles from the starting point and is a wonderful panorama spot to have lunch. 

After lunch we follow a seasonal spring-fed stream down to the bottom of the meadow, through more oak woodlands. We will go cross-country, off trail and drop through a hillside of scattered boulders and scree in a mixed hardwood and conifer forest. We will hit a dirt track on Rancheria Creek and follow it back to our starting point.

The distance is 2.75 miles. The total trail time at a relaxed pace with lunch is three hours, with a vertical ascent of about 400 feet. The terrain is rugged, uneven and steep in places.


Andy Balestracci is Logistics Manager of the Galbreath Wildlands Preserve and a certified California Naturalist. He looks forward to sharing his deep love of the preserve along with his extensive knowledge and experience.


The preserve is in Yorkville, southern Mendocino County. It is at 30720 Elkhorn Road, about 5.5 miles up this rough county road. Elkhorn heads south off CA highway 128 just past mile marker 41.64. We will need AWD or 4WD vehicles on the preserve, so will all park at the entrance and then carpool.  The drive to the trailhead is about 30 minutes through the preserve, and we will share some of the highlights and history of the preserve as we go.

There is a restroom available at the Galbreath Preserve, but no drinking water.

Participants must sign a waiver. It will be provided in advance and upon arrival. This event is recommended for ages 12 and up, or experienced hikers. All minors must be accompanied by a legal guardian, or a group leader who can legally take on that role (e.g., Girl Scout group). Strollers, pets and smoking are not permitted.

What to Bring

Please bring plenty of drinking water, your lunch, a suitable mask, sun, rain and insect protection and shoes to hike in. If you use walking sticks, bring them along. Hiking shoes/boots, layered clothing and long pants are recommended. 

COVID-19 Safety

At registration, you will be asked if you can provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination. All staff are vaccinated. Do not attend if you test positive for COVID-19 or if you have any symptoms that may be indicative of COVID-19, even if you are vaccinated. You are highly encouraged to properly wear a suitable mask when indoors (e.g., while driving in carpools), even if you are vaccinated. Bandanas, gaiters or vented masks are not suitable. We will spend all of our time outdoors where social distancing is possible. Visit the following link to view all SSU updated guidelines.

How to Sign Up

Register at the link below. Please have each person attending register separately.

About the Center

Sonoma State University’s Center for Environmental Inquiry empowers university students to work with community members on the environmental challenges of the North Bay. Our mission is to create an engaged and environmentally ready society, one where all people have the skills to find solutions to the challenges facing our earth. SSU Preserves are open to everyone engaged in education or research. Reservations are required.

Galbreath Wildlands Preserve
Admission Fees
Contact Email
Contact Phone
Contact Name
Margot Rawlins
Date & Time Registration Link
Sunday, November, 6, 2022, 10:00am to 3:00pm