HIKE DESCRIPTIONS

Event Ratings are a guideline to help you to choose an outing that matches your fitness and ability. Distance and elevation gain are dependent on the outing, the property, and the guide.

1 Boot = Easy: One to three miles and less than 300 feet elevation gain/loss.

2 Boot = Moderate: Two to five miles and generally less than 600 feet elevation gain/loss.

3 Boot = Challenging: Four to seven miles with the possibility of multiple elevation gains/losses of 600-1000 ft.

4 Boot = Difficult: Four to seven miles and/or elevation gains/losses, likely in excess of 1000 feet.

5 Boot = Strenuous: Four to eight miles with multiple and/or significant elevation gains/losses.

6 Boot = Extreme: Five OR fourteen miles with multiple and significant elevation gains/losses.

Ancient Crater Lake TraverseANCIENT CRATER LAKE TRAVERSE

At the very center of the Sutter Buttes volcano are the deposits of a volcanic lake, over a mile wide and at least 1000 feet deep. The layered deposits are known as the "lakebeds." Join Brian Hausback, volcanologist from Cal State Sacramento, to traverse and explore, bottom to top, and side to side, the picturesque and mysterious remains of this formerly energetic environment. The traverse is strenuous, and physically demanding. It requires strength, stamina, and good, solid boots. Our hiking route (some off-trail scramble) climbs steeply across the central part of the volcano and will provide expansive panoramas of many parts of the Buttes and beyond. Total distance will be 6-8 miles with about 1000-2000 feet of elevation gain and the same elevation loss. Only register if you are in very good physical shape and are keen to see and learn some interesting geology. Bring food and plenty of water. Meet at 7:00 am. Limit is 15. Cost is $45. 

 

 

Art in the ButtesART IN THE BUTTES

Bring your pencils, paints, sketch book, cameras, and musical instrument and enjoy a day of creativity in the Sutter Buttes. We will stroll and spend some time in a couple of different areas, exploring a myriad of subjects, both natural and man-made. Rain will cancel. One or Two boots, depending on the property.  or

 

 

 

Bat Research OutingBAT RESEARCH OUTING

A rare opportunity for a limited number of participants to witness mammal biologist David Wyatt conducting bat research in the Sutter Buttes. Meet at 2:30 pm. Bring food and water and a cushion or seat. 

 

 

 

 

Be in the ButtesBE IN THE BUTTES

It's common for hikers to say, "Oh, I wish I could just sit here a while." This is the day to do just that! We will venture to two or three different locations on the Dean Place that are conducive to the interests of the participants. This is a day for sketching and painting, journaling, plant identification, macro photography-all the activities that beg you to stay in one place just a bit longer. (We will do some climbing.) Bring your necessary materials, a light chair or mat to sit on (if desired) and some bug spray (just in case). Good day for sun hats and sun screen. Bring food and water. 

 

 

Birds in the ButtesBIRDS IN THE BUTTES

Witness the birds in and around the Sutter Buttes with the Christmas Bird Count organizer, Pete Sands. Bring food and water. Meet at 7:00 am. Limit is 12; not suited for younger children. 

 

 

 

 

 

Brockman ChallengeBROCKMAN CHALLENGE

This is a 6-mile strenuous and steep ascent between the tallest of ridge tops. It is a narrow trail that traverses a precipitous incline with a 1000-foot elevation gain. Mid-way you will be peering deep into the hidden valleys below. Bring food and water. 

 

 

 

 

BROKEN TEA CUP RIDGE HIKE

We will climb many of the ridges that surround the Dean Place like a broken tea cup rim. This is an extended length hike but NOT a speed trek. Think 'tortoise' rather than 'hare'-a day to climb slowly and steadily and enjoy the views in each direction, slow pace, lots of up and down. Bring cameras and binoculars. Hiking sticks recommended! Bring food and water. 

 

 

 

BUTTERFLIES AND WILDFLOWERS

This year we are going to initiate a new kind of Hike, one stressing both Spring Wildflowers, which after all this rain, should approach displays not seen for the last few years of drought, and the spring flight of Butterflies. We will learn the difference between plants important for nectar sources for the butterflies and the plants that their caterpillars depend on–Host Plants. We will be on the historic Dean Ranch, which has a number of habitats, so we will also see the relationship of habitat and diversity. If we are lucky, we stand a good chance to also see the California State Insect, the California Dogface butterfly. Bring food and water.

 

 

Buttes Transect Hike HigherBUTTES TRANSECT HIKE - HIGHER

Traverse the craggy central volcanic core of the Sutter Buttes. This is a very strenuous, “aggressive,” and physically demanding hike that requires strength, stamina, and good, solid boots. Our hiking route climbs steeply to a natural ridge that will provide expansive panoramas of the Buttes and beyond. Total will be 6-7 miles with about 1900 feet of elevation gain and 1200 feet of elevation loss. Only register if you are in top physical shape. Bring food and water. Meet at 7:30 am. Limit is 15. Cost is $60—we are accessing two properties. 

 

 

Buttes Transect Hike LowerBUTTES TRANSECT HIKE - LOWER

Traverse the craggy central volcanic core of the Sutter Buttes—mostly on old wagon/ maintenance roads. This is not as strenuous and physically demanding as is the higher transect hike, but will involve significant climbing and will be a long day. You will need good, solid boots; a walking stick will be helpful. Total will be 6-7 miles. Only register if you are in very good physical shape. Bring food and water. Meet at 7:30 am. Cost is $60—we are accessing two properties. 

 

 

Canyon Trek - Bragg CanyonCANYON TREK - BRAGG CANYON

Travel to the center of the Buttes with steady climbing on uneven ground. There will be frequent stops to examine the natural elements providing an excellent view of the Sutter Buttes. Bring food and water.
Cost is $45. 

 

 

 

Double Transect HikeDOUBLE TRANSECT

This hike consists of the High Transect and the Low, all in one day. It will cover 10-12 miles with steep, rugged ascents and descents. You will begin and end on the same property. Only register if you are in top physical shape. Bring food and plenty of water. Meet at 7:00 am. Limit is 15. Cost is $60—we are accessing two properties. 

 

 

 

Full Moon or Moonlight StrollFULL MOON OR MOONLIGHT STROLL

Observation and reflection on nature’s balance will be our focus on this meander through oak groves and gentle hillsides under the lunar glow of the moon. Bring food, water, and flashlight; you may want an easily-carried cushion or seat. Meet at 3:00 or 4:00 pm, depending on sunset time. Limit is 15. 

 

 

 

 

GEO-BIO BLITZ

Explore the Sutter Buttes in this dual science trip with geologist Brian Hausback and wildlife biologist David Wyatt. Hike through a portion of the Sutter Buttes and examine the geological and biological processes that created and shape this unique mountain range. Experience this place through the geology and biology lenses of the hike leaders. Brian is a professor of geology at California State University, Sacramento, and David is a professor in the field ecology program at Sacramento City College. Both have decades of experience in the Sutter Buttes. Bring food and water. 

 

 

 

Geology TrekGEOLOGY TREK—DEAN RANCH OR BRAGG CANYON

Discover the violent origins of this tiny mountain range with Volcanologist Brian Hausback. Brian reveals clues to 1.5 million years of geologic history, uniquely accessible here in the center of the Buttes. Bring food and water and wear sturdy hiking boots. Bragg Canyon cost is $45. 

 

 

 

 

IN A SACRED MANNER

A walk with Stan Padilla focuses on the reverence for life and Native American mythology of the Sutter Buttes with active hiking and contemplative free time. Bring food and water. 

 

 




MAIDU LIFESTYLE EXPERIENCE

For thousands of years, Native peoples thrived in and around the Middle Mountain (Sutter Buttes). Grinding rocks and an occasional arrowhead are all that remain–a silent vestige of a culture rich in tradition, spirituality, and a connectedness to nature. Three generations of a Maidu family will show you how they prepare acorn meal. Stroll with us through a landscape where almost every plant or animal contributed to their culture. Bring food and water. 

 

 

 

 

Nature StrollNATURE STROLL

Join us for a leisurely stroll especially suited for casual walkers and nature lovers. Prepare for some moderate climbing and mostly uneven ground. Bring food and water. 

 

 

 

 

 

Nature StudyNATURE STUDY

Explore the depths of a secluded area in the interior of the Buttes. Your guide will help you to see the details and learn about the natural elements that exists here. Bring food and water. Cost for Bragg Canyon is $45.  or  depending on the property.

 

 

 

 

PHOTOGRAPHER'S OUTING

This event is designed for photographers of all levels. We will caravan/carpool to a ranch in the interior of the Buttes. There will be several guides so that you may scout and choose different locations for your photos, from level valleys to higher ridges. Bring food and water; meeting time alternates to catch either sunrise or sunset. Rain will cancel; occasional showers won’t. Cost for Bragg Canyon is $45.    to  .

 

 

 

Ranch ExplorationRANCH EXPLORATION

The Shaeffer Family will host hikers on their ranch on the north side of the Buttes. Hikers will explore this ranch that has been in the same family since the 1860’s. Hike will focus on areas of the ranch not usually accessed and will include possible views of North Butte and Peace Valley. Lassen and Shasta can often been seen in the distance. Bring food and water. 

 

 

 

Ridge Ascent - Bragg CanyonRIDGE ASCENT — BRAGG CANYON

The Steidlmayer family hosts walks deep into the Sutter Buttes. This ascent will take you up the walls of the upper canyon; the route will vary. Only register for this hike if you are in top physical shape. Bring food and water. Limit is 15. Cost is $45. 

 

 

 

 

Ridge Hike - EastRIDGE HIKE — EAST SHAEFFER RANCH

The Shaeffer Family will host hikers on their ranch on the north side of the Buttes. Hikers will explore this ranch that has been in the same family since the 1860’s. Hike will include possible views of North Butte and Peace Valley. Lassen and Shasta can often been seen in the distance. Bring food and water. 

 

 

 

 

Ridge Hike - WestRIDGE HIKE — WEST SHAEFFER RANCH

The Shaeffer Family will host hikers on their ranch on the north side of the Buttes. Hikers will explore this ranch that has been in the same family since the 1860’s. Hike will include possible views of North Butte, Peace Valley, and the old Titan Missile site. Lassen and Shasta can often been seen in the distance. Bring food and water. 

 

 

 

 

Ridge TrekRIDGE TREK

Explore the depths of a property on the interior of the Buttes. Your guide will help you to see the details and learn about the natural elements that exist here. Bring food and water. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summit AscentSUMMIT ASCENT

One of our most challenging treks, this route is a steep, 1,000-foot push straight up North Butte, off trail with no easy switchbacks. Only register for this hike if you are in very good physical shape and don’t suffer from vertigo. Bring food and water. Limit is 15. Cost is $45—we are accessing two properties. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunset SerenadeSUNSET SERENADE

This is a fund-raising event and costs $100 per person. Pre-registration is required. It features an afternoon stroll or hike (optional), hor d’oeuvres, wine, a catered dinner, classical music, and pleasant company, all in an enchanting outdoor setting at the base of North Butte. Meet and greet details will be sent to you when you register. Sorry, there is no member discount for this event.    to  (guest choice).

 

 

 

Tres PicosTRES PICOS

This hike is for those who want a rugged, challenging outing. It will include summiting North Butte, Old Man, and Pigeon Peak. Only register if you are in top physical shape. Bring food and water. Limit is 15. Meet at 7:00 am. Cost is $45—we are accessing two properties.  

 

 

 

 

Wild Nature in the ButtesWILD NATURE IN THE BUTTES

Learn about the exciting diversity of animals and plants in the Buttes, and the fascinating adaptations that allow them to survive here. Your leader will be Gene Trapp, Professor Emeritus of Bio. Science at CSU, Sacramento. Bring food and water.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wildflower Study - Bragg or Brockman CanyonWILDFLOWER STUDY — BRAGG OR BROCKMAN CANYON EXPERIENCE

Spring rains cause the dry Buttes hillsides to turn into a verdant, colorful, wildflower garden. Bring your hand-lens and wildflower field guide. Trek will be about 6 miles with a significant elevation gain. Bring food and water. Cost for Bragg Canyon is $45. 

 

 

 

 

Wildflower StudyWILDFLOWER STUDY

Spring rains cause the dry Buttes hillsides to turn into a verdant, colorful, wildflower garden. Bring your hand-lens and wildflower field guide. Bring food and water. 

 

 

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