Thursday September 1 News

Happy Labor Day Weekend!

This one is going to be a scorcher. In this newsletter, you’ll find some information about the upcoming heat wave, as well as ways to beat the heat. 


First Up: Multiple government agencies are issuing warnings regarding this weekend’s anticipated extreme temperatures. The Sonoma County Department of Health Services has issued a Heat Alert, effective 11AM Saturday until 8PM Tuesday. The National Weather Service has issued an Excessive Heat Warning that includes Sonoma County, effective for the same time period. Yesterday, CAISO (the state agency that oversees our electrical grid) issued a Flex Alert and Energy Emergency Alert — and more alerts may be on the way as a result of increased demand and high temperatures across the grid. Long story short: everyone is taking this triple-digit heat wave seriously.


We expect to see record crowds at our West County beaches, from the River to the Coast, as folks seek cool water relief from the heat. If you do decide to head to a beach, be sure to bring plenty of water and stay hydrated. (And by the way, when we say hydrated, we don’t mean with booze… Alcohol can actually exacerbate dehydration, and has also been linked to some of our tragic River drownings.) Parking lots are expected to fill quickly, so it’s a good idea to get there early, and stake out a spot in the shade — or bring your own shade structure. Remember that first responders may have their hands full this weekend. Respecting no-parking zones is critical for first response vehicles to be able to get through in an emergency.


And of course, there are plenty of places you can stay cool if you don’t want to battle the crows at the beaches! We’ve got some excellent public pools as well as cool, comfortable public air conditioned spaces. Below you’ll find a list of West County cooling stations if you need to drop by for some A/C, water, and WiFi. Your Fifth District Team has been working in coordination with West County Community Services, the Lower Russian River Municipal Advisory Council, and Department of Emergency Management to stand up a cooling center in Guerneville. A huge thank you to the volunteers who are making that happen, and to WCCS for providing the space!

Russian River Cooling Centers

Cooling centers will be open Friday - Tuesday between the Guerneville Library and the Senior Center. Locations will have water, air conditioning, and wi-fi. 

The Senior Center is at 15010 Armstrong Woods Road, Guerneville. 

The Guerneville Library is at 14107 Armstrong Woods Road, Guerneville.

Friday: Senior Center 9-3 & Guerneville Library 10-6 

Saturday: Library 10-6 

Sunday: Senior Center 12-5 

Monday: Senior Center 12-5 

Tuesday: Library 10-8 & Senior Center 9-3.

Many thanks to our  MAC/community volunteers and West County Community Services who swung into action to make this possible. 

Regional Parks River Shuttle 


The Regional Parks River Shuttle is a low-cost transportation option for visitors to Steelhead and Sunset Russian River beaches on summer weekends. Avoid full parking lots and the need to leave a car at each beach when floating the river by riding the River Shuttle.  An all-day shuttle ticket costs $5. 

The Regional Parks River Shuttle travels a loop from Tom Schopflin Fields, 4351 Old Redwood Hwy., in Santa Rosa to Steelhead Beach Regional Park and Sunset Beach River Park in Forestville.

Buy a ticket

  • Go to (Reservations are not required, but seats are first-come, first-served.)
  • Select the Regional Park River Shuttle route, then click “Choose a Ticket.” You do not need to specify a departure time. 
  • Select the number of tickets you want to purchase and select your travel date. (Each ticket is round-trip and allows you to get on and off at more than one stop on your day of travel.)
  • Enter your contact information. (The email address and phone number you provide will be used to send you a QR code ticket.)
  • Enter your payment method, review your order, and submit.
  • You will receive an email and SMS text message with a link to view and manage your reservation/ticket.
  • Show the QR code on your phone when boarding the shuttle. (You will get a wristband that serves as your return ticket.)

How to float the river when arriving by shuttle

  • Take the Regional Park River Shuttle from Tom Schopflin Fields. (The last shuttle departure from Tom Schopflin Fields is 1 p.m.) 
  • Coolers, deflated rafts/tubes, fishing poles and other gear are allowed on the shuttle.
  • Get off the shuttle at Steelhead Beach to begin your float. Use the free inflation station near the entry kiosk to inflate your raft or tube – or bring a hand pump to avoid waiting in line.
  • Float from Steelhead to Sunset Beach. Travel time is about 4.5 hours. Due to low water flows during the drought, the trip might take additional time. 
  • Arrive at Sunset Beach and catch the shuttle back to Tom Schopflin Fields. 
  • Deflate your raft/tube and take it with you on the return shuttle. All floats left on the beach are trash and can pollute the river and harm wildlife.

For your safety

  • Alcohol consumption is not allowed on the shuttle or in the parks. 
  • Dogs are not allowed on the shuttle.

Secure your belongings, trash your trash

  • There is no place to store valuables on the shuttles or at the parks. If you are floating the river, you will need to keep your keys, phone and other belongings with you on the water.
  • Keep your trash with you. Pack out your trash and practice other Leave No Trace principles to keep beaches clean and wildlife healthy.
  • Read more about planning a float trip on the Russian River here.


All vehicles used for shuttle service are wheelchair accessible and configured to transport at least two (2) wheelchair passengers at any one time.

Fifth District Supervisor Lynda Hopkins | County of Sonoma | 707-565-2241
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