"On the Banks of the Russian River" Top 5 Page for this destination Guerneville by SteveOSF

Guerneville Travel Guide: 45 reviews and 92 photos

Under the Redwoods

Guerneville rests upon the banks of the Russian River on land that was once densely covered by giant redwoods. Before logging interests led to the establishment of Guerneville, Pomo Indians maintained an encampment at the site of the future town. They called it Ceola, which meant shady place.

From the mid 1800?s, logging dominated the area. The Pomo Indians were displaced and the great old growth forests were cut down to satisfy San Francisco?s (and other cities?) growing hunger for timber. So many trees were cut down that the town was first known as Stumptown. The town was later named after George Guerne, a prominent local businessman. George Guerne owned a lumber mill that stood at the site of the present day Safeway grocery store.

As the area?s logging became depleted around the end of the 19th Century, tourism began to emerge in the area. This was made possible by railroad service to Guerneville. Eventually tourism became Guerneville?s primary industry. Highways eventually replaced the railway as the main means of transportation to town.

Today the Guerneville area seems to have more permanent residences than summer cottages. Although still a vacation spot, many people commute into Santa Rosa and other North Bay towns. Guerneville has gone through phases of growth, decline, and renewal during the later part of the 20th Century. Today, Guerneville not only remains a nice spot for a getaway, but it prides itself on its culturally diverse population.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:The river, redwoods, and nice weather.
  • Cons:Not quite the vacation destination it was in the 1960s.
  • In a nutshell:A nice place for a getaway.
  • Last visit to Guerneville: Apr 2008
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (5)

Comments (4)

  • atufft's Profile Photo
    Jun 7, 2011 at 7:52 PM

    I'm in the area now, Steve, and will hike Armstrong tomorrow--thanks for the tips

  • cachaseiro's Profile Photo
    Sep 8, 2010 at 5:01 PM

    Guernville is a wonderful little place. I have a good friend who works as a deputy sheriff up there.

  • ATLC's Profile Photo
    Aug 1, 2008 at 2:50 PM

    Looks like Guerneville should call in some Dutch water engineers to help with that flooding! Good luck with the Weekend Warrior contest :-)

  • Ewingjr98's Profile Photo
    Jul 12, 2008 at 11:54 PM

    Steve - your well-written and thoroughly researched tips are always enjoyable. Keep up the good work!


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