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Regional Parks River Shuttle

Regional Parks River Shuttle picking up passengers at El Molino High School

2024 Summer Season: The Regional Parks River Shuttle runs 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. weekends and holidays from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. It will be running Thursday and Friday, July 4-5.


The Regional Parks River Shuttle is a low-cost transportation option for visiting Steelhead and Sunset beaches on the Russian River. Ride the River Shuttle to avoid full parking lots or the need to leave a car at each beach during float trips.

An all-day ticket is $5. Youth (ages 0-18) ride free, but still need a ticket.

The River Shuttle runs weekends and holidays from Memorial Day weekend until Labor Day weekend. The shuttle route travels a loop, departing every 30 minutes between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. from El Molino High School, 7050 Covey Road, in Forestville to Steelhead Beach Regional Park and Sunset Beach River Park.

Regional Parks River Shuttle route map

Buy a ticket

  • Go to russianrivershuttle.mytrakk.com
  • Choose ticket quantity. Each ticket is round-trip and allows you to get on and off multiple times. (Youth (0-18) ride free, but require tickets.)
  • Choose a date you'd like to ride; departure times aren't needed. Shuttles operate every 30 minutes. To secure your spot, buy tickets ahead and arrive early at the stop.
  • Enter your contact information. (A QR code ticket will be sent to the email address and phone number you provide.)
  • 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.

How to float the river when arriving by shuttle

  • Take the Regional Park River Shuttle from El Molino High School, 7050 Covey Road, Forestville (Leave El Molino High School no later than 2 p.m. to make the 6 p.m. shuttle pick up from Sunset Beach) 
  • Coolers, deflated rafts/tubes, fishing poles and other gear are allowed on the shuttle.
  • Get off the shuttle at Steelhead Beach. Use the park's free inflation station to inflate your raft or tube – or bring a hand pump to avoid waiting in line.
  • Another option is to rent a tube at Steelhead. Tube rentals can be booked in advance online at r2t2taxi.org/rentals.
  • Float from Steelhead to Sunset Beach. Travel time is about 4.5 hours. 
  • Arrive at Sunset Beach and deflate your raft/tube to take with you on the return shuttle. All floats left on the beach are trash and can pollute the river and harm wildlife.
  • Catch the shuttle back to El Molino High School. The last shuttle leaves Sunset at 6 p.m.

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.
  • Restrooms are available at Steelhead, Forestville River Park, and Sunset beaches.
  • Learn more about planning a float trip on the Russian River.

Accessibility

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

Schedule

Every 30 minutes between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. from El Molino High School, 7050 Covey Road, in Forestville to Steelhead Beach Regional Park and Sunset Beach River Park.

Check the real-time location of the next shuttle below:

SMART Train option

Beginning Summer 2024, visitors can take Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) to the Sonoma County Airport station, 1130 Airport Blvd., in Santa Rosa and then use the SMART Connect shuttle to connect to Steelhead Beach Regional Park.

There will be one SMART Connect Shuttle to Steelhead Beach in the morning, meeting the 10:47 a.m. Northbound arrival and departing the SMART station at approximately 10:50 a.m.  

Return trips will use the Regional Parks Shuttle from Steelhead or Sunset beaches to return to El Molino High School, where SMART Connect will offer one pickup at 5:15 p.m., to meet the 6 p.m. Southbound SMART train.

Although transfer is free, trips require advanced reservations by calling C3 Transportation at 1-800-727-0279 (Ext. 5 for SMART Connect). Due to capacity limitations, reservations at least 24 hours in advance are encouraged, but same-day reservations may be accommodated. The SMART Connect Transit is free with transfer from SMART, and SMART fares are free for senior and youth riders. For more information, go to SonomaMarinTrain.org.

Commercial/charter buses

  • Summer Season (weekends and holidays only): On weekends and holidays between Memorial Day and Labor Day, commercial bus operators are not permitted to drop off or pick up passengers at the Regional Parks river beaches, with the exception of Healdsburg Veterans Memorial Beach. Commercial shuttle and charter buses may make free reservations with C3 Transportation to transport passengers on the Regional Parks River Shuttle at least 48 hours in advance by calling 415-727-7158.
  • Summer Season (weekdays only): On weekdays between Memorial Day and Labor Day, commercial bus operators will need to obtain a permit in advance before dropping off or picking up passengers at the Regional Parks river beaches. Commercial buses without reservations will not be allowed in the parks. 
  • Off-Season (Fall/Winter/Spring): On any day between Labor Day and Memorial Day, commercial bus operators will need to obtain a permit in advance before dropping off or picking up passengers at the Regional Parks river beaches. Commercial buses without reservations will not be allowed in the parks.

More information

If you have questions about the Regional Parks River Shuttle, contact the operator, C3 Transportation, at 1-800-727-0279 or 415-727-7717 or info@c3transit.com.