Driving times are about one hour from Santa Rosa, and two-and-a-half hours to three hours from San Francisco. If you need directions along the way, most locals know PPI as ‘Black Mountain’ or ‘the old prison’. Note that mobile phones tend not to work for the last 30 minutes or so of the drive up. Gas stations can be found in Santa Rosa and Guerneville, but not Cazadero.
For a beautiful coastal drive, take Highway 1. From Guerneville, head west on Highway 116 to Jenner. From Sebastopol, either:
1) head west on Bodega Highway (mostly coast), or
2) take 116 through Forestville and Duncan’s Mills (coastal/inland)
then head north on Highway 1 through Jenner. A few miles past Jenner, after a cattle-guard, turn right onto Meyers Grade Road. Follow Meyers Grade Road for about 4 miles and then keep on the lookout for the first paved road going off to the right. There are no street signs at this junction, but this road going off to the right is Fort Ross Road. (Fort Ross Road also continues on straight at this intersection and there is a yellow road sign on the left which says Fort Ross Road is straight ahead, but do not continue on straight!) Turn right onto this unmarked road and keep going about 4 more miles until you reach an open stretch and driveway on the right. On the right is also a large sign saying ‘Padmasambhava Peace Institute’, ‘Black Mountain Preserve’ as well as ‘Fort Ross Fire Dept’. Turn right into the driveway and follow the road for about 1.5 miles until you reach a cluster of buildings — the office is the first building on the right.
Most Direct Route:
Note that this is the faster route, but you drive on steep, narrow and winding road — some drivers prefer the more relaxing coastal route.
Take Highway 101 to the River Road/Mark West Springs Road exit (just north of the city of Santa Rosa). Go west on River Road to Guerneville. In Guerneville, River Road turns into Highway 116 West. Continue on Highway 116 West to Cazadero Highway. Look for the sign which will point right and say “Cazadero”. (Note: you will pass Old Cazadero Road. It is not recommended). Turn right on Cazadero Highway to the town of Cazadero. Cazadero Highway becomes Fort Ross Road as you leave the town of Cazadero; stay to the left when you get to the stop sign at the end of town. You will be going uphill. Approximately 6 miles of winding road from the stop sign is the entrance to Black Mountain Preserve. There is a large wooden sign on the left. It is a sharp left turn in to the property. Prayer flags are flying. The address is 23125 Fort Ross Road, Cazadero, CA 95421. Stay on this winding road all the way down until you reach a cluster of buildings — prayer flags are hung at intervals along the road.
Caution: We strongly urge everyone to drive slowly on and around the property as there are many wild animals who cross the roads freely and unsuspectingly, and in the camp itself we have young children. Speeds of 20 mph on the access road and 5 mph at the camp are advised. Thank you for your co-operation.
For those coming from further afield, an airport bus operates every 90 minutes out of San Francisco and Oakland airports to Santa Rosa, a two-hour journey from either airport. One-way fare is around $28, with discounts for students and seniors. Click here for details: http://www.airportexpressinc.com