Posts From October, 2017

Tumey Hills / Panoche Hills - Part 1

Gate 1 Tumey Hills / Panoche Hills

The KMZ files at the end of part 1 and part 2 is a zip file. Both links on part 1 and 2 are the same file. No need to download it twice.
The program to use with these KMZ files is Google Earth or Google Earth Pro.
Download the zip file.
Extract the zip file to someplace you will remember.
Go to that directory where you unzipped the files and click on each file and it will install to Google Earth.
They will show in the left pane at the very bottom as temporary places.
Right click each temporary place and use Save to My Places.
If you do not do this, the temporary places will delete when the program is closed.
If that happens, just go to your download directory and reinstall the kmz files.

From Antioch Ca. (Hwy. 4 and Hwy 160) to Tumey Hills Gate 1 - 122 Miles south.
Left @ 10:00 AM. Arrived at Tumey Hills gate 1 at 12:30 PM. Ya, OK,, I made a stop and got breakfast.
The purpose of this trip is to locate anywhere safe in Tumey Hills or Panoche Hills to go beyond 300 yds. Preferably between 500-600 yds, to 1000+ yds.
Now the impossible. I am looking for a spot that can be done safely with a road to drive to setup and retrieve targets, with out walking the yardage each way.
I can shoot at Sacramento Valley Shooting Center to 300 yds. and is open to the public. They have a 1000 yd. range but you need to be a voting member or be invited by a voting member. I'm not that social for that.
At the end of this post will be the KZM files, layers, for Google Earth Pro. I included interesting spots with ranged distances. I did not do every shooting spot but only spots that could be possible for longer range. Some spots are only 200 yds, but were interesting enough for sighting in.

I will start with Tumey Hills.
From I5, take the W. Panoche Rd exit and go west. Nice to have gas stations and food available in case right off the exit! Take the  W. Panoche Rd. 2 miles to the first gate. The pavement will end and it is a just a dirt road in great condition. From where the pavement ends, it is 1 mile to the gate. You can't miss the sign!

So right off, when you come in the gate to your right is a shooting area. As I drove up, there was a family just packing up but were shooting into the hill in the left of the frame. This whole area is basically for small arms, (short distance) with distances out to 100 yds. Disappointing for a long range shooter. The road goes back into gullys and box canyons. Farther back on that road ,straight back from the gate, is an open pit bathroom and a picnic table, 1 table.

If you go to the right after the gate, you can get to 300 yds. but as you can see from the image below, there is a road there. Actually 2 roads. I don't know if they are real roads  but they are not marked with signage. I did see a couple of vehicles come down the hill while I was there.

After looking at google earth, I knew there is a road at a fork, left takes you to the picnic table and bathroom & that takes you back deep into the hills. I thought about taking it but decided since I was alone I wouldn't take a chance on something happening. So here is where I decided it might be best to head to Panoche Hills. I was really disappointed with the distances, but it would be a great place to play with small arms. ( Small arms = close range pistols, AR's and shotguns to me)
I thought I would come back another time to check out gate 2 but that changed after I got done with Panoche Hills. There is a back way into Tumey Hills from Panoche Hills. NOT RECOMMENDED FOR CARS!!!!!! No one ever mentioned you have to forge a river. WTF!!!!!!!!!
Depending on time of year, a normal 4x4 height vehicle will make it and my stock Tacoma 4x4 made it with ease. I will note that the water came to the bottom of my door.

So back on the freeway, I5, and head north. Exit on Exit #379/ W. Shields Ave. and go west. Travel down the road for 12.5 miles and you will come to the entrance to Panoche Hills on the left.  Mercy Hot Springs is just up the road on your right and if you are in front of the resort, you went to far.


Image from the road for the first entrance.

Public land, BLM, is 3 miles in on the dirt road. The property on the left and right is private property for the next 3 miles.

From this sign, it is just up the road to the top and there will be a station, no the other word for it. There are maps and a bathroom here. It is a great overlook also.
This is what I call Panoche Hills proper. This is the start of the shooting area.

For those that don't have or want to use Google Earth, here is an image below.
It is much better to use Google Earth to zoom in and use ground view.

Below is the first promising spot I found. The image below will show distance and concerns.
This position is Target 8 and Range Line 8 for the Google Earth KMZ file

I did however find that the road on the ridge is a great place for long range. I didn't drive up there or down that road because I wasn't sure how safe I would be.
Come to find out, I could have drove up the back of that hill in the left frame and was covered by the hill by 20 ft. Farther down the road would have been a different story. I drove every road that was open, except that road on top of the hill.

The big PAY DIRT spot was shooting from the top of that hill, in the depression, on the other side and shooting left down the gully.
The KMZ file for this spot is Target 9 & 10 and Range Line 9 & 10. All KMZ file are at the end.
Target 9 & Range Line 9 KMZ file ranges to 967 yds. The road is on the left parallel to the shooting angle but slightly shooting to the right. From where the road dead ends, you walk 143 yds. to set, check or retrieve your target. Target 10 and Range Line 10 ranges to 1431 yds. The only difference is you have 4-500 yds. to walk to set, check or retrieve your target. So since that road has no outlet and no one is down there when you setup, you are good to go. If someone wants to go down there, they have to drive by you and you can let them know you are shooting that direction.

All in all, I think I found a very promising spot but now it is back to Tumey Hills the back way. Make a left when leaving the Panoche and follow the road past Mercy Hot Spring and continue until the road dead ends at Panoche Rd. Turn left and eventually the pavement ends. Remember, This route involves forging a river so cars are out of the question.

Ok, I am tired so I will post about Tumey Hills Gate 2 tomorrow but in the mean time I have zipped up all the KMZ files below. Install them all, Sorry!!! There are all separate layers. Target and Range line files 1 - 7 are ranges only really. Most of the long range targets are shooting across a road. Not good. Now what is funny is that there are targets on the side of the hills where I ranged to and you can see they cross a road. Also included are Hwy exits, gate entrances, the river crossing, and protected shooting areas.

Tumey Panoche KMZ ZIp File For Google Earth