Category Archives: Hiking

Sanborn County Park. AKA that time we almost got lost in the woods.

We tried another new park to hike in this week!


This time we visited Sanborn County Park near Saratoga, it was kind of hilly and shaded by trees, and the weather was nice and sunny outside.

2016.02.08 Endomondo Data

You can download the park map here.

Our route took us from the Peterson Grove parking lot, through the nature trail to the San Andreas Trail. The San Andreas Trail splits into two, both of which are part of the San Andreas Trail, which rejoin again *sigh*. Zero signage.

Keep following the San Andreas Trail until you reach the junction with the Sanborn Trail, go left and follow this for 1.2 miles until you reach the Peterson Trail Junction. Go right, to stay on the Sanborn Trail following it back to the parking lot past the group campsites.

Sanborn County Park

The trails are unfortunately…. pretty poorly signposted, and multiple times the trail split in two with zero signs, to then rejoin into one again…… We didn’t actually get lost though, which may be more due to luck than anything else.

#skillz

I don’t think it was our favourite!

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Deceptively hilly hike at Calero County Park

This afternoon we took what we thought would be a less intense pleasant stroll at Calero County Park, after our long hike at Big Basin at the weekend.

2016.01.11 Endomondo Data

It wasn’t.

It’s not entirely evident by the data, but the trail ends up as a very up and down, up and down, then up and up and up. It is deceptive, because the inclines are hidden behind corners or over ridges, and you just suddenly realize you have to go up some more!

You can download the park map here.

We were going to follow the hike as described on BAhiker here, but cut it a bit shorter as it was quite sunny and warm, so on such exposed trails we got a bit toasty, and also because we were feeling tired….. I never claimed that I didn’t get lazy!

Parking by the main entrance, we took the Access Trail > right on Los Cerritos Trail > right on Los Cerritos Trail > left on Peña Trail > left on Peña Trail > right on Los Cerritos Trail > left on Access Trail

Calero Reservoir

The reservoir at first glance didn’t look too bad, but then as we looked closer, the water should up to that upper line! It has just been empty/low for so long that the plants and grasses have taken over!

Just a short hike due to not having a lot of time, but quite pleasant even if it was deceptively hilly!

p.s. I have a fitbit, as do a few of my friends, and today one of them challenged me to a goal day – where you need to meet your step goal (mine is set to 10,000). I met mine at 197%! #nailedit

Winter Waterfalls at Big Basin Redwoods State Park

These past few weeks in the Bay area we have been having fairly heavy rain.

Yes! Rain!

For the previous two years we have lived here there was barely any, and so to take full advantage of the benefits of such precipitation, we took a long hike at Big Basin Redwoods State Park.

IMG_2997

Among other inducements, such as the beautiful Redwoods, the park features winter waterfalls.

Berry Creek Falls
Berry Creek Falls

You can download the full brochure here.

This was a hike to see Berry Creek Falls, Golden Falls, Cascades, and SIlver Falls, but taken in the opposite direction to that given on the BBRSP website.

2016.01.09 Endomondo Data

Use Skyline to the Sea Trail from the parking lot > left on Dool Trail > left on Sunset Trail > stay on Sunset Trail > go right to stay on Sunset Trail > left on Berry Creek Falls Trail > left on Skyline to the Sea Trail > stay on Skyline to the Sea Trail > follow Skyline to the Sea Trail back to park headquarters.

Although the hike (in the opposite direction as posted on the website) is described as strenuous, the main challenge is probably due to the length, rather than any steep grade.

Cascades
Cascades

There are some more challenging aspects – narrow trails, slippery rocks by the falls…. Oh and a lot of fallen trees.

Silver Falls
Silver Falls

But overall it wasn’t too tough at all, and the views of the falls and trees more than make up for it.

Golden Falls
Golden Falls

Today was also International Homemade Hobnob Day. Yep. It’s a thing. So we took some to the park with us….

Hobnobs on the trail.

Hobnobs all round!

#hikingmondays

For the next 6 weeks or so I have Mondays off, which is of course quite splendid.

What to do with this time? Grab a friend and get out hiking! As this friend is a fellow Brit, I couldn’t resist taking her to English Camp.

This was just a little short hike at Almaden Quicksilver County Park.

Currently there is a trail closure of Randol Trail, which makes planning a route a little more tricky – it either ends up just as a short one, or a bit longer than anticipated!

2015.01.04 Endomondo Data

You can find the full trail map here.

Starting at the Mockingbird Hill Lane Entrance, take the New Almaden Trail > left on Hacienda Trail > right on Capehorn Pass Trail > straight on Mine Hill Trail > straight on Mine Hill Trail > left on Castillero Trail > English Camp > left, back to Mine Hill Trail > continue on Mine Hill Trail back to Capehorn Pass Trail > right on Hacienda Trail > left on Virl O. Norton Trail > Mockingbird Hill Lane Entrance.

We saw one on these tiny little lizard things that I see quite often there:

Little lizard

We hope to go a little further next week!

A Short Steep Hike to the top of Mission Peak

Happy New Year!

I took advantage of a bonus day off to hike to the top of Mission Peak. We had previously done a long hike from Ed R. Levin County Park to the top of Monument Peak, but this a shorter – but very steep! – hike to the top of Mission Peak. This hike is described in it’s entirety on the Bay Area Hiker website here.

2015.12.31 Endomondo Data

Yup, just over 2000ft elevation gain over 3 miles, then back down again. You can find a trail map here.

The view is pretty wonderful.

Mission Peak Panorama

…and we got to see the Christmas tree:

#xmasonthepeak

We took some Christmas dinner leftovers with us – have pie, will hike.

Pie on Mission Peak

The weather was pretty great for it, nice and cool, but sunny and clear. The main trail was in good condition, but Horse Heaven was a little muddy….

Muddy Horse Heaven

…and we manage to escape being maimed by the cows.

Cows @ Horse Heaven

Very important.

Almaden Quicksilver County Park, with added Mine action.

Classes finished last week until the start of the spring semester, so I now have Mondays off!

Hurrah!

I celebrated by heading out for a hike with the Midweek Hikers Meetup group, for a hike posted as 7.7 miles and 1000ft elevation…..

Lies.

2015.12.21 Endomondo Data

Although, this was not entirely intentional. Seasonal trail closures are in effect in Almaden due to the wet and muddy conditions, and so the original route via Randol trail had to be changed.

Starting at the Mockingbird Hill Lane Entrance, we took Virl O. Norton Trail > Hacienda Trail > Capehorn Pass Trail > Mine Hill Trail > Mine Hill Trail > Mine Hill Trail > Mine Hill Trail > Mine Hill Trail > there and back again on the San Cristobal Mine Trail to have a look at the San Cristobal Mine shaft tunnel

San Cristobal Mine Tunnel

You can walk a short way into the tunnel, then it is blocked off for safety, but you can see a little way inside:

San Cristobal Mine Tunnel

We then continued back on Mine Hill Trail > Mine Hill Trail > Prospect #3 Trail > Prospect #3 Trail > New Almaden Trail > there and back again on the Buena Vista Trail to the Buena Vista Shaft > New Almaden Trail > New Almaden Trail back to Mockingbird Hill Lane.

Our usual spot for a view across to Mount Umunhum was somewhat obscured by the rainy weather!

Rainy Almaden Quicksilver County Park

Actually a good day for a hike! There was intermittent drizzle, but not fully raining.

Ed R. Levin County Park to Monument Peak

After a few weeks break due to visiting relatives and busy schedules it was good to get back to hiking.

We decided to push ourselves to a slightly longer and more intense hike, so headed to Ed R. Levin County Park and aimed up towards Monument Peak.

This meant an early start since we were aiming for a reasonably long hike, and knew that shade wouldn’t be something we’d get much of here. Most of the parks in the east bay are exposed, with very little in the way of tree cover, meaning that it is best to hike in this area either in the early morning or the California “winter”.
We set off early enough to allow for a Peet’s stop of course, and still arrived at the park gates a few minutes prior to opening at 8AM.

You can download a .pdf of the park map here.
We entered the park through the Downing Road entrance driving past Sandy Lake to the parking lot at the far end which has facilities (useful after the aforementioned coffee stop).

15.10.04 Endomondo data
Starting out heading north on Calera Creek Trail, passing the Hang Glider Landing Zone, we were in for a slow and steady climb turning left onto Agua Caliente Trail as we passed through 1000ft.
We were treated to fairly decent views of the bay although it was a little hazy in the distance.

IMG_5319

After around 2 hours, 2 deer, a cow and a snake later we reached the Monument Peak Road Junction. Here you really are treated to some great views looking both westward to the valley, and east to more rolling hills.

IMG_2685

East Bay HIlls
Having decided up front that we wouldn’t make the extra few miles over to Mission Peak we headed south and started making our way back towards the Sierra Trail Junction, but not before taking the short 0.4 mile trek to the Monument Peak at 2,594ft.

Monument Peak
A couple more deer and another cow later we picked up the Agua Caliente Trail which would take us almost all the way back to the parking lot, with some good views of the Hang Gliders hitting their LZ.

Deer

We returned to the parking lot via the Tularcitos Trail.

It was a great hike to get the blood pumping while ascending those hills, and we finished our hike before the temperature rose too much.