The Lost Coast is the most rugged, undeveloped stretch of coastline in California. There are no highways or major roads in the area. It was named the “Lost Coast” after the region experienced depopulation in the 1930’s, but the name still seems appropriate today considering the isolated nature of the place. Continue reading “Hiking the Lost Coast Trail”
Pico Blanco. It’s a mountain. It’s a backcountry camp in Big Sur. And it’s a Boy Scout retreat in the Ventana Wilderness. We visited all three in two days and twenty miles. Continue reading “Pico Blanco”
For Rob’s birthday (and his one and only week off between school semesters) we wanted to do something kind of epic. After tossing around a few different vacation ideas, we settled on hiking the West Coast Trail – a 75 km trek along Vancouver Island’s beautiful coastline. We spent 6 nights and 7 days on the trail. The following is a description of our experience. (Planning to hike this? Visit our West Coast Trail overview page for more info!) Continue reading “Hiking the West Coast Trail”
Last week, as I was making plans to visit the Snow Mountain Wilderness, I discovered that the vast majority of people I talked to had never heard of Snow Mountain. This is too bad because efforts are underway to create a Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument. This would protect the land for future generations while improving coordination between the agencies who plan for fires, manage recreation and clear out invasive species and/or marijuana grow sites. There is already a lot of support for the proposed National Monument, but if more people knew about the area, there might be greater momentum behind the cause. Continue reading “Snow Mountain”
Point Reyes National Seashore offers a vast network of hiking trails, four backcounty campgrounds, and plenty of opportunity to get outside. It’s possible to bike, ride a horse, trail run, or kayak all around this area. On this particular trip, we hiked to the highest point in the area (not worth it), camped at one of the four backcountry campgrounds, and visited the very popular Arch Rock. We hiked approximately 16 miles (9 miles on Day 1 and 7 miles on Day 2). We spent most of the weekend in dense forest – no sweeping ocean views. It was not what I expected but it turned out to be a relaxing weekend with beautiful scenery. Continue reading “Point Reyes – Mount Wittenberg, Glen Camp & Arch Rock”
There is nothing easy about climbing California’s second tallest peak. The approach is long (over 26 miles round trip) and involves climbing nearly 10,000 ft. Some super humans have day hiked this peak. We took three days to do it and it was still quite a challenge. Continue reading “Mount Williamson via Shepherd Pass”
It’s no surprise Yosemite is one of the most visited National Parks in the country – the place is beautiful. Backpacking is a great way to get away from the crowds of Yosemite Valley. The trails are still more heavily travelled than many others in the Sierras, but the scenery is unbeatable. There are several different ways to get from Tuolumne Meadows to Yosemite Valley. Our route took us over Clouds Rest and up Half Dome. Continue reading “Backpacking Tuolumne Meadows to Yosemite Valley”
Shortly after our last failed attempt at backpacking in Desolation Wilderness, I was ready to try again. We waited a few weeks for more snow to melt, then made our reservation for Lake Aloha (Zone 33). We snagged 6 of the allotted 25 spots for this zone.
Basics: This overnight hike was about 13 miles round-trip. This distance sounds easier than it is – the Ralston trail begins by climbing 2400-ft in a few short miles. Anyone looking for an easier approach can access Lake Aloha from the Echo Lakes area. From the route described in this post, it’s possible to take short detours to climb Ralston Peak or visit several other Desolation Wilderness lakes. Continue reading “Lake Aloha via the Ralston Peak Trail”
Things don’t always go according to plan. I’m normally pretty good at planning stuff and I have decent luck most of the time, but every once in a while hiking does not go how I expect.
The Ohlone Wilderness Trail connects Del Valle Regional Park (just south of Livermore) to Mission Peak Regional Preserve (in Fremont). The trail is 28 miles long with 7,100 feet of elevation gain including Rose Peak and Mission Peak.
Rose Peak, Mission Peak & 28 miles of Trail in Two Days
Basics: The Ohlone Wilderness Trail connects Del Valle Regional Park (just south of Livermore) to Mission Peak Regional Preserve (in Fremont). It passes through Ohlone Regional Wilderness and Sunol Regional Wilderness, as well as some land owned by the San Francisco Water District where you’re not allowed to leave the trail. The trail is 28 miles in length, not including short detours to campsites or to the top of Mission Peak. There are many out-and-back options for hiking in this area. A shuttle or other transportation arrangement is required to thru-hike the entire 28 miles. Continue reading “Ohlone Wilderness Trail”