Point Reyes – Limantour – Bayview, Laguna, Coast, Fire Lane

I now have come to understand that trails marked as bycicle routes are gravely roads–not very enticing hiking trails.

The route back is the winner here. If you had enough time to stretch this 10 miler into a beach afternoon before your return all the better. (Though if the beach is what your after, skip to the hostel or further and you’ll bypass hours of hiking and lots of incline on the way out.)

What next? Instead of this route, what about: Limantour > Sky > Woodward Valley Firelane > Sky. 9.5 miles and fire lane up-and-out will be quieter and more challenging then Woodward out(?).

   
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
   

Kings Canyon – Cedar Grove – Lewis Creek Overlook Loop

The Lewis Creek Trail loop was longer, steeper and better than I imagined. 7+ miles, 1,600′, 3.5 hours?! Lots of stops to relax and take it in. The last 1.5 miles E->W back to the TH kinda sucked, but at least there was an outhouse along the way.

   
    
    
 

Kings Canyon – General Grant Grove – Lookout Point to Fire Lookout

Thabk you, park ranger at the visitor’s center, way to recommend a good hike without being prescriptive. 

Excited to arrive Monday morning, I asked about hikes in the area I could do while the rest of the crew was en route. The ranger quickly steered me to a distance and elevation gain that took into consideration my just arriving at 7,000′ from basically sea level.
Drive up to lookout knocked 1k feet off and the hike still had a nice up-down-up of 600′ over 6+ miles of ridge-hike views.

Volunteers at the fire lookout were great. Should have taken more pictures!

   
    
    
  

on the road CA-180E

 

Point Reyes – Five Brooks Trail Head – Stewart, Coast, Old Out Road, Almea, Greenpicker, Stewart Loop

15 miles and nearly 2,700′ gain. Stewart is a “bike” trail, which seems to mean a gravel road when in Point Reyes’ south district. This route is 6.7 miles to Wildcat Camp / the seashore. If you were camping at Glen Camp or Wildcat I’d recommend checking out Old Out Road and Almea. Heading to Alamere Falls? Stewart > Alamea > Old Out > Coast would be interesting but it’s ~6.5 out (4.2 out from Palomarin).

Tough to recommend as a day trip unless your trying to do all the routes. Makes sense if your camping in the area, otherwise … There’s a reason this one isn’t in the day trip books.

Good if you want to have a long hike without crowds (as long as you start early enough to get off Stewart).

What to do? Thinking that 5 brooks th > Stewart > greenpicker > almea > old out > coast > lake ranch > ridge > stewart (14.4)  Or … lake ranch > bolema > olema valley a smidgen shorter)
 

15 miles, 2,700′ gain

  

broad, gravel, plenty of horses

   

near fir top

   

from stewart trail, first view towards wildcat camp. it felt like the mile markers were off, its a long way to wildcat from here

  

Old Out and Almea saved this day teip for me

  

looking east feom greenpicker before stewart junction

  

zoom for horses

 
 

lots of horses start at five brooks

 

Point Reyes – Five Brooks Trailhead – Olema Valley, Texiera, Ridge, Bolinas (intended)

There is a downed tree and some sketchy “don’t hike here” obstructions on Texeira Trail  that made me turn around and do an out and back.

This was a weird one. About 6 miles in I came to a downed tree blocking the entire trail; scramble through bramble and get around and then encounter logs and branches pulled across the path a very regular intervals. The kind you see trying to block an unofficial trail. 

They start at least 3/4 of a mile from the next junction to the west. That’s unusual. NPS would not have done that. 

Started thinking maybe it’s local hikers or equestrians pissed at mountain bikers, but realized there aren’t connecting bike trails.

After a while, I got spooked, thinking maybe there’s an illegal grow operation in the area (plenty of water near by, harvest time in 1-2 months), haven’t passed anyone in 2.5 hours … So, I turned around an went back the way I came. 

In 4.5 hours, 2 equestrians on Olema Valley trail at 8 miles, a few others near trail head. Very remote feel.

 

5.2 miles from TH to Texiera

  

begins a little overgrown. toull be glad you wore long pants for this trail

  

old road bed. coimb starts 1/2 mile in after bridge.

  

begining is largely lush, was wet at 10:30am this morning

  

as the trail closes in those wet grasses start brushing against you

  

first meadow

  

a bit rainforrest-y

  

fog still rolling in around 11:30 am

  

sandy soil, no one around

  
    
    

trail starts to fade away

  

glad i wore the gaiters as i was getting quite wet

  

olema valley trail features several segments of hiking through tall grasses mixed with wooded climbs

  

these pretty orchid-like flowers caught my eye

  
  

this is the trail. it is easy to stay in it, but it doesnt appear that way at first glance

  
    

water crossing was easy in early July

    

    

    
    

fallen tree blocking Texiera

   

Taylor Mountain – Petaluma Hill Rd. Trailhead – 7/4

Quick morning hike before the July 4th festivities. Third time since opening day. The new Red Tail trail to the existing Western route makes for a fast entry to Taylor Mountain, especially if you are coming from the South.

Having worked many volunteer days helping to build this, I’m especially happy to see how popular it is already.  

worked several days heping the Sonoma County Trails Council build this new trail. More trails coming to Taylor Park, ~15 miles of new trails in the master plan IIRC

   

Quick climb and you’re looking down to the valley in < 5 mins

  

a lot of rock work was fone by hand on this trail mostly unseen — as it should be, right?

  

it’s about 1/2 mile from the TH to the Western Route. turning right loops down to the far end of the parking lot.

  

like the beginignof the Western Route (from Kawana Springs TH), this trail is largley shaded by oaks

  

a rock drain that i did a lot of work on 3-4 feet deep, moved most if the larger rocks you see by hand usimg a canvas sling and 3-4 people

  

long stretch of a very difficult section to build.

  

cattle gate. cows have always liked this section, they’re very used to hikers, move on by quietly and they are not bother

I’m

 

 

cows, Mount St. Helena in the distance

  

i take a picture of this tree each time i pass

  

making a right onto western going uphill

  

the ranch road on the right goes right up the face. skip it, its too steep and not meant for hiking. take the switchbacks that cross it instead. you’ll get to the top about the same time and get some extra steps in

    

view of Mt St Helena

  

on my way down, i passed this Dad and Son heading up a bit of trail I helped build😀