Hiker's list home page

Upcoming events, ideas, etc. Trip Reports
Hiking links Biking links
Other Activities

Note: This is intended to be a community page for a loose group of hikers and bikers in the general Palo Alto, CA area, so if you want to put something on here, correct something, add pictures, etc., drop me a note and I'll add it. I'll also take requests for other info to be added to the page.

We have a mailing list; if you are interested, contact me by email (olson@unixfolk.com)

I/We are always interested in new hikes or hiking and biking partners, so contact me if you are interested. My contact info is here. Dave

Upcoming hikes, bike rides, etc.

If you've got plans, let me know!

Trip reports

The links are usually to pictures, with some description and sometimes some descriptive text. Sometimes it's just the pictures and no text. These are listed from newest to oldest.


2014

  • On Thursday, 27 March 2014 Devil's Slide Park opening ceremonies were held. I volunteered as a Trail Ambassador at the Devil's Slide Park opening ceremonies, with most attendees walking the trail. Weather turned out to be very nice, and it was a good sized crowd, and short speeches and ribbon cutting. No sign of the perigrine falcons, but plenty of other birds.
  • On Sunday, 16 February 2014, A group of us went for a hike at Devil's Slide as part of the Trail Ambassador program to get the birds used to hikers, before the part officially opens on 21 March.

    I'll also be leading another hike or two before the park opens, so let me know if you are interested. This is a hike in name only, it's mostly sight seeing, looking at birds, the ocean and the cliffs, since it's only 1.4 miles long.


2013

  • On Monday, 30 December 2013, it was going to be a minus 1.0 tide at 3pm, so at noon I walked down to Princeton Harbor, planning to see how far north I could get. I was able to walk from Princeton to Moss Beach along the shore. The weather was absolutely beautiful!

  • On Saturday, 7 December 2013, I hiked up the "Spine" trail from Moss Beach, to near the top of Montara Mt. It was pretty chilly (low 50's), and windy, but trail was in great condition, despite last night's heavy rain.

    I had been hoping to make it to the top of the mountain, but the PG&E access road is also very overgrown, so I went up as high as I could partially cross-country, to where the picture that I sent was taken.

    The trail goes basicly up a ridge to near the top of Montara Mtn, so has a few places where it goes up and over knolls, adding a few hundred feet of extra gain (I topped out at about 1600 feet).

    There was also a nice sunset, with interesting clouds.

  • On Saturday, 28 September 2013, Gale and I hiked from our house up Montara Mountain, via the knoll to the Alta Vista trail (past the recent fire), and saw some recently cleared pines on the knoll just north of the fire (where all the golf balls are). PG&E has cleared the "trail" between the power line poles, so that it's possible to get from the Alta Vista trail over to the valley and trail up to the north peak, although we didn't try that route this time (we came down that way a couple of New Years ago). We spent some time on top of Peak Mountain (the peak that that Alta Vista trail goes over, with the rock cairn), and sitting by the wind cave (watching a rather slow lizard). Then we headed back home down the North Access road. It was a beautiful day. There were a surprising number of flowers still blooming.

    On the way home, I noticed for the first time that the bridge over Martini Creek has a troll. I guess I was sensitized by all the articles about the Bay Bridge Troll...

  • For those of you on facebook, Casey posted a nice description of the Bishop Pass loop backpacking trip with Lisa, Bruce, Steven, and Elena, with lots of pictures (July 16-24). Dave-Bob says "worth looking at!"
  • On Sunday, 30 June 2013 Gale and I hiked the loop trail at Olompali (near Novato) on the way home from Petaluma. Warm (about 85F), but pleasant in the shade and where there was a breeze. It has been nearly 30 years since I was last here.
  • On Saturday, 22 Jun 2013,
  • Gale, Bruce, Lisa and I went for a late afternoon hike on the PG&E loop. I missed (but they heard and saw, and pointed out!) a fat rattlesnake near the start, and a king snake near the end of the hike. Also at least 3 alligator lizards. A few young deer were grazing at the start, ignoring people, and were still there at the end. Also plenty of turkeys. This was my first hike with my new camera, so there are a bunch of shots where I was experimenting with the camera.
  • On Saturday, 8 Jun 2013, I hiked up Pedro Mountain from Montara, and returned on the 1879 Half Moon Bay - Colma trail above the tunnel, then the beach. Somebody has been clearing and (re)building a trail from near the top of Pedro Mountain down to the rocks above the south entrance of the tunnels, and then continuing on to connect to the old 1879 Half Moon Bay - Colma trail. I did part of that cross country, not realizing the new trail connected. I came down the face where all the tunnel excavation was deposited, into Green Valley.

    It was quite foggy, and quite windy. The fog was blowing through about 20 MPH on top of Pedro Mountain, with gusts that sometimes made it difficult to keep a straight path when walking.

  • On Saturday, 23 Mar 2013, we hiked the normal route out to Pedro Point , but then wound down to the top of Grand Ave, and then back up and down again to the houses on Olympian Way. First time we had been down those trails. Starting to be a lot of wildflowers! Some of the nasty erosion sections are undergoing restoration which was nice to see. I tried to get a few pictures through the tunnels before opening (from the north end), but could not quite get high enough above the road to get the angle. Not sure what the parking situation will be after the tunnel opens... I do not expect to see the "Tunnel Closed Ahead" signs very often, from now on! Opening day for the tunnels is Monday!
  • On Sunday, 6 Jan 2013 I hiked up to the knoll above the middle creek (concrete bridge on Pedro Mtn Rd), then cross country around the back of two small valleys, then back onto the trails, and back on the beach. Cross country was mostly pretty easy, except crossing the creek valley (pretty thick brush). The waves at Montara Beach continue to be quite dramatic, as they have been for the past week.

2012

  • On Saturday, 24 Nov 2012 A group of us did a shuttle hike from the top of Devil's Slide, up over San Pedro Mt., then back on the old Pedro Mt. Road. This is the google map showing the route, except that we took the shortcut down the North Acess road, rather than winding down the last part of Pedro Mt road to Martini Creek.
  • On Saturday, 1 Sep 2012, we went down to the Montara reef with Jeannie and Amy, and had a bonus of a Hobo fort with bottle organ, flock of birds feeding on some kind of marine life, four sailboats, and (rare in my experience on the reef) several harbor seals on the rocks.
  • On Saturday, 31 March 2012, we went for a hike on the San Pedro Valley Park waterfall loop, up the waterfall trail and back on the Montara Mt. trail. It was a bit overcast, and not huge amounts of water, but a nice hike, and starting to be lots of flowers.
  • On Sunday, April Fools day, 2012, I went for a short hike on Ember Ridge I'd been looking at this on google satellite, and it looked like it might be possible to get all the way to the top of Montara Mt., so I decided to explore. I met somebody hiking who said that 20 years ago, he had no problem hiking to the top, but that it's gotten pretty overgrown from about 2/3 of the way up, and is now bushwacking. I didn't get quite that far, because it was late, and I wanted to be home for the sunset, so more exploring for the future. There were plenty of early wildflowers, though.
  • On Sunday, 19 Feb 2012, Gale and I on the beach at Pedro Point.
  • On Saturday, 18 Feb 2012, I hiked from Ember Ridge in south Moss Beach past Alamo St, up the ridge to the end of the trail, and beyond into the eucalyptus.

    A fair number of wildflowers (but windy enough that it was hard to get pictures), and I got a short movie of a young coyote. The end of the trail is on the ridge up above the end of Rivera St (Montara). I'd wanted to get further up to the eucalyptus in the past, but couldn't find a way through the chapparal. Somebody has done enough brush clearing to make it possible to find a way through now, with some effort. There's evidence of an old fence line, and perhaps an old tail, but I still haven't found a way to get through the chapparal above the eucalyptus.

    As best as I can tell from google aerial views, I wound up at 37.549919,-122.48539, and there appears to be a GGNRA land corridor continuing all the way to the North Peak. It looks like I could easily go down the hill through the eucalyptus to the end of Rivera St., which is (unfortunately for being able to do an interesting loop) still private. You can get the new GGNRA map for Ranch Corral that shows the start of the route (as well as the rest of the area).

  • On Super Bowl Sunday, 5 Feb 2012, I went down to the reefs at various points from Montara down to Moss Beach. Medium surf, warm day, even met a few other people on the reef. More or less low tide for most of it, and towards the end, got an interesting overcast.
  • On 29 Jan 2012, I took an afternoon hike up Montara Mt and saw a whale. S some other hikers pointed out a whale, just south of Gray Whale Cove. Then I stopped at the old mine shaft, headed up the rocks, on to the top, and then down one of the mountain biker trails to the saddle. A very nice day. This the first time I've seen a whale from on land. We've been told we should be able to see quite a few towards March.
  • On Martin Luther King's birthday (16 Jan 2012), I started from home late in the day (almost 4), and made it almost to South Peak on Montara Mt and whale . before sunset. I started up the North Access Road, then Old Pedro Mt Road to the saddle, then east up the mountain bike trail back up to the North Access Rd, then up to the ridge, over to South Peak, and then straight down the ridge trail back down to Montara. Pretty clear (Farallones visible in first few pictures, a bit of Point Reyes, Diablo, and a bit of the bay just as I got to South Peak. It was quite chilly, particularly on the way down after sunset. It was a very nice way to end a 3 day weekend.

2011

  • On Saturday, 17 Sep 2011, Gale and I hiked up the Montara Mountain ridge route (which led to Gale getting poison oak; getting rather overgrown), then back down the North Peak Access Rd, and the last part of the Gray Whale Cove trail. We started and ended at our home. It was a clear day on top, for once!
  • On Sunday 10 Apr 2011, we went for a hike at the southern end of the coast trail extension at Cowell Beach. We encountered a guard llama and a donkey near the beginning, saw a number of hawks, some wonderful reef views (including seals), a cascade from Purissima Cr., and the reason that the trail isn't yet open (a slide taking out part of the road, a bit north of the creek). A wonderful day for a walk along the coast.
  • On Saturday 2 Apr 2011, We walked up the Moss Beach coast, from Juliana Ave to the lighthouse, and back, on a mostly cloudy day
  • On Saturday, 26 Feb 2011 ("snow day" that wasn't), I finished up a chilly day with a raptor walk at Wavecrest, and took a few sunset pictures afterwards. We saw red-shoulder, red-tail, and Coopers hawks, kestrels, kites (including kiting, where they hover for up to a minute), and lots of owl pellets, as well as a few non-raptor birds. Not great photography conditions for a simple digital camera (long range), and I had forgotten that the camera was set to black and white... I did get a few movies of kites flying.
  • On Saturday, 5 February 2011, We hiked from the top of Devil's Slide up to the high point of San Pedro Mt. Rd. Early wilderflowers are out (a few iris, some blackberry, goose current, etc.). A beautiful, warm, day. We spent a few minutes at Gray Whale Beach afterwards, where we encountered a large remote control helicopter with a camera mounted underneath.
  • On Monday, 17 January 2011, I hiked at Wilder Ranch, near Santa Cruz, then over into the UCSC Reserve, and down to (or near) Henry Cowell State Park. I starte up the Englemann loop, and came down Chinquipin and the south part of the Eucalyptus loop. I saw (and took pictures and movies of) a bobcat on the Long Meadow trail, and got some interesting sunset and moon pictures on the way back down the hill. A nice day's hike; warm enough to take my shirt off on the way up the hill.

2010

  • On Thursday, 23 December 2010, I took a hike from San Pedro Mt Road up to South Peak Mt Montara that was over half bushwhacking through chaparral. A lot of it on game trails, and on the way down, on an almost completely overgrown powerline road. There are a number of shots of the route, close and from a distances. All in all, not a great hike ;) Still, it was a beautiful day, with great views (a bit hazy). Point Reyes, about 40 miles away, was visible. There were quite a few fungi, and of course, everything is turning green. I saw a number of large patches of what I'm sure were Cape Ivy, so GGNRA or the volunteers are going to have a task to get rid of all of it.
  • On Sunday, 5 Dec 2010, a group of us went tidepooling at Fitzgerald Marine Preserve. It was predicted to rain, and be windy, and indeed, it was (in waves). At one point, it seemed on the edge of hail. It was a low tide (-1.4), but the reef was surprisingly barren, compared to my previous low tide trips. It was made worse by the low contrast light due to the storm, so it was harder to see into the tidepools. Very few urchins, few starfish until the very edge of the reef, no abalone, only saw a couple of nudibranchs, no fish, and even hermit crabs seemed to not be moving around much. Still, it was interesting, and fun for the kids who came. We moved over to the Half Moon Bay Brewery afterwards for warmth, good food, and assorted beverages.
  • On Saturday 4 Dec 2010, we went for a hike up Black Mt, starting from Rhus Ridge near Foothill College. It was a windy day, and had rained earlier, so it was quite clear. We only got a few drops of rain here and there, and it was cool, so Casey and I made it a pretty fast hike up and back, while admiring the scenary.
  • On Saturday, 13 October 2010, Gale and I walked several of the San Francisco stairways including the Moraga steps (spectacular), as well as Cacade nearby, then hiked on Mt. Davidson, and finally drover over Twin Peaks to the Vulcan and Saturn steps.
  • On Saturday, 23 October 2010, we went for a damp, but not too rainy hike in the redwoods, at Huddart Park and the Phleger Estate, prior to a party celebrating our (Gale and Dave) engagement. It was interrupt by the appearance of two illegal motorcycle riders. The San Mateo county Sherrif deputies tried to locate them, but they got away...

    Then we had a great firepit evening, with a high point of a lapin paella, prepared over the firepit by Casey and Bill (several movies of the preparation).

  • On Sunday, 26 September 2010, four of us went on a Sempervirens Fund hike from the end of the pavement on Gazos Creek up to Sandy Point, and back. Nice temperature (hot at Sandy Point, though), and enough flowers, water, and the like to be interesting. We saw both the normal blue/black huckleberry, and also the red huckleberry, which apparently is quite a bit rarer; it's certainly the first time that I've seen it. We finished with a short side trip to a waterfall on some nearby Sempervirens property.
  • On Saturday, 28 August 2010, Lisa organized a hike from Los Gatos up and over the hill at El Sereno and down again to her house. It was Lisa, Bruce, Gale, Dave, and Stephen, and then a big gang of folks met us hiking the other way from the house about half way up the hill. Great weather, fun hike.
  • On Wednesday, 9 June 2010, we hiked Curry Village to Half Dome (base of the cables. 7 of us hiked from Curry Village to the base of Half Dome (cables were in place, but no posts or slats, so we stopped at the subdome). We went up via the Mist Trail, and returned via the John Muir trail. It was the first time for 3 of us. The waterfalls were in full thunder all over the valley, and the weather was nearly perfect, although we did get some clouds over Half Dome, and heard one distant thunderclap as we started back. We spent 10 1/2 hours, with a few breaks here and there. The views down on the valley were great also.
  • On Sunday 17 May 2010, several of us hiked at Rancho San Antonio. Still lots of wild flowers, including an orchid and some I didn't recognize, even in May, and very nice hiking weather.
  • On Saturday 16 May 2010, Gale and I hiked from Gray Whale Cove, up Old Pedro Mt. road and then back over the top of the tunnel out towards the coast again, and return. Lots of wild flowers, also quite a bit of wind.
  • On Sunday, 9 May 2010, I hiked up and over Montara Mt, from the end of LeConte in Montara up to the end of Alta Vista, then up over South Peak, up to North Peak, then back down the road, down the Montara Mt trail to San Pedro County Park in Pacifica, then a mile or so down Rosita Road to Adobe, up to Higgins, and then on to the old San Pedro Mt. Road, and followed that all the way up, over, and down, back to Montara (somewhere around 13 miles and 3000 feet total gain). Lots of wild flowers, good weather down low, but in the clouds and windy on the upper part of the mountain.
  • On 1 May 2010, Gale and I hiked the counter-clockwise loop, the first day Butano was fully open after the cutbacks. A lot of wildflowers, pretty nice weather, although a bit overcast. Still a lot of water in the creeks. A good way to celebrate May Day. We even saw an orchid in bloom at the end of the hike.
  • On 19 Apr 2010, I hiked from the town of Montara up as far as the road went (maybe 1200 ft elevation), near Alamo Road . Lots of wildflowers, and some interesting tracks, including some I think were probably mountain lion tracks.
  • On Sunday, 18 April 2010, I went on another late afternoon hike, 2 hours from start to end, from high up in Montara over south peak to the top of Montara Mt. Lots of wildflowers, and the fog was blowing in and out from the top, so I could at least occasionally see the bay this time (in January it was totally fogged in.
  • I took a late afternoon hike up to Old Pedro Mt Road on Sunday, 21 March 2010, then north along the ridges. The early spring wildflowers are out in large numbers. I came down to Hwy 1 at the top of Devils Slide, and walked back to Gray Whale Cove, then back along the trail to my starting point. There was quite a bit of fog, intermittently clearing. The fog was mostly close to shore as I walked back towards Gray Whale Cove, given an interesting lighting; green inshore, and deep blue further offshore.
  • Joanne, Shing, Gale, and I went for a hike from Waddell Beach to Berry Creek Falls on 6 Mar 2010. It was a nice day, although a bit overcast, and a lot of water was in the creeks, and the falls were quite dramatic, with smaller falls in places where there is often nothing, or at most a trickle. We encountered a very fresh landslide with a downed tree that we had to scramble over, to add adventure.
    On the way back, we heard one large, long crack of thunder, and then the hail started, eventually with sizes up to 3/8" of an inch. The hail only lasted a bit more than 5 minutes, so it was fun (we got only a small amount of rain before the whole thing was over).
    We saw lots of newts (including one that had lost an eye), and the spring flowers are starting as well, with trillium in evidence in a number of places. To end the day, we had a pretty nice sunset at Francis Beach, then went home and had a nice Fred's steak dinner.
  • Gale and I went for a quick late afternoon hike at Burleigh Murray after the rain stopped. First time that either of us had been there.
  • 15 Feb 2010, Gale and I went for a walk along Waddell Creek at Big Basin We got a late start, so we didn't go all the way to the falls, but it was a very nice hike, nonetheless. Lots of water in the creek, and plenty of evidence that it had been quite a bit higher sometime in the last few weeks.
  • On Sunday 31 January 2010, I went for hike from the end of Almeria in El Granada up towards the ridgetop, with some side explorations, in the POST Rancho Corral del Tierra preserve. Some nice views of Montara Mt, and nice views of the coast.
  • On Saturday, 2 January 2010, TJ, Gale and Dave hiked up Montara Mountain, via San Pedro Mt Road, and then up to the North Peak, then down through the POST lands to Montara, and back along the lower San Pedro Mt Road. It was foggy at the bottom, and low stratus at the top, so we did not, unfortunately, get a view from the top. We did hear the high surf crashing, all the way up and back down. Then it was off to the Moss Beach Distillery for beer and food!

2009

  • In late December, 2009, we made several trips to the reef at Fitzgerald Marine Preserve at low tide (-0.5, -1.0, and -1.4) in December 2009, with various people. A bit chilly, but fun, and saw some interesting things. Some of the pictures were taken by Dave, and some by Gale.
  • On Sunday, 1 Nov, Dave went for a 5 hour walk around Potrero Hill, waterfront, and Telegraph Hill. Started at 7AM as the fog was lifting, and got some pictures that I really like. I also had some locally made TCHO Chocolate along the way, and a fine breakfast at Carmen's in South Beach. Here's the pictures.
  • On Saturday, 26 Sep 2009, Gale and Dave went for a walk up the coast from Miramar to Moss Beach.
  • On Saturday, 1 Aug 2009, TJ, Greg, and Dave went for a bike ride from Alum Rock Road up to the top of Mt. Hamilton.
  • I went for a short hike down Upper Stevens Creek. It was a bit on the warm side, and the newts had moved down into the creek, they were all over. Saw a few fish (movie of one of them), a frog, a fair number of dragonflies, and a single deer. Not many people were out hiking (it was 95 degrees when I got back to the parking lot).
  • TJ, Greg, Marci, I, and 9995 others did the Seattle to Portland bike ride the 2nd weekend in July, 2009.
  • Casey, Veronika, and I went for a loop hike at Purissima Redwoods Open Space on Sunday, 7 June 2009. We all ended up a bit tired, after Saturday and the vertical gain, and Casey's rapid pace!
  • We hiked at the top of Windy Hill on 29 March 2009, hoping for wildflowers, but saw only fairly isolated flowers here and there. A fair variety, but not much in terms of quantity (far less than at Edgewood the day before). Perhaps next week, or the week after. Still, a fine day to be outside with friends!
  • We went for a wildflower hike on 28 March 2009 at Edgewood Park. The wildflowers are there, and some nice patches, but not big carpets, at least, not yet. We also saw some tadpoles, hares, deer, lizards, and spiders as well, in part thanks to Katie's sharp eyes. Katie took some of these pictures (the ones taken at 12:44, I think).
  • On 22 March 2009, I went for a short hike at Arastradero Preserve, up into Foothill, out to Bobcat Point, and back down to the reoad. I saw a few deer, and a blue heron towards the very end. Not a lot of wildflowers, but a few hardy and early flowers.
  • On 31 January 2009, Jerry, Sarah, and I hiked the Tafoni trail at El Corte Madera Creek to the large tafoni outcrop, then the creek trail to the Resolution trail (some pictures of the crashed DC-6 in this set), and then return to Skegg's Point.
  • On 3 January 2009, Steve, Lorraine, and I hiked from Little Basin to Big Basin via Tanbark trail to Buzzard's Roost, down Pine Mountain trail to Bloom Creek, on to Big Basin Headquarters, and return via the service road.
  • On New Year's Day, 2009, Scott and I hiked all day, taking it easy, from Big Basin headquarters out to the Berry Creek falls, then up the Howard King trail and some cross country below Mt. McAbee to a pair of tufoni caves (fairly large), back on trail at Hihn Hammond road, then down to Middle Ridge and the parking lot.

2008

  • On 23 December 2008, I went for a solo hike out at Morgan Territory, near Livermore. I went for a hike on the Coyote, Stone Corral, Valley View, Manzanita, Miwok, Blue Oak, and Volvon trails. It was chilly and a bit muddy, but not windy, and sunny part of the time, so a very nice hike indeed. Some pretty nice views out over the Sacramento Valley, as well. I only saw one other person the entire hike.
  • On 13 December 2008, I went for a short hike from the end of Alpine Road in Portola Valley on up to Russian Ridge and return
  • 16 Aug 2008: Casey and Veronika, Becky and Scott, Chris, and Dave all hiked at Pt Reyes (Bear Valley area), out to the coast, down the coast for a bit, including a long stop at Sculptured Beach, then back to the Bear Valley trailhead. After that we had a mighty fine dinner afterwards (with 3 dozen oysters, and a nice local Pt Reyes Winery sparking wine). Here's the trip pictures that I (Dave) took, and a few movies as well. It was a fine foggy Pt Reyes day, but a fairly high fog, without much wind, so all in all, quite pleasant. We also ran into an organized group of over 100 people picking huckleberries up on the Sky trail, just south of the junction with the Meadow Trail. There were a lot of ripe huckleberries, and most of us had a fair amount of them.
  • 10 May 2008: Several of us went on a Pine Ridge Asssociation group hike at Henry Coe on , starting at the new Dowdy Ranch visitor center (via Bell Station Road off Hwy 152), and headed out Pacheco Creek.
  • 3 May 2008: Butano Ridge loop from Portola Redwoods state park through Pescadero Creek county park Butano Ridge
  • 20 Apr 2008: A short spring hike at Black Mountain (Palo Alto)

2008

  • 1 Dec 2007: A short winter hike at Black Mountain (Palo Alto)
  • 21 Jan 2007: We took a winter hike at Henry Coe State Park near Morgan Hill. We hiked out Flat Frog trail and then on to Middle Ridge, with a side trip to Deer Horn camp, then on down the ridge and back on the Fish trail (somewhat over 8 miles with the side trips). Just a few pictures this time, including some of one of the frozen creeks. The weather was great, probably low 60's, clear, but occasionally breezy on the ridges. It was obviously colder in the low lying streambeds, because we found several parts of streams that were still frozen, up to a couple of inches thick in places. The freeze itself must have been from earlier in the week, of course. At one point, there was ice over 3 inches thick.
  • 13 Jan 2007: Casey, Alex, Jasen and I did the Hamm's Ridge Windy Hill loop. A somewhat cool day, but clear.

2006


2005

  • 24 December 2005: Hike to Mindego Hill, Christmas Eve day . It was positively balmy weather, and above the fog.
  • 17 July 2005: Climbing at Summit Rock. It was a somewhat toasty day, but fun.
  • 16 July 2005: We did "the" coast bike ride. It was a warm, but not hot day, until we hit some fog on Stage Road near San Gregorio (which was unfortunate for the views south of San Gregorio, but quite pleasant for the stretch up to Hwy 1). A wonderful ride, great company, and food and drink at the end. A great way to spend a Saturday!
  • 28 May 2005: Henry Coe China Hole hike, loads of wildflowers: Here's the pictures, with a brief writeup on the hike.

2004

  • Sunday, 30 May 2004: Rebecca, Casey, and I took a somewhat leisurely ramble around the Marin Headlands and Fort Cronkite on Sunday. The weather was nearly perfect, kept pleasant by a light offshore fog and a breeze (a stiff wind down at sea level, but just a pleasant breeze up on the hills). See the link for more details, and some pictures.
  • Saturday, 22 May 2004: Casey and I went for a short hike to Aquarian Valley (the upper portion of Peter's Creek canyon). See the link for some pictures, and the trip report.
  • Saturday, 17 Apr 2004: You all missed a great hike today! We ended up going to Joseph Grant park (up on Mt Hamilton) instead of Henry Coe because we feared the rain storm might be headed that way. We saw lots of wild flowers, hiked about 11 to 12 miles and did about 2100 to 2200 feet of vertical gain. We treated ourselves to dinner at The Grand View restaurant afterwards. Quite nice!

    We had some photos but the servers have gone away... I (Dave) took some also, but haven't even finished with my pictures from the Pinnacles trip yet, let alone yesterday's hike at Joseph Grant.

  • Sat/Sun, 27/28 March 2004: Bike Ride and Rock Climbing Writeup by Casey.
  • Pinnacles National Park, Saturday 13 March 2004

    It was a nice trip, but the consensus is that it wasn't as nice as the trip last year. A bit too soon for the wildflowers, and a *lot* more people (we started at the east entrance this time, and for some reason, there wasn't a single empty parking spot in any of the lots, although we didn't have to wait too long for a couple to open up.

    We did go through the Bear Gulch cave which is longer than the Balconies Cave. I saw one bat in a crack in the cave. It's only open for a short period, so we were lucky to catch it.

    We did an out and back hike, since we got started a bit late, and were trying to get back reasonably early. Great rocks, nice weather. We went several miles up from the visitor center, heading up the Chalone Peak Trail after we got to Bear Gulch Reservoir.

  • Sunday, 15 Feb 2004: We did a nice loop at Windy Hill. We headed up Hamm's Gulch, with the clouds starting to build up after a beautiful morning. By the time we got to the top (after stopping for lunch at the rock outcrop near the top of the trail), we had some rain, and by the time we headed down Spring Mtn, there were real raindrops falling, although never very heavily, fortunately.

    The lighting was interesting, and we could even see a long curtain of rain drops falling from the clouds over the bay. A nice familiar hike for most of us, new to some.

  • Full moon, February, 2004: Mt Shasta Snowshowing, eating, and Cross-country Extravagana. Casey found a cosy little cabin (3 stories, sleeps around 12 (they say 8 in the ad), isolated (1.25 miles in on a dirt road, no other houses or cabins on the road), with it's own pond and stream. Oh, did I mention a wood-fired hot tub? Anyway, here's a selection of pictures, pretty much all uncaptioned, but hopefully telling the story on their own. There are also a couple of movies. I took most of them, with a few pictures by other adventurers.

    We drove up Thursday, settled in (and had the first of our fine dining experiences, thanks to the master chef, M'sieur Leedom), and then rented gear at the Fifth Season in the town of Mt Shasta. They have reasonable rates, and a good selection of equipment, but we had a number of equipment failures, so if you rent there, be sure to look over your gear very carefully before leaving the shop.

    Friday we went snowshowing in moderate snow (not much wind) from Bunny Flats. We were all pretty much snowshoe novices, so we didn't go very far (up towards Horse Camp), but we had fun with it. Saturday we went cross-country skiing at Castle Lake, which included the required climbing of hills and swooshing down again, watching the ice fisherman, and looking at the rather amazing views of Mt. Shasta and the crags (not to mention skiiers and snowboarders who walked way up the slopes and who were skiing down).

    Sunday we went snowshowing again, at the McCloud River falls, heading down first to the lower falls, then up along the river to the middle falls, and deciding to skip the upper falls, back to the car. A minor navigational mistake meant that some of us were expecting an easy stroll back to the trusty Subaru, but instead, was pretty much the same distance back as we had done outward bound (about 1 3/4 miles; not all that much to the experienced, but plenty for us!)

    Monday morning was cleanup, and heading back home. All agreed it was a fun experience, to be repeated soon and often.


2003

Hiking bookmarks, stuff in our area

Top of Page

I have updated and verified that all of these are valid, as of January 2009.

The Santa Cruz Mountains Trail Association links page and The Santa Cruz Mountains Trail Association home page with membership information, etc..
California State Parks (Dept of Parks and Rec; links to parks keep changing URLs)
California State Parks home page
County of San Mateo - Huddart Park
Bay Area Hiker: Home Page
Mount Tamalpais Interpretive Association
Hiking with CyberHikes - The California Hiking Trail Experience
(San Francisco) Bay Area Backcountry - Santa Cruz Mountains
Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District
Big Basin Redwoods State Park
Mount Tamalpais Interpretive Association
Castle Rock SP
(San Francisco) Bay Area Backcountry - Santa Cruz Mountains
Mid-peninsula Regional Open Space District
Bay Area Ridge Trail I've hiked most of this near my home; someday I'd like to hike the whole thing (it's getting closer to completion each year)
GORP - Great Outdoor Recreation Pages - Central California A good site for a lot of activities around the whole country, actually, although sometimes a bit arbitrary.

Hiking with kids links

BA Hiker Kid's hikes
Parent's Press parent groups, including hiking
Stroller Hikes, with calendar
Gurmeet's bay area hiking page

Biking bookmarks, stuff in our area

Top of Page

I have updated and verified that all of these are valid, as of January 2009.

Index of /~bushnell/bike/ride_stories
(Sacramento) Valley Spokesmen Bicycle Touring Club
SF Bay Area Climbs
Lucas Pereira's Cycling Gradiometer Page
KLIMB Bike Mapping Program
San Francisco Bay Area Bicycle Ride Catalog
Silicon Valley bicycle Coalition Bicycle Maps
Guide to rides on Chain Reaction website
Western Wheelers Bicycle Club: Southwest San Francisco Bay Area Climbs
Route Sheets for CA Centuries & Double Centuries
Conejo Valley Cyclists Links
South Bay Bike Ride Start Locations
Santa Cruz County Cycling Club (Santa Cruz Mountains Challenge)
Cascade Bicycle Club (Seattle to Portland ride, etc.)

Other activities in the area

We have several miles of beaches, both north and south of our house, and many others nearby. Many of them are easily accessible.

The ocean here is COLD, for those not familiar with our coast; it's about 53°F (11°C). It can often be chilly, if the wind comes up, which it often does (deep waters offshore, and upwelling keep it cold, but full of marine life).

You can rent kayaks and take kayaking lessons at Half Moon Bay Kayak Co, just up the road from our house. There are several more near Santa Cruz: Capitola Boat Rentals, Kayak Connection, and Venture Quest (the picture at the top is a friend of mine, and his daughter, which was fun to discover!).

We have some great reefs and bluffs along our coastline, and some can only be approached from the ocean. There's also the very calm Elkhorn Slough, with lots of birds, often seals, and sometimes even sea otters.

There's surfing too, of course (everything from beginning beach just north of us, to the big wave Maverick's break, with 4 local surf shops. The beaches are great to just wander (or lie on), too, of course. There are two campgrounds in the parks in Half Moon Bay, near the beach. This is the California State Parks Half Moon Bay site. There is camping at this beach. Unfortunately, there are no open fires allowed on our local beaches, so no evening bonfire parties, although there are some beaches not too far away that allow them. The Half Moon Bay Chamber of Commercee describes some of our beaches (and other things).

Article on Devil's Slide geology. Devil's Slide is one reason the coast is as undeveloped as it is, keeping us historically isolated from San Francisco. This KQED article shows some of the geology. We will have a tunnel bypassing it soon (the tunnel has broken through in October 2010, and all the digging completed in early 2011, but there's more than a year of work to finish it and open to traffic, so it won't be open until after our wedding).

There are quite a few wineries in our Santa Cruz mountains. A good place to get a feeling for the local wineries is the Back to Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers association page. And of course, it's only a couple of hours drive to the Napa and Sonoma wine regions.

There are lots of museums of all kinds nearby, everything from technology (Computer History Museum, The Tech), to science ( Exploratorium, which is wonderful for both kids and adults), the recently rebuilt California Academy of Sciences, Monterey Bay Aquarium), and of course, art (SF MOMA, Legion of Honor, and the de Young). There are lots of others of all kinds, too...

There's a fairly new page about Montara and surroundings here, if you want to get a feel for the overall area.