Sunday, June 29, 2008

Misty mountain hike (Point Reyes)

Point Reyes - the best hike I've done so far. It was hard to believe that summer had already started. We spent most of the first half of the hike 12-12.5 mile hike from Five Brooks Trailhead to Alamere Falls, in mist so thick that it was precipitating as big droplets in some places. It was a magical feeling to hike alongside moss covered trees, spring flowers and a beautiful water fall into the ocean at one end of the hike.

The waterfall (Alamere) is situated at the end of a hard to reach trail. Be sure to wear a full sleeve shirt and trousers. You can also climb down the slippery cliff face to the beach with the final level of the falls, if you are up to it - probably one of the most secluded beaches on the West coast.

Be sure to carry a map with you as the directions/signs are a little confusing (but correct) at many places. Stewart trail (the one we took for the most part) crisscrosses many other trails. You will find this one and the Ridge trail meeting at many places, so much so that you can end up hiking in circles.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Hiking in Big Basin Redwoods Park

Summer solstice. 11 mile hike. Insufficient drinking water. can imagine how it must've been. This was my first "long" hike. I've been doing 4-5 mile hikes. This was a little unplanned. That's why we ran out of water midway. Ouch! Not a good thing but it wasn't as bad as it sounds.

The highlight was Berry Creek Falls (pic below) which was exactly midway. A refreshing stop considering that the trail took us up-down..up-down..Sore feet and knees were inevitable at the end of the day. All in all, I'm glad I did this trail (Skyline-to-the-Sea -> Berry Creek -> Sunset). The best part was Kelly Creek that flows along the Skyline trail. At some points there are small rocks on which you can relax and dip your feet in the cool water.

Gopalaswamy Hills

Gopalaswamy Hills, originally uploaded by SRJP.

Pic taken by my dad - Dr Jayaprakash, Bangalore

Monday, June 16, 2008

Sam MacDonald County Park

There are a few decent trails here. I did the Towne Trail - Heritage Grove Trail loop. It must've been a 4+ mile hike.

The Towne Trail is wide enough for horses. There is also a horse camp on the hills. Naturally, you'll find the whole trail to be littered with manure. A little too much, I thought. I found myself dodging piles of .... This trail is up on the hills, covered with grass. A welcome change compared to dark forest floors with Redwoods towering over you. At this time of the year - the tall grass looked like fields of gold.

Towne Trail leads to Heritage Grove Trail, which you can take to get back to the Parking Lot/Ranger Station. This half of the trail is mostly downhill, in the shade and thankfully, horses are not allowed.

Over all - it was quite good, considering there were just 4-5 people I during the entire hike. The drive up to the park on CA 84 was good also pretty good.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Woodpecker & chick

wood pecker & chick, originally uploaded by SRJP.

Pic taken by my dad - Dr Jayaprakash, Bangalore

Brown fishing owl

Brown fishing owl, originally uploaded by SRJP.

Pic taken by my dad - Dr Jayaprakash, Bangalore

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Muir Woods and Muir Beach

If you are planning to do a serious hike and get away from it all - avoid Muir Woods park. It's very crowded at this time of the year. It's more like a showcase for Redwoods and naturally, it's very tame - meaning fit for families with kids, to take to a park on Sundays.

Well, anyway, we continued further along - quickly crossing the boardwalk and onto Fern Creek Trail, then Lost Trail and back to the Visitor Center via Ocean View Trail. The Trail guides suggest that you do this the other way round - i.e starting from Ocean View. But I found it more rewarding to climb up Fern Creek Trail than down. It's quite steep.

Since I was in that area, I thought of driving down to Muir Beach. It's not worth spending time at the small beach. But don't miss the Coastal Trail that starts from the Beach entrance. Again, it's quite steep but you keep climbing until the edge, where you finally get a glimpse of SF City in the distance.

Muir beach (SF in the backdrop)

Muir beach

Muir beach, originally uploaded by ashwin.jayaprakash.