Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Estero Trail Hike (9/27) Preview

This week we return to Point Reyes National Seashore for the last time on a College of Marin scheduled hike in 2015.

This is not a loop hike, but there are marvelous views!

(Click here for a brief recap of our July 13, 2010 hike. Here's the album of photos taken during our past hikes in this area.).

Directions to trailhead:

Turn right at Olema and make an immediate left onto Bear Valley Road. (Use the restrooms at the park's Visitor Center in Bear Valley if you do not want to wait until you reach those at the trailhead). Continue until you pick up Sir Francis Drake again.

Go through Inverness and head uphill.

When you reach the turn off to the right onto Pierce Point Road, bear to the left and continue on Sir France Drake toward Chimney Rock and the Lighthouse.  Pass Mt. Vision Road on your left, and then in one mile turn left onto the road to Estero Trail.

Take this road to the parking lot at the trailhead. Click here for a Google Maps map that shows the parking lot. Click on the teardrop icon to get driving time and directions from your location.

Time: 1 hour from College of Marin. Carpoolers can meet at St. Rita's at 8:55 am.  Outhouse at the trailhead. (Pull into the Bear Valley Visitors Center area if you need an earlier restroom stop.)

Weather forecast: As of Wednesday, September 21st, the weather forecast for the hike was
sunny, with a high near 64.  (Click here for an updated forecast.)

More on this hike: "Hike G11 Estero - Drakes Head Trails" in the Martins' book, Hiking Marin, shows where we'll be hiking, although not necessarily our exact route.

Two hikes ("Estero Trail to Sunset Beach" and "Estero Trail to Drakes Head" in Tracy Salcedo-Chourre's book, Exploring Point Reyes National Seashore and Golden Gate National Recreation Area also cover this area).

The trails are also shown on the park's North District Hiking Trails map.

This Google Earth image gives a bird's eye view of this part of the park with the route we'll follow and the trail length and profile information. (Click on the photo to open a larger image in your Web browser).

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Mountain Home Inn to Muir Woods Hike (9/20) Preview

Ladybug Traffic Jam We continue the 2015 Fall 1 hiking series with a trip down into one of Marin's federal parks.

Here's Wendy's description of this week's hike:  "Today we’ll hike down to Muir Woods and learn how it became a National Monument. Lunch at Camp Eastwood where you’ll hear the fascinating life story of intrepid botanist Alice Eastwood."

(Click here for a recap of our September 2008 hike. There is an online album of photos from our past hikes here.)

Directions to trailhead: Take the Stinson Beach/Highway 1 exit off Highway 101. Go west through Tam Valley and up onto the ridge. Turn right onto Panoramic Highway and follow signs to Mt. Tamalpais. Drive about 4 miles.

When you reach Mountain Home Inn on your right, park in the parking lot across the road on your left.

45 minutes from College of Marin.

Carpoolers can meet at the Greenbrae Park & Ride lot at 9:00 am.

Click here for a Google Maps map showing the Mountain Home Inn. Click on the teardrop icon for directions and driving time from your location.

Outhouse at trailhead and restrooms in Muir Woods and at lunch.

Weather Forecast: As of Tuesday, September 13th, the National Weather Service forecast for the day of the hike was patchy fog, otherwise, mostly sunny, with a high near 72.. (Click here for an updated forecast).

More On This Hike: Hike "B6 – Muir Woods – TCC – Dipsea Trails" and hike "B7 – Panoramic – Lost – Sierra Trails" in the Martin's book, Hiking Marin, shows the area where we'll be hiking, but our route will not cover all of the trails taken on either of those hikes.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Point Reyes: Then and Now

We spend so much time meandering in Point Reyes National Seashore each year that we tend to take its existence in our "backyard" for granted.

But this story in last month's Marin Magazine reminds us that turning the land around Point Reyes into a national seashore wasn't without controversy, and challenges over preserving and maintaining the park continue to the present day and probably will well into the future.

What A Difference A Year Makes!

As this video shows, last year's hike to the Pioneer Tree in Samuel P. Taylor State Park involved getting over an almost bootcamp-like "obstacle course" barrier: A large redwood tree that had fallen across the trail.

(Click here if the YouTube player does not display)

But thankfully during the last twelve months the park removed so much of the tree, including the part blocking the trail, that we weren't positive that we even saw the remaining chunk as we hiked past it.