December 30, 2009

January Events

Here are a few things going on in January

1/9 Winter Trails Day at Kirkwood, free snowshoe demo event
1/10 California 10 in Stockton, 10miler and 10k
1/13 EBRPD's Trail Challenge Begins
1/30 The Dam Run in Orinda, 5k and 10k races

REI Free Clinics (all at 7pm)

Discover Yosemite in Winter
1/4 Saratoga
1/7 Brentwood

Snowshoeing 101
1/12 Concord
1/13 San Carlos
1/14 Mountain View
1/25 Saratoga
1/26 Berkeley

Winter Backcountry Travel-Safety & Survival Tips
1/19 Berkeley
1/21 Mountain View

December 19, 2009

Diablo Foothills Hike

For our final hike of the year we headed to Diablo Foothills Regional Park in Walnut Creek. The parks 1,060 acres sit between Mt Diablo and the Shell Ridge Open Space. The park has two staging areas, Livorna Road on the south, and Castle Rock road on the north side. We went to the Castle Rock Trailhead. We started on the Castle Rock Trail right across the road from the parking lot. The morning fog had not yet lifted and the trail was very muddy. Early on there was a steep climb but it was short lived. We made a left onto Shell Ridge Loop Trail. Along this section the fog was so thick we barely noticed the cows grazing only a few feet away. We continued on Shell Ridge Trail and turned right onto Stage Road Trail. Next was a right onto Buckeye Ravine Trail, which was a narrow .4 mile single track and all uphill. We then turned left onto Briones to Mt Diablo Trail. This trail leads straight to a gate which marks the border between Diablo Foothills and Mt Diablo State Park. We crossed through the gate where you get your view of China Wall, a long rock outcropping. We hiked over to the wall itself near a pond and this would be our turn around point. We retraced our steps back on the Briones to Mt. Diablo Trail. After passing Buckeye Ravine Trail we made a right on an unnamed trail to take us back to Shell Ridge Loop Trail. Making a left on Castle Rock Trail led us through Castle Rock Regional Recreation Area before ending at our car. Castle Rock Regional Recreation Area has group picnic areas, basketball courts, softball fields and a swimming pool. Our hike totaled 6 miles with not much elevation change. It was a nice hike to do in cool weather since most of it was exposed. We passed several mountain bikers along the trails so we may go back and ride some time.

EBRPD Diablo Foothills Website

December 5, 2009

Henry Coe Hiking

We decided to take advantage of the dry weather that is rare at this time of year and headed out for a hike to Henry Coe State Park. We've been meaning to do a hike at this park for some time and a cool December day seemed like a good time to do it. We headed to the Headquarters Entrance of the park which is a fairly straightforward 30 minute drive from Highway 101 with the last 10 miles through a narrow winding road. Once there we headed to the Visitor's Center to pay our fee and pick up our trail map. After gearing up and bundling up we made our way up the road to Monument Trail Head. After climbing 400 feet we made a left at Hobbs Road, a wide fire road. We descended down about 600 feet and then took a junction to Frog Lake. We couldn't see or hear any frogs and the smell and several dead fish in the water kept us moving. We retraced our steps until we reached Flat Frog Trail and headed down the narrow path. We hit a few patches of fog and some rare areas of sunlight on this fairly flat trail. We caught some great views of the surrounding valleys when the fog allowed and there are a few areas with benches to rest and enjoy the view. We heard several birds and saw a few groups of quail scurrying across the path. Corral Trail led us back to the parking lot and our warm car. Although Frog Lake was a little disappointing, it was an enjoyable 4.5 mile hike. Henry Coe is a very large park, with several entrances. There is a huge amount of hiking and backpacking opportunities available to visitors. There is also a campground at the headquarters that has 20 drive-in sites that can be reserved.

December 1, 2009

December Events

Here are a few of the things going on this month.

REI Free Clinics (all at 7pm)
Snowshoeing 101
12/2 Sacramento
12/8 San Carlos, Saratoga, Mountain View
12/9 Concord, Brentwood, San Francisco
Snowcamping 101
12/2 Concord, San Francisco
12/7 Saratoga
12/8 Berkeley
12/10 Brentwood

REI Used Gear Sales (all at 10am)
12/5 Brentwood, San Carlos, Saratoga, Mountain View, San Francisco
12/12 Berkeley