California Trails

Backpacking with Kids

Backpacking with Kids

Getting your monsters into the woods Words and photos by Tim Hauserman Photo: Tim Hauserman These days, kids spend their days glued to electronic devices, or being shuttled from one scheduled and structured activity to the next. In my humble opinion these kids need to get into the woods. Just to play. And while one day of nature play is a great start, several days on a backpack trip is much better, because it gives children the chance to actually deprogram and discover the joys of nature. I started backpacking with my daughters when they were seven, and now that they are 24 and 21, I still look back at our annual three day trips as the best thing I ever did with them. Why? Because it is the time they can escape from human created distractions and experience the joys of imagination, while also learning how to take...
Amelia Earhart Peak

Amelia Earhart Peak

A moderate Tuolumne climb — By Matt Johanson Area: Tuolumne Meadows Distance: 17 miles round trip Difficulty: Class 3; moderate to strenuous Parking and Trailhead: Tuolumne Meadows Wilderness Center, 8,680 feet Summit Elevation: 11,974 feet Best Season: June through October Permits: None needed for day use but required for overnight travel; visit Tuolumne Meadows Wilderness Center Overview: This adventure starts on the John Muir Trail through Lyell Canyon. The trip becomes more challenging where hikers go off-trail to traverse the west ridge of Potter Point, gradually climbing to the notch beneath Amelia Earhart Peak. There is no maintained or visible trail for the final two miles where the ascent requires scrambling and route-finding skills but the climb is fairly straightforward. Climbing the climb: Climb high into the mountain air at Amelia Earhart Peak but navigate carefully to avoid disappearing like the famed aviator. At the Tuolumne Meadows Wilderness Center, pick...
Life is a Thru Hike

Life is a Thru Hike

Otter at the southern terminus. A thru hiking veteran describes his 2013 PCT odyssey from Mexico to Canada By Stephen Olshansky Hi, you can call me Otter, that’s my trail name. Everyone gets one when they become a thru hiker, going for the really big distances. I have been a long distance hiker for over 40 years. This season, the 2660-mile Pacific Crest Trail is my goal. It will take me anywhere from 90 to 180 days. The perfect place to begin my epic journey was the official Pacific Crest Trail gathering the weekend of April 26th-28th. This is the start of the trail for most Northern bound hikers or “nobos” as they are called. The gathering is held at Lake Moreno County Park in Campo, California. Lake Moreno Park is located 20 Trail miles from the southern terminus of the PCT at the Mexican border. Editor’s Note: This...
Tenaya

Tenaya

The peak, the canyon, the lake By Leonie Sherman The author cruising slab, still in approach shoes. Photo: Steve Moyles Sometimes you need more than vague plans to galvanize your Tuolumne weekend, lest you find yourself huddled in a parking lot talking more than you climb. For a three-day weekend, my partner and I chose a simple focal point: Tenaya. It’s a peak, it’s a canyon, it’s a lake. We set out to do it up, down and sideways. UP: The Peak An apron of steepening slab rises almost directly out of the southern shore of Lake Tenaya. The summit is not quite visible to the thousands of tourists who drive the Tioga Road each year. This is Tenaya Peak, a moderate technical climb and a fine place to put your slab skills and sticky rubber to the test. The peak figures at around 14 pitches of climbing. A...
California’s Grand Canyon

California’s Grand Canyon

A hike through the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne captures the essence and history of big Yosemite water Words by Leonie Sherman • Photos by Bill Crum A placid stretch of river beyond the roar of California Falls. Photo: Bill Crum Since I live on the coast and love the mountains, my summer officially begins when the park service opens the Tioga Road. And there is no finer way to celebrate this seasonal event than a hike through California’s own Grand Canyon. The section of the Tuolumne River starting immediately below Tuolumne Meadows and ending just shy of Hetch Hetchy is known as the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne. The riverbed forms a dramatic staircase through much of thirty-three miles, resulting in fantastic plumes and cascades of ferocious whitewater. Some call this an extreme hike. It’s true that if you slip and dislocate your shoulder, you’d better be prepared...
California Trails

California Trails

Mt. Tamalpais Stinson Beach – Pantoll Loop Hike Story and Photos by Haven Livingston View of Stinson Beach from the Dipsea Trail. Choosing a day hike from the myriad options in Marin County can be a serious challenge. One route that seems to make most local’s top pick list is the Matt Davis-Steep Ravine-Dipsea Loop from Stinson Beach. It’s great any time of year, you just have to pick the right day. With the coastal climate of Central California you might get drizzled on in June and have a sunny sweat fest in January. Each season serves up its own bonus from spring wildflowers to winter waterfalls. Starting the 7.3-mile hiking only trail at Stinson beach has the advantage of ending with a downhill, but starting at the Pantoll Ranger station is also an option. Either way you’ll be going downhill one way and up the other. From the...
California Trails

California Trails

Elkhorn Slough Words by Haven Livingston Lupines along trail with view of the slough. Photo: Paul Zaretsky By mileage measures the trails are short, but a hike at Elkhorn Slough is deceptively long. Exploring the second largest tract of tidal salt marsh in California (the first is San Francisco Bay)will take time. Your pace may slow to the rhythm of bat rays feeding in the shallows, or you might even come to a complete stop as you watch statue still egrets hunting for their next meal. Located at the midpoint of the Monterey Bay between Santa Cruz and Monterey, Elkhorn Slough is the estuarine outlet of a 30,292 acre watershed. It’s where freshwater from Carneros Creek and other seasonal flows dance with Pacific seawatein a constant tidal flux. Like all interfacesof disparate habitats, this ecotone is both home and hotel to a huge variety of terrestrial and aquatic wildlife....
California Trails

California Trails

Three Great South Bay Trails By Derrick Peterman Almaden, Quicksilver County Park. Photo courtesy of Santa Clara County Parks One of the best things about living in the Bay Area is how easy it is to get away from it all. Here are three recommended trails in South Bay parks that offer a great getaway for folks in Silicon Valley. Visitors enjoy running, biking, horseback riding, or just plain walking on these beautiful trails. Almaden Quicksilver County Park (San Jose, CA) San Jose’s first high tech industry was mercury mining to support the gold extraction east of Sacramento in California’s Gold Rush days. You’ll find remnants of this history in Almaden Quicksilver County Park, whether it is mining camp ruins, an old smelting furnace, or two contaminated reservoirs at the edge of the park. If you’re not there for a history lesson, there are plenty of physical challenges in...
California Trails

California Trails

The Forest of Nisene Marks By Haven Livingston Photo: Cathy Claesson In the heart of Santa Cruz County, the Forest of Nisene Marks State Park provides a year-round destination for hikers, bikers, runners and those seeking solace under big trees. Summertime is an especially good time for a visit to this semi-wilderness escape. It’s common to find both cooling coastal fog at the park’s sea-level entrance and to bathe under brilliant summer sun as trails rise toward the 2,600 feet peaks of the steep coastal mountains. Located in the town of Aptos, Nisene Marks has over 40 miles of trails and fire roads just a stone’s throw from Santa Cruz County beaches, restaurants and cafés. The rugged landscape, dominated by redwood and Douglas fir forest, is named after Nisene Marks, a nature-loving woman whose family purchased the property from lumber companies and, failing to find oil, turned it over to...
X
- Enter Your Location -
- or -