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Spring Bay Area trip
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Robert Blean
(blean) - MLife

Locale: San Jose -- too far from Sierras
Spring Bay Area trip on 01/30/2009 23:19:08 MST Print View

Would anyone be interested in a spring flowers Bay Area backpacking trip, scheduled to avoid conflicting with the Rancheria trip. It would seem to me that the scheduling criteria are:

* Avoiding Ken's proposed Rancheria trip

* Early enough to avoid the summer heat (we can schedule a summer swimming backpack later on if we want to)

* Late enough to see a good wildflower display

* I assume that a Sat / Sun trip is best for most people. I could be talked into a longer trip if that is what people want to do.

It seems to me that, provided it does not conflict with the Rancheria trip, a late April weekend would be a good time to go. Earlier could work, but I would expect late April to have better flowers. (Of course, a lot depends on the year and its weather.)
=====

The next question is where to go. I propose Henry Coe park, simply because it is the largest wild area right around here.

When I brought up the idea of Coe in the other thread, Ken replied "Henry Coe??? Ohhh no. Man that place can get hot and those trails are sooo up and down." Well, there are answers to those points.

Hot -- That's why I would like to go in the Spring -- it does get pretty hot there in the summer, but Spring is OK. bahiker.com says "Spring is the peak season to visit. If you like colorful landscapes, wildflowers are bountiful in late winter and spring" and "Spring's fresh green grass is augmented by lots of wildflowers, including great patches of baby blue-eyes, creamcups, fiddlenecks, popcorn flowers, Johnny-jump-ups sprawl through the grass on a hill just off Hunting Hollow Roadredmaids, johnny-jump-up, and johnnytuck." and "On my visit in late winter, there were lots of johnny-jump-ups, the first blue-eyed grasses of the year, and the tail end of the shooting stars' bloom."

Here's a quote from a guy at yelp.com, which gives March temperatures he encountered -- they sound pretty pleasant to me. "Just got back from a four day solo backpacking trip through the park. March is definitely a great time to visit Henry Coe. The weather ranged from 30-40 at night and the day-time temperatures were in the high 60s and low 70s. The hillsides were lush with green grass and an abundant amount of wild flowers."

A lot of up and down -- my first reaction is to be flippant and reply that is one reason we go ultralight -- to go places that are just too hard to do heavyweight.

More seriously, though, it all depends on where you go. We could avoid the steepest, and should not be too bad. Furthermore, although I have never been in the southern entrances (e.g. Hunting Hollow), hiking from there is reputedly a lot less of the steep up-and-down. (There are also rumors that it is not safe to leave your car at that trailhead overnight.) FWIW: the wildflower descriptions I C&P'd above are from a description of a Hunting Hollow hike.

=====

By way of example, I just quickly traced out a trip to Mississippi Lake from the main entrance. It does have one steep up in it; if we are interested, we can try for an alternate route; in the meantime, this will serve as an example. According to TOPO! it is 11 miles and just over 2400' of total ascent. Coit Lake is 11.5 miles and 2100 feet climing. (By comparison, NG says that the Rancheria trip is 6 miles and 2500' of total ascent.)

I am not pushing Mississippi Lake or Coit Lake -- they are just quick examples that popped to mind.

-- Bob

cary bertoncini
(cbert) - F

Locale: N. California
henry coe on 01/30/2009 23:55:42 MST Print View

i'll go - i'm the fattest and most outta shape on here & i'll go

but it's not just one up there to anywhere - it's very hilly and very steep: i've never been anywhere in the sierras consistently steeper, including shepherd's pass. most of the "trails" in coe are former ranch jeep trails - they go straight up in a lot of places (i think i scratched my nose leaning forward a couple times)

but

the flowers are AMAZING in early spring

MARCH is ideal if you ask me

and march/april it's not too hot

Robert Blean
(blean) - MLife

Locale: San Jose -- too far from Sierras
Advice on where to go? on 01/31/2009 00:05:27 MST Print View

What advice do you have on where to go?

I have only been there a little, and that was long enough ago I do not remember it clearly.

cary bertoncini
(cbert) - F

Locale: N. California
where to go? on 01/31/2009 02:11:43 MST Print View

do you mean at Coe? I like your south entry idea - maybe a trail that stays inside the canyon instead of up and down.

i've only been there once & went from main (west) entrance to i think missouri lake and back - on that trip, i was tired after about 6 miles and anything past 8 was rough. based on that trip, i'd almost say the miles there were worth double any sierra miles i've done except for shepherd pass.

i don't think i'd be up for more than about 8 in a day there, more like 5 or 6 would be comfortable, but i'm in horrible shape right now

Nate Meinzer
(Rezniem) - F

Locale: San Francisco
Coe on 01/31/2009 09:30:48 MST Print View

I'd be down. Don't mind the challenge.

Anthony Weston
(anthonyweston) - MLife

Locale: Southern CA
mississippi on 01/31/2009 11:51:11 MST Print View

I'd be interested. Henry Coe is beautiful in the Spring.
In 2007 we went out to the Rooster Comb and passed Mississipi lake around noon. These photo's were taken in May. I'd love to go back in March.Mississippi lake, it's a big lake this is just one small covexxxmustang PondxxxParadise Pond
Paradise Pond was beyond Henry Coe in Orestimba. Lots of Mountain lions, pigs, wild turkeys and snakes.

Robert Blean
(blean) - MLife

Locale: San Jose -- too far from Sierras
Dates & Location on 02/01/2009 00:50:00 MST Print View

Dates -- It sounds to me as if people are thinking of Coe late March, and Rancheria in April. Rancheria dates -- Cary is the most specific -- he says 4th is best, 11th 2nd best, and 18th is out. What about the weekend of the 25th April? That would be a month after a late March Coe trip.

Location -- I tried to think of what might work for various folks. Anthony -- much as I liked your photos, something on the scale of Roostercomb from Park HQ seems like a bit too much for this group. Someone mentioned the South end; one possibility from there would be Hunting Hollow to Kelly Lake.

Alternatives are Coit Lake (not a lot longer) and Pacheco Falls (noticeably longer, because of a considerable descent to the falls, and then climb back up the next day). According to Lee Dittman (I think) Coit Lake has the best swimming in the park :)

Here's the trip info so you can look at your map, too:

Day #1: to Kelly Lake via Hunting Hollow Rd, Lyman Wilson Ridge Tr, Bowl Tr, Wagon Rd,and Kelly Lake Tr is 9.40 mi +2633 -1629 net +1066.

Day #2: from Kelly Lake via Kelly Lake Tr, Wasno Rd, Dexter Tr, Grizzly Gulch Tr, Serpentine Tr, Steer Ridge Rd, Middle Steer Ridge Tr, and Hunting Hollow Rd is 7.48 mi, +1508' -2516' net -1008.

All profile information from NG TOPO! Note that coming back has similar relief to going out, in a couple less miles -- fortunately going net down. I tried to avoid the steepest stuff on the way out.

Cary, you have expressed concern. Does a trip such as I have just outlined seem doable to you? It is somewhat fewer miles than Mississippi Lake (which is about 22 mi round trip).

Comments from anyone? Better ideas for the trip?

-- Bob

Edited by blean on 02/01/2009 00:57:02 MST.

cary bertoncini
(cbert) - F

Locale: N. California
Coe trip on 02/03/2009 13:59:10 MST Print View

sorry, i didn't see this post until i just got your PM.

if i'm having a good week, it sounds like i could do it. if i'm having a bad week, i'd probably be a late scratch. i'll plan on going at this point. i guess i could always wander into camp right about the time everyone else has my dinner ready for me, right?

Robert Blean
(blean) - MLife

Locale: San Jose -- too far from Sierras
Re: Coe trip on 02/03/2009 17:04:56 MST Print View

I'm glad that this sounds like something you can do. If you have a better suggested destination, or a better suggestion for a route to / from this one, please speak up.

We can make a point of getting an early start. We can hike in to the base of the Lyman Willson Ridge Trail Friday evening. It is just far enough to work with the Park's restriction on camping within 1/2 mile of the trailhead. Should be fine, since it will be DST by then.

Here's a link with pictures of the ponds along the way (Rodeo Pond, Wasno Pond) http://www.angelfire.com/80s/sixmhz/HCP12Feb05.html

We'll see just how challenging this is for me, too ... I am overweight and out of shape, and working on fixing that. I am looking forward to the trip.

One good thing about this route -- On the way in, the steepest and most sustained uphill comes at the start of the day. We'll have to check with the park rangers, but Willson Camp is less than 1.5 miles past the main climbing, and has a year-around spring, so we should not have to carry excessive water up the initial climb.

Edited by blean on 02/12/2009 21:26:17 MST.

Robert Blean
(blean) - MLife

Locale: San Jose -- too far from Sierras
TOPO! route available on 02/03/2009 17:23:11 MST Print View

If anyone has NG TOPO! and wants to see my .tpo file of the proposed route, let me know. I'll be happy to share it.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Spring Bay Area trip on 02/03/2009 19:30:29 MST Print View

Bob I would be down for going too. Please count me in! Oh and thank you for being nice enough to not let this coincide with the Rancheria Falls trip, that was nice of you!

Robert Blean
(blean) - MLife

Locale: San Jose -- too far from Sierras
Spring Bay Area trip on 02/05/2009 18:01:22 MST Print View

Ken -- you are welcome -- I just figured / hoped that at least some people would want to go on both trips.

Everyone -- now that the Rancheria trip is set for April 18-19, its time to set the date for the Coe trip. I just talked to the office at Coe, and there are no reservations so no issue there. He thought we might encounter other folks at Kelly Lake, but not enough to be a problem.

Early flowers are coming out now; he was enthusiastic about the end of March, give or take, for our trip.

Just so we have a specific date to discuss, how about the last weekend in March (Mar 28-29)? I am flexible, so if that date is a problem, suggest a better one. (The only things I know of to avoid are the Rancheria trip, and close enough to it that people will not want to go on both.)

-- Bob

cary bertoncini
(cbert) - F

Locale: N. California
coe end of march on 02/07/2009 15:37:28 MST Print View

should work for me as far as work schedules go

hopefully health stays on the upswing

Robert Blean
(blean) - MLife

Locale: San Jose -- too far from Sierras
Re: coe end of march on 02/07/2009 16:11:17 MST Print View

Cary,

I hope your health is no problem, too. I have been seeing some of your postings.

I there anything we can do to make the trip work as well as possible for you? Such as get a nice early start so that there is no need to try to go vary fast?

-- Bob

cary bertoncini
(cbert) - F

Locale: N. California
coe trip on 02/09/2009 18:16:11 MST Print View

Hi Bob,

thanks for thinking about me. if i go, i should be okay - i don't know if i can even get there early enough to get a truly early start ;). if i can head out friday evening, i will, but i have a lot of home responsibilities & my wife has to either work or attend class on saturdays, so i probably will have to take care of the (13) cats' litter, meals & medications before leaving saturday morning. more than likely, i'll be starting around noon - but i don't mind hiking my own hike behind everyone else, if that's what happens. one of the cats is also elderly & in kidney failure, so he could live another year, or any day or week now, we may have to decide between some (expensive) urgent care or the long sleep for him - i'm just considering all factors.

i am working all 3 of my jobs now (spring gets busy) - so far i'm feeling pretty good & usually don't start having any major issues until things heat up in may and/or allergies kick in april or may.

9 miles i think you said - i think i'll be okay, even starting around noon. i can go slow and still get there by 6 (sunset) at the very latest - most likely it would be much sooner. i pretty much kept up at pt. reyes - it was not as hilly and not as far and i was tired & sore after, but it's not going to be a terrible stretch more either.

Robert Blean
(blean) - MLife

Locale: San Jose -- too far from Sierras
Coe trip on 02/09/2009 18:42:41 MST Print View

There is no (legal) camping at the Hunting Hollow entrance, or within 1/2 mile of it.

For those that can arrive Friday, I was thinking of camping Fri night in the flat area just before the base of the Lyman Wilson Ridge trail. That would be near water, and would be a bit over 0.6 miles in -- enough to be legal & short enough to not be big deal to walk in to.

Does that sound good to people?

-- Bob

Nate Meinzer
(Rezniem) - F

Locale: San Francisco
Coe on 02/09/2009 20:14:05 MST Print View

Bob,

I'm totally flexible, so good with whatever. Probably going to try to get out to Orestimba/Rooster's comb and then meet up with y'all on the way back, so whatever is fine with me. Luckily, no work obligations at the moment until April, so I'm fine with whatever/whenever.

Nate Meinzer
(Rezniem) - F

Locale: San Francisco
Coe Trip on 02/11/2009 23:56:44 MST Print View

Bob,

Where are you finding the elevation information? I'm trying to find the easiest way to get to Rooster's Comb, but the net isn't being helpful. Topo!?

Tony Wong
(Valshar) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Coe Trip on 02/12/2009 12:26:40 MST Print View

Nate,

When a date is settled on, please post it up here.

It is very doubtful that I can make it (visiting wife's family in Singapore at the end of March & daughter's BDay in the middle), but depending on the date, I can see if I can swing it.

Thanks.

-Tony

Robert Blean
(blean) - MLife

Locale: San Jose -- too far from Sierras
Re: Coe Trip on 02/12/2009 21:04:37 MST Print View

"Where are you finding the elevation information? I'm trying to find the easiest way to get to Rooster's Comb, but the net isn't being helpful. Topo!?"

Yes, I am using TOPO! California -- which is USGS 1:24,000 maps. (Other scales also, but this is the most detailed).

My total ascent figures come from drawing a trip and using their profile function.

-- Bob

Edited by blean on 02/12/2009 21:22:25 MST.