This was my first time at Henry Coe. I figured it would be nice but it ended up better than expected; color me impressed.
This is the main parking lot at Henry Coe Ranch HQ. Parking for 10-15? I was impressed by the services here. Super friendly/helpful rangers, a nice interpretive center with a hot stove and a focus on history.
There's also a spillover lot that would hold 8-10, depending on parking skills and vehicle size.
This road rounds the corner and passes through a gate where it turns to dirt. The walk was pleasant enough but the optional bridge that Matt described avoids this portion and lets you stay on single track for a bit.
Navigation is easy. Trails/roads are well marked and there isn't much need to focus on footing.
The Manzanita Group Site is large, with lots of tent space. This shot is just one section (Spot 5? I'm blanking). Much open space and at least 5 picnic tables.
Facilities; just around the bend.
The hike to Manzanita Camp was gently rolling 2.5 miles with lots of options (various combinations of dirt road and single track hiking trails). Continuing on to Poverty Flats is when things get rough. The trail is still well maintained but you lose a lot of elevation quickly and then gain it again on the other side. This seemed to be the pattern once beyond Manzanita. Unfortunately my pics of Poverty flats are mostly bad but here's a couple that don't do it justice. Poverty flat is a narrow valley (very pretty) with a creek running through, picnic tables, camp sites and another outhouse.
You don't say?
Climbing out of the Flat was long and steep but at least partially shaded. Lunch motivated us to keep climbing. We had originally planned to camp at Los Cruzeros but opted for extra mileage and ended up at Coit Lake (~11 miles from Park HQ).
Below is an assortment of pictures from our route to Coit Lake.
Coit Lake was our final destination. We arrived and dusk and were happy to be the only people in the area.
The picture is crooked; our camp was flat. Matt's tarp was a little bit too small, my Lunar Duo was way too big. Luckily both kept us dry.
Soup, bread and whiskey kept us warm until we crashed out at 9:00.
We woke to a dry morning after a night of intermittent rain and wind. Breakfast was oatmeal with coffee (me) and pop-tarts with hazelnut spread and tea(Matt). We hit the trail energized as the rain started back up. The walk back to the car was mostly wet but it made for a different hike than the way in.
The newts were out enjoying the damp roads.
iPhone + rainy day lighting = Turbo Poncho?
The hike was exactly what I wanted. Just enough mileage/elevation change to get some work in; just enough weather to keep me on my toes; and zero mishaps.
Thanks Matt for inviting me out and thanks Ken for picking a great location.