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Miles Barger
(milesbarger) - F - M

Locale: West Virginia
Suggestions for Bay Area in early April on 02/16/2012 15:44:35 MST Print View

Hi everyone,
I'm going to be in the Bay Area on business in early April and am considering hanging around for three or four days to do some backpacking.

Any suggestions for a ~45–60 mile trip?

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Suggestions for Bay Area in early April on 02/16/2012 15:50:21 MST Print View

Early April tends to be wildflower season.

I assume that you will have a car. You can get to some parks and trailheads without a car, but the car certainly opens more opportunities.

For that matter, how far are you willing to travel to get to a trailhead?

--B.G.--

Miles Barger
(milesbarger) - F - M

Locale: West Virginia
Re: Car and Distance on 02/16/2012 21:05:58 MST Print View

I'd be willing to rent a car and drive a good ways (up to 6 hrs) for a great trip.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Car and Distance on 02/16/2012 21:21:57 MST Print View

There are some state parks in the Santa Cruz Mountains (south of San Francisco, west and south of San Jose). There are parks north of San Francisco (Point Reyes and along the North Coast). The Ohlone Wilderness is east and north from San Jose.

For a drive of roughly 200 miles one-way, you would be in Yosemite. For early April in Yosemite, most of the better and longer trails will be snowed in, but a person could head along some parts of the North Rim of Yosemite Valley. The lower parts of Yosemite are better in April, like the Hetch Hetchy Region.

--B.G.--

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Suggestions for Bay Area in early April on 02/16/2012 21:31:20 MST Print View

90 minutes away and very easy (climatically) would be Point Reyes National Seashore. Most people do more overnight and 2-night trips there, but there's no reason you can't take 3-4 nights of supplies and NOT loop back. Just set up somewhere and dayhike to the beach, etc. Or move 4-7 miles each day from camp to camp. Be at sea level one day, on a ridge the next, in the burn area, or north to the Tule Elk reserve, etc.

April is usually far too early in the High Sierra (6,000-11,000 feet) but it has been a VERY low snowfall year so far so maybe that would be reasonsible. The "foothills" - 2,000-5,000 feet in elevation) are ideal at that time (too hot in summer). 2-3-4 hours away from the Bay Area.

Nico .
(NickB) - MLife

Locale: Los Padres National Forest
Big Sur on 02/17/2012 10:24:52 MST Print View

Big Sur might fit the bill... it's probably a good 3 hour drive south. There's a whole lot of trails that can be pieced together to form longer walks and in some cases loops.

The bigger challenge is terrain and general lack of maintained trails. Tends to be slow miles once you get off the popular well-used trails; expect to spend lots of time bushwhacking, route finding and avoiding Poison Oak and ticks. The terrains is pretty steep, so there's lots of steep sustained climbing followed by streep descents followed by yet more steep climbing.

Sounds awful (and at times it can be), but there's lots of really amazing areas down there amidst the redwoods and overlooking that rugged stretch of coast.

Maybe check out the ventanawild forum and ask around there for suggestions that could fit your desired mileage/number of hiking days.

I'd imagine (but have no personal experience) that there would be some great trips possible north of the Bay Area up in the coastal redwoods. I've always wanted to head up that way and explore.

Chris S
(csteutterman) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Big Sur on 02/17/2012 10:33:22 MST Print View

I haven't done much other than weekend trips around here in April, but have been looking into this trip, which might work for you: http://www.ventanawild.org/planning-trip/trip-suggestions.html

Scroll to the bottom for description of the Double Cone Trail, particularly the last paragraph. Maybe others that are more familiar with the area can chime in with more details than provided on that website.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Re: Re: Car and Distance on 02/17/2012 10:45:55 MST Print View

+1 on Bob's suggestion:

"The Ohlone Wilderness is east and north from San Jose."

30-40 minutes from Livermore on the east or Fremont on the west.

Going between Sunol Regional Park and Del Valle Regional Park is an amazingly remote stretch of wilderness contigous with ranch land and water district land with waterfalls, bald eagles and expansive (albeit moderate elevation) views. Nice time of year for it.

You need a permit for it, but when I last did it, the permit was cheap and easy. google "east bay regional park district ohlone wilderness permit". I think I sent the application to the HQ on Skyline Blvd in Oakland.

Miles Barger
(milesbarger) - F - M

Locale: West Virginia
Thanks everyone on 03/01/2012 20:04:00 MST Print View

I very much appreciate all of your suggestions.

Since I'm already going to be in Point Reyes and will be creating the new NPS brochure map for the park, I've decided to take it easy and explore the south side of the park. Night one at Glen Camp, night two at Sky Camp, with plenty of wandering in between.

Harald Hope
(hhope)

Locale: East Bay
glen camp on 03/05/2012 16:50:55 MST Print View

At glen camp, make sure to get one of the sites hat is NOT in the center, ie, as far from the bathroom building as you can get, I think that's spots 5 6 7 8, those are much nicer.

The rangers have maps of the spots, and all you have to do is ask to be as far from the center as you can get for any of those sites in Point Reyes.

Point Reyes is nice, despite being a bit over impacted, warning, the soil in the campgrounds is very hard and rocky, not a good place for thick aluminum stakes.

Also be aware, poison oak is incredibly bad in point reyes, some of the smaller trails leading to the beach are literal gauntlets of poison oak. Most of the regular trails are so wide it's not an issue at all however.