Sierra Club Ventana Chapter Hikes and Outings for Monterey/Carmel and Santa Cruz
March and April 2017
Thursday, March 2
Hike: Del Monte Forest
Our 4-5 mile loop with about 500 feet elevation gain at a moderate pace takes us along quiet forest trails that are pretty even in fog. Bring water and a snack. Meet at the parking area along highway 68 at the Haul Road between Skyline Forest and Forest Hill at 9:30 am. Heavy rain cancels. Please let me know if you are coming. Leader: Gisela Nobinger, 408-406-9650,
Sunday, March 5
Walk: Mission Trails
This walk is 2-3 miles and 300' elev. gain. We start at the bottom of the canyon on Rio Road across from the Carmel Mission. We will make an elongated loop with possibly some city streets as part of the route. If there is no fog, there is a nice view of the Mission dome. We will make stops at the Flanders Mansion and its neighboring Lester Rowntree Native Plant Garden and the Outdoor Forest Theater. Meet at 9:30 am at the trailhead. Rain cancels. Call me to let me know you are coming. Leader: Martha Saylor, 831-372-9215.
Tuesday, March 7
Senior Saunter: UCSC Arboretum and Farm
Three mile educational, leisurely tour of gardens and farm. Meet before 9:30 am at Sears on 41st Ave. or by 9:50 am at the Arboretum on Empire Grade Rd. Bring lunch, water, $2 carpool. Rain cancels. Leaders: Irene Lennox, 831-457-2690; Brooke Ewoldsen, 831-475-6188.
Saturday, March 11
Hike: Gazos Beach Shuttle Walk
We'll start at the parking lot above the Gazos Creek beach and walk south along the shore about 5 miles to the parking lot south of Whitehouse Canyon Road on Hway 1. It will be a shuttle walk. Bring layers for wind as well as what you expect to need for warmth. Meet at the Santa Cruz Govt. Center at 9:30 am to carpool. Call for more information. Leader: Nick Wyckoff, 831-462-3101.
Saturday, March 11
Hike: Pinnacles National Park
The hike starts from the Chaparral Picnic Area or West entrance via Soledad and leads along the North Wilderness Trail crossing frequently the Chalone Creek until it merges into the Old Pinnacles Trail. We follow that trail to the Balconies Trail back to the Chaparral Picnic Area. Meet at 9:00 am at the West Entrance. As you enter the park you will see the new Chaparral Ranger Station, entrance fee is due or pay after the hike. Continue for 2 miles to the parking area. Since the winter season brought a lot of precipitation, the North Wilderness Trail could be washed out in places and consequently it could be challenging to find the trail and to cross the creek. Bring 2 liters of water! Difficulty: strenuous for distance, 9.2 miles. Total elevation about 800 ft. Time: 5-7 hrs. For RSVP please call me. Leader: Burkhard Siedhoff, 831-920-1803,
Sunday, March 12
Hike: Pinnacles High Peaks Trail
This is a moderate loop hike, we will start form the Chaparral Trailhead parking lot at the West side of Pinnacles National Park, hike through the Balconies Cave (there is a hike around the cave for those that don't want to go through the cave), walk the Old Pinnacles Trail and complete our loop on the High Peaks Trail back to the Chaparral parking lot. The total length of our walk is about eight miles with an elevation gain of about two thousand feet. The High Peaks Trail has amazing views of the National Park and the condors have been very active in the last few weeks. Bring lunch, water, and a flashlight. We will meet 8:00 am at the Fort Ord National Monument parking area on Creekside Terrace off Portola Drive near Reservation Road, Salinas (contact leader if you need directions to meeting site). Please bring three dollars for the drivers and your park pass if you have one. Leader: Steve Benoit, 831-394-4234
Tuesday, March 14
Hike: Veeder Pond Wildflowers
Veeder Pond in the spring often has a beautiful wildflower display and so off we go to enjoy them! We'll hike in-and-out at a very slow pace uphill. It's ± 4 miles with ± 1100 feet elevation gain. Bring water & lunch. Arrive early; we will depart at 9:45am from the lower parking lot of Garland Ranch. Call for a reservation—limit of 8. I will have the new county wildflower book for purchase. Leader: Lynn Bomberger, 831-375-7777.
Tuesday, March 14
Senior Hike: De Laveaga Park
We'll hike to the Top of the World and back among trillium and yellow violets. 3 miles with some uphill. A shorter walk will be available. Meet before 9:30 am at Sears on 41st Ave. or at De Laveaga Park at Twisted Tree picnic area off Branciforte Drive (not Avenue) by 9:50 am. Bring lunch, water, $2 carpool. Rain cancels. Leaders: Janet Schwind, 831-425-3845; Brooke Ewoldsen, 831-475-6188.
Thursday, March 16
Coast Walk: Pt. Pinos to Asilomar/Pt. Joe
Our 4-5 mile out-and-back with minimal elevation gain at a moderate pace takes us along the coast from Pt Pinos to Asilomar State Park and Beach. If we still feel like more walking, we will head out to Point Joe and back. Bring water and lunch or a snack. Meet near the Light House and the Golf Course on Asilomar Drive at 9:30 am. Heavy rain and strong winds cancel. Please let me know if you are coming. Leader: Gisela Nobinger, 408-406-9650
Saturday, March 18
Hike: Andrew Molera State Park
This is a loop hike of 7.5 miles and a total elevation gain of 1300 ft. with one steep stretch and otherwise moderate to nearly level hiking at an easy pace. We will cross open grassland into shady redwoods and oaks out into sunny chaparral and panoramic vistas, including our first ocean views (& maybe Condors). Bring 2 liters of water, sturdy boots, trekking poles, sun hat, sun screen, and lunch. Also bring $5.00 carpool gas contribution and plan to pay a share of the $10.00 per car entrance fee. Meet at Rio Road Park and Ride in Carmel at 9:00 am. Rain cancels. RSVP Leader: Stanley Dudek, 831-726-6200
Sunday, March 19
Hike: Palo Corona from the East Side
Let's meet at the backside of Baja Cantina restaurant at Carmel Valley Road. We'll walk through the Golf course and along the green meadow to the East gate of Palo Corona. Through the park and up the steep but comfortable road to Inspiration point for lunch. We may even go further to Animation Pond and back. A moderate hike of about 7 miles with 1,500' elevation gain/loss. Only heavy rain cancels. Meet at Baja Cantina on Carmel Valley Road at 9:00 am. Bring lunch and water. Call me for more information. Leader: Anneliese Suter, 831-624-1467.
Sunday, March 19
Hike: Point Lobos
Have bucket of showers brought acres of flowers? Let's stroll through woods and meadows along the Point Lobos shore and see what's blooming! Could be windy/chilly/warm/sunny/rainy, so dress for all that plus muddy trails. Meet at Rio Road P & R with a snack and a smile. For time and directions, call me. Leader: Mary Gale, 831-626-3565.
Tuesday, March 21
Senior Hike: Fall Creek
Shady 3 mile hike in redwood forest partly along a creek. Some moderate uphill, rocky in places. Lunch at limestone kilns. After lunch, we'll do another mile or so. Alternative shorter walk available. Meet before 9:30 am at Sears on 41st Ave. or before 9:40 am in the Gateway Shopping Mall by the levee, between Ross and Petsmart. To go direct, cross from Graham Hill Rd to Felton Empire Rd in the center of Felton and drive half a mile to the Fall Creek parking lot on the right. No restrooms. Bring water, lunch, repellent, $3/$2 carpool. Leaders: Perry Brohmer, 650-793-3987; Brooke Ewoldsen, 831-475-6188.
Thursday, March 23
Walk: Point Lobos Wildflowers
Besides numerous wildflowers, we will enjoy magnificent views, a variety of wildlife and a walk through a quiet Monterey pine forest. 4 miles with little elevation gain. Bring water, lunch and $ for state park fee or a park pass. Arrive early; we depart at 9:30 am from Rio Road Park & Ride in Carmel. Call for a reservation—limit of 8. I will have the new county wildflower book for purchase. Leader: Lynn Bomberger, 831-375-7777.
Thursday, March 23
Hike: Elkhorn Slough with Stanley Dudek
Our 5-6 mile loop with minimal elevation gain at a moderate pace takes us along the tidal marshes of the slough. We should see birds and other wildlife, so bring your binoculars. Bring water and lunch and a credit card for the entrance fee (last time it was $4.12).
Meet at REI near highway 1 and Imjin Pkwy at 9:30 am or at 10:00 at the Elkhorn Slough visitor center. Heavy rain cancels. Please let me know if you are coming. Leaders: Gisela Nobinger, 408-496-9650 and Stanley Dudek, 831-726-6200
Friday, March 24
Hike: Henry Coe
It's a long-ish drive to Henry Coe State Park, which is in the hills east of Morgan Hill. But it's worth it for the green rolling hills, oak studded meadows, early wildflowers and interesting visitor center. We'll hike a leisurely 8 mile loop on the Fish, Middle Ridge and Flat Frog trails, with about 1000 feet of elevation gain. Bring lunch, water and wear sturdy shoes. Meet at 9.00 am at the far end of the REI parking lot, next to the wall, in Marina. Santa Cruz area hikers may meet at 41st Ave Sears, no leader, at 9.00 am and make their own way to the park. Take the East Dunne Ave exit from Hwy 101 and follow signs to the Park's main entrance. We should be at Henry Coe parking lot (fee) by around 10.30 am. Heavy rain cancels. Leaders: Cath Farrant and Mary Dainton, 831-372 7427.
Saturday, March 25
Hike: Pinnacles National Park
Use Pinnacles National Park East Entrance off Hwy. 25, ~ 30 miles south of Hollister. This hike introduces us to the beautiful vistas of the South Pinnacles and the Los Padres National Forest and Junipero Serra Peak in the distance. There is a good chance to see Condors and lots of spring flowers! From the Peaks View parking lot we hike along the South Wilderness trail to the park perimeter Pig Fence, which we follow up to South and North Chalone Peaks. The terrain is steep and strenuous! Bring work gloves! They come in handy to pull oneself up along the wire fence. After a rest, we hike down to the Bear Gulch Nature Center and our cars, to take us back to the Peaks View parking lot. It can get hot! Bring 3 liters of water, lunch, a head light. Gaiters can be helpful! We have to cross the South Chalone Creek several times. Be prepared to get your feet wet! Bring a towel and a pair of dry socks. Don’t forget sun protection and spray for ticks! Time: 7-8 hours. Heavy rain cancels. Meeting time is 8:00 AM, Pinnacles, Peaks View parking lot! Please RSVP. Leader: Burkhard Siedhoff, 831-920-1803 .
Sunday, March 26
Hike: Huckleberry hill
Since we got rained out last time, let's try again this short but interesting jaunt up to Huckleberry Hill on the east side of Point Lobos. 5 miles with 600' of elevation gain, through a variety of coastal ecosystems. Bring water, lunch, and optional camera for unique views of Point Lobos. Maybe we'll spot a Gowan Cypress or two along the way. We'll meet at 10:00 AM but call for updated info. Leader: Larry Parrish 622-7455
Tuesday, March 28
Hike: Jacks Peak Hound's Tongues
Along the quiet forested trails in Jacks Peak, we will likely find a beautiful display of hound's tongue in bloom. Spectacular views of Monterey, the bay and Carmel Valley are promised. About 5 ½ miles with 700 ft. elevation gain. Bring water & lunch. Arrive early; we depart at 9:30 am from the NW corner of Whole Foods parking lot in Monterey (please park back from storefronts). Call for a reservation—limit of 8. I will have the new county wildflower book for purchase. Leader: Lynn Bomberger, 375-7777.
Tuesday, March 28
Senior Hike: Pogonip Harvey West
4 miles with some uphill (some steep) from Harvey West parking lot by baseball fields. We'll walk by the Sacred Tree and the old clubhouse. A shorter hike will be available. Meet before 9:30 am at Sears on 41st Ave. or at Harvey West parking lot near the ballpark before 9:50 am. Bring lunch, water, $2 carpool. Restrooms. Leaders: Perry Brohmer, 650-793-3987; Brooke Ewoldsen, 831-475-6188.
Saturday, April 1
Hike: Henry Coe State Park, Hunting Hollow
Although a long drive, we are glad to have this state park after the horrible fires in 2016 and just now, even more, we have to work around rained out or endangered bridges. So we'll go north. From Gilroy Hwy 101 we'll go east on Hot Springs Road to Hunting Hollow parking lot. The loop hike is on trails, about 8 miles long and partly quite steep, at a leisurely pace. Bring $$ for carpooling and sharing of entrance fee; also bring water and lunch, a camera and hiking sticks, and wear good shoes. Meet at Home Depot near the gas station in Seaside at 8:30 am. Hikers from Santa Cruz may drive to the parking lot directly to meet us there at about 10 am. Leader: Anneliese Suter, 831-624-1467.
Sunday, April 2
Hike: Garland Ranch
This is a 5+ mile hike. Up to the Mesa via foothill trails, Buckeye and Waterfall, come back via Fern, Mesa, and Lupine Loop trails. Nice valley views, some steps, it may be muddy. We hope to see wildflowers, also ponds and Native American bedrock mortars. Meet at the Park & Ride on Rio Rd at 9:30 am for carpooling. Please call leader to let me know if you are coming, or if wanting to meet at Garland Park. Done after 1 pm. Bring snack/lunch and water. Rain cancels. Leader, Martha Saylor, 831-372-9215.
Tuesday, April 4
Senior Hike: Toro Park
We'll hike the Ollason Trail and hopefully see great flowers. 3.5 miles with one uphill section. We'll take it slowly. A shorter walk will be available. Meet before 9:30 am at Sears on 41st Ave. or at Toro Park at the next to last parking lot near restrooms. Toro Park is off Hwy.68 between Monterey and Salinas. Bring lunch, water, $5 carpool. Leaders: Bev Meschi, 831-475-4185; Brooke Ewoldsen, 831-475-6188.
Saturday April 8
Walk: The Pogonip
This will be an easy and relaxed morning walk (exact route not determined yet), to evaluate the proposals contained in the new "Parks Master Plan" now being put forth by City of Santa Cruz staff, as such proposals relate to the Pogonip. Among the proposals may be several new trails for mountain bikers. Bring water, lunch not necessary. Meet at 9:00 am at the Spring Street entrance to the Pogonip at the northern end of Spring Street. Leaders: Peter and Celia Scott, (831) 423-0796,
Sunday, April 9
Hike: Garland Ranch/Terrace Trail
It's flower time, and this trail always delights! Bring a stick or two to help keep you on this narrow trail, along with footgear for mud and good traction. The hike is not strenuous, but hikers should be good on steep hills. Bring lunch, water, dress in layers, and meet at the east end of the lower parking lot (NOT on the shoulder of CV Rd.) at Garland Ranch at 9 am to form carpools. If you live east of Boronda Rd. you can meet us at the trailhead around 9:30, but call ahead to tell us to look for you. Leader: Mary Gale, 831-626-3565.
Monday, April 10
Hike: Pacheco State Park
Near the top of Pacheco Pass is a windswept area of rolling hills, secluded meadows, and in the spring hopefully wildflowers. We'll walk a leisurely loop of 5 or 6 miles with some steep ups and downs. Bring lunch, water (there is no drinking water at the trailhead,) sturdy shoes and maybe your camera. Meet at 9am at the far end of the parking lot in front of REI (next to the wall) in Marina. Santa Cruz area hikers may meet at 41st avenue Sears, no leader, and make their own way to the park. Take Hwy 152 east to Pacheco Pass, turn right on Dinosaur Point Rd then soon the park entrance is on your right. We should be at Pacheco State Park parking area (fee) by 10.30 am. Leaders: Cath Farrant and Mary Dainton,831-372-7427.
Tuesday, April 11
Hike: Garzas Creek Broomrapes
Our 4.5 mile awesome wildflower loop with 800 ft. elevation gain takes us through a redwood canyon and along Garzas Creek with six picturesque crossings. If we're lucky, we will see some naked broomrape in bloom. Bring water and lunch. Arrive early; we depart at 10 am from the lower parking lot in Garland Ranch in Carmel Valley. Call for a reservation—limit of 8. I will have the new county wildflower book for purchase. Leader: Lynn Bomberger, 375-7777.
Tuesday, April 11
Senior Saunter: Paradise Park
We'll take a leisurely walk through the Park alongside the San Lorenzo River. Many flowers in the Park. Meet before 9:30 am at Sears on 41st Ave. We'll lunch at the picnic area. Restrooms. Bring lunch, water, $2 carpool. Leader: Pat Herzog, 831-458-9841.
Thursday, April 13
Hike: Jacks Peak
Our 6 mile loop with about 700 to 800 feet elevation gain at a moderate pace takes us along the quiet forested trails with some views of Carmel and Monterey Bay. Bring water and lunch. Meet near the Whole Foods store at 9:40 am for carpooling or at the West Parking Lot at Jacks Peak after ten 10 am, when the park opens. Heavy rain cancels. Please let me know if you are coming. Leader: Gisela Nobinger, 408-406-650,
Saturday, April 15
Hike: Fort Ord National Monument
We'll hope for more sun after this wet winter; I haven't decided exactly where but it will be about 7 miles and 5oo feet elevation gain. Meet on Main St. in Soquel at 9:30 am to carpool Leader: Nick Wyckoff, 831 462-3101.
Saturday, April 15
Hike: Pinnacles, North Wilderness Trail Loop
This is a moderately strenuous 9.3 mile hike with an elevation gain of 1020'. We start at West entrance, Chaparral Trailhead. We should see a broad range of wildflowers and blooming shrubs on this unmaintained trail along ridgetops and descending into the west fork of Chalone Creek (which may require several wet crossings) and returning along the Old Pinnacles and Balconies Cave trails. Bring 2-3 liters of water, sturdy boots, trekking poles, hat, sunscreen, and lunch. Also bring a headlight for the caves, a change of socks, and $$$ for carpool gas contribution and a share of the $15.00 entrance fee. Meet at the Nob Hill Foods parking lot on the corner of Hwy 68 and Blanco Road in Salinas at 8:30 am to carpool, or meet at the Chaparral Trailhead parking area in the park at 9:00 am. Heavy rain cancels. RSVP Leader: Stanley Dudek, 831 726-6200.
Saturday, April 15
Hike: Junipero Serra Peak (aka Pimkolam Peak), the highest peak in the Santa Lucia Mountains (5862 ft.), 11.3 miles out and back.
The trailhead (2158 ft.) is at Santa Lucia Memorial Park in the Ventana Wilderness, just outside the boundary of Fort Hunter Liggett and east of Big Sur. The views from the top and along the ridges are breathtaking! Perhaps we see the snow covered mountains of the Sierra! The climb from the trailhead to the summit is a heart pounder. The trail is brushy! However, it doesn’t become an issue until we get up past the 4,000 foot line and run into a lot of Manzanita and Chamise, with a little Holly to spice it up (bring gloves!). Wear a long sleeve shirt and long pants. Be prepared for ticks, insects and poison oak and hot sun. Bring lunch and a minimum of 3 liters of water. Wear sturdy shoes and carry an extra jacket! Trekking poles come in handy! The hike is moderate to strenuous! It is a long drive to get to the trailhead. For that reason and others we carpool! Meeting time is 7 AM and the place is the Nob Hill parking lot in Salinas, South Main St., Intersection of Hwy. 68 and East Blanco Rd. Please bring $$ for the cost of gasoline and a plastic bag for your dirty hiking boots! For RSVP please call Burk (aka Burkhard) Siedhoff at 831-920-1803.
Sunday, April 16
Hike: Butano State Park
This will be a delightful hike of 9 to 10 miles. We'll visit magnificent old-growth redwoods, the headwaters of Butano Creek, and the north ridge with its fine views. We should see many wildflowers, including, if we're lucky, a colony or two of the uncommon Calypso orchids (John Muir's favorite wildflower). Meet at 8:45 am at the Santa Cruz County Government Center parking lot to car-pool. Bring lunch and water. Call me for details. Leader: Peter Scott, (831) 423-07966,
Tuesday, April 18
Senior Hike: Garland Ranch
We'll head up the waterfall trail to the Mesa Pond, with some hills and stairs, for lunch at the benches, and back down the Mesa trail, about 3.5 miles. There is an approximately 600 foot gradual climb. For those who want to visit the nature center at the end of the hike, the round trip adds another mile. A shorter walk will be available. Meet at 41st Ave. at Sears by 9:30 am or go directly to the new visitors' center, in Garland Ranch Park about 8 miles up Carmel Valley Rd., by 10:45 am. Restrooms available. Bring lunch, water and a $6 share of cost for car-pooling. Rain cancels. Leaders: Bev Meschi, 831-475-4185; Brooke Ewoldsen, 831-475-6188.
Thursday, April 20
Hike: Fort Ord
Our 6 mile loop with about 800 feet elevation gain at a moderate pace takes us uphill on Oilwell Road and back to the parking lot in a big loop down Guidotti Road. The area is wide open with minimal shade, so bring a hat as well as water and lunch. Meet at the Fort Ord National Monument parking lot on highway 68, across the street from the Toro Café on Hwy 68, at 9:30 am. Heavy rain cancels. Please let me know if you are coming. Leader: Gisela Nobinger, 408-406-9650,
Saturday, April 22
Hike: Los Padres Dam/Carmel River
Let's start at Princes Camp up on Cachagua Road, walk to the Los Padres Dam and around the reservoir, then hike up the Carmel River as far as we like to go, maybe Bluff Camp. The wildflowers should be wonderful. We’ll hope the creek crossings are easy at this time. About 7 miles, some elevation, at a moderate pace. Bring lunch and lots of water. Meet at Mid Valley Shopping Center in Carmel Valley at 8:30 a.m., park opposite of the Chase Bank. Leader: Anneliese Suter, 831-624-1467.
Sunday, April 23
Hike: Mal Paso wildflower walk
We'll meander up a private road above Mal Paso Creek, eventually crossing the Creek, and then up a steep ridgeback, and finally through some redwood groves to the Rocky Ridge Trail. We'll end our circuit near Soberanes Creek, depending on availability. A beautiful, rugged 5-6 miles with 1000' of elevation gain. Bring lunch, water, and good hiking boots. Call early for reservations, meeting time and place. Leader: Larry Parrish, 831-622-7455.
Tuesday, April 25
Senior Saunter: Neary Lagoon
4 mile loop from Lighthouse Field to Neary Lagoon to Santa Cruz Wharf. A shorter walk will be available. Meet before 9:30 am at Sears on 41st Ave. or by 9:50 am in the parking lot at Lighthouse Field on West Cliff, just left of the bathrooms. Bring lunch or eat at one of the wharf's restaurants. Restrooms. $2 carpool. Leaders: Jean Harrison, 831-425-5447; Brooke Ewoldsen, 831-475-6188.
Saturday, April 29
Hike: West Andrew Molera State Park
Starting from park headquarters, ascend the Hidden and Ridge Trails to a dramatic viewpoint, then return along the coast on the Panorama and Bluff trails. Moderate, about 9 miles and 1200'. Meet at the Rio Road Park & Ride at 7:45 am. Bring lunch, 2-3+ liters water, rain/wind protection and wading shoes for crossing river. Poison Oak likely on the narrow Panorama trail, so long sleeves and pants are recommended. Limited to 12 hikers, so please reply to
with your name and phone number, and we will call you. Leaders: Carol Greenstreet & Randy May.
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