Guided Hikes

“A child’s world is fresh and new and beautiful, full of wonder and excitement. It is our misfortune that for most of us that clear-eyed vision, that true instinct for what is beautiful and awe-inspiring, is dimmed and even lost before we reach adulthood. If I had influence with the good fairy who is supposed to preside over all children, I should ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life.”

~Rachel Carson.


Upcoming Hikes

More hikes coming soon.


Sam MacDonald and Pescadero Creek County Parks — Cancelled

Hike Rating 2B2 (8 miles, 1200 feet)

Sam MacDonald County Park is often overlooked next to its bigger neighbor, Pescadero Creek. The park, however, provides a treasure trove of wild nature: old-growth redwoods, lush meadows, and a ridge with vistas of the Pacific Ocean. Our mostly shaded hike will lead us up the Heritage Grove Trail that climbs below old-growth redwoods and down West Brook Trail, crossing into Pescadero Creek Park to see a lovely but small waterfall. We will stop for lunch near the waterfall before climbing back up the ridge by way of the steep Towne Fire Road. Once back on the ridge, we will make a short detour to visit the Sierra Club’s Hiker Hut before making our way back to our cars. This moderate-to-strenuous redwoods hike feels otherworldly, and we will see few signs of human habitation. Bring water, a picnic lunch, hat, sunscreen, sturdy walking shoes, poles (recommended), and a spirit of adventure. Meet to carpool at the Tamien Park-and-Ride at 9:00am and Woodside Park-and-Ride, off the 280-Woodside Road Exit, at 9:45am. Contact me if you would like to meet us at the trailhead. Parking fee is $6 per car. We will plan to be back in Woodside by 4:30pm and Tamien by 5:00pm.

Photos from my scouting hike last week:







Previous Hikes

Coyote Valley Open Space Preserve

Saturday, May 20th 2017.

Rating: 1A1 (4 miles, 450 feet)Coyote Valley Open Space Preserve is a gem hidden in plain view, offering a unique opportunity to see Coyote Valley in all its splendor. We will follow the Arrowhead Full Loop around the park and enjoy wide open vistas of the Santa Cruz and Diablo ranges and the valley below. If we’re lucky, we could catch glimpses of soaring bald eagles, golden eagles and other raptors, and we may still see plenty of wildflowers and butterflies in the meadows. We will take our time talking about the history of the valley and its significance, bird watching, wildflower hunting, and noting other distinctive features of the park. This trail meanders over the hills, and there will be uphill and downhill sections. Bring water, a picnic lunch, hat, sunscreen, wind jacket (as the area can get windy), binoculars, and curiosity, and come ready to luxuriate for a few hours in the wild nature so near our homes. To carpool, meet at the Tamien Park-and-ride at 9:00am. Contact me to meet at the trailhead.

Photos from Ron’s and my scouting hike:

Photos from the hike:








Monument Peak Hike – Ed Levin County Park

Saturday, March 18, 2017, 10am to 4pm

The following description is from the Sierra Club Calendar:

Rating: 2C2 (9.2 miles, 2200 feet)

Monument Peak is just south of Mission Peak and east of Milpitas in Ed Levin County Park. It is not nearly as crowded as Mission Peak but has a similar lovely view of Silicon Valley spreading out below it. The display of flowers should be impressive this wet year. We’ll start our hike from the parking lot near the dog park at Ed Levin County Park hiking up the Agua Caliente Trail. From the Agua Caliente trail, we will take the Monument Peak trail to the top of the peak. There will be a short bit of steep trail hiking just below the peak so wear shoes or boots with good tread that you don’t mind possibly getting muddy (not required but a hiking stick would also be helpful). We will return on the Bay Area Ridge, Agua Caliente and Calero Creek trails to complete our loop.

Bring a lunch, plenty of water, sun screen, sun hat, boots or shoes with good tread, warm layers in the event it is foggy or cool, cash for the park entry fee, and good stamina for this long uphill but beautiful hike. Heavy rain the day before or the day of the hike cancels (it can get really muddy after rain).

Meet at the Tamien Park-n-Ride lot in San Jose for car-pooling at 9:00am. Contact Ron for information if you opt to meet at the trailhead.

Photos from the hike:







Mount Diablo Grand Loop Hike

Saturday, April 15, 2017, 9am-5pm

The following description is from the Sierra Club Calendar:

Rating: 2B2 (9 miles, 2000 feet)

It is said that hikers can see more of the earth’s surface from atop Mt. Diablo than any other peak in the world but Mt. Kilimanjaro. Although only 3,900 feet tall, Diablo rises very abruptly from its surroundings and it towers over the nearly flat Bay Area and the Central Valley. Come see how Diablo has recovered from the devastating fire of 2013. We’ll take a 9-mile circuit hike around the summit that affords awesome views that extend as far as the Sierras to the east and Mt. Lassen to the north and 25 miles out to sea to the west. At this time of year, wild flowers abound as well, and our loop around Diablo brings new colors at each turn.

Bring suitable clothing and sunscreen because a hiker is exposed at this altitude. Also bring lunch and plenty of water.

Meet at 9am at the Tamien Park and Ride, or at the park in the Laurel Nook Picnic Area in the wide turnout at the Diablo Valley Overlook at 10:15am, and contact the leaders if you intend to join the hike at the park. Rain cancels.

Photos from the hike:

Sigal Tzoore (650) 815-5109