Sunday, May 13, 2012

Wilderness walk

I was looking for a challenging hike this weekend and I found just the right trail on Saturday as I solo hiked the Las Trampas Regional Wilderness outside San Ramon.

My hiking book described the trail as strenuous so I knew I was in for a workout.  The hike would take me on a 6 1/2 mile hike across the ridges of the park.  I would start on the Elderberry Trail and climb up along the Rocky Ridge View Trail.  The hike then descends down the Devil's Hole Trail before another climb back up the Sycamore Trail to rejoin the Rocky Ridge View Trail to head back down to the staging area.  I had my work cut out for me on this hike.

The trail is steep in most places, varying from wide fire trail to grassy overgrown single track to a treacherous footing rock bed.  This trail is not for the beginner although the navigation for the most part is easy.  the signage could have been clearer, I missed one turn and had to retrace my steps with the map but for the most part is easy to follow.

All the hard work climbing up and down the trail is rewarded with spectacular views of ridge lines and valleys swathed in green. The summer like heat has yet to brown the hills and I hiked across the lush knee high grass that grew in the sparsely traveled trails.

There is some shade cover but I wished for more as few breezes cooled the sun baked trail as wound my way up and down the hills.  The hike took just over 3 hours and climbed almost 2,300 feet in the various trails.  This hike has the feel of a Mount Diablo climb and was easily the toughest hike so far this year.  I am thinking of a real workout sometime in the next few months taking a summit climb on Mount Diablo via Eagle Peak Trail.  This hike in the Las Trampas Wilderness put the hook in me to try this tough hike for sure.

It was a good day in the wilderness on a new new trail with stunning views.  I will have to enjoy the greenery while it is here as summer months are approaching and hotter days on the trail are ahead.

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