Sunday, August 19, 2012

Shell game

After last week's adventure in the Las Trampas Wilderness I decided for an easier hike.  I picked the cozy confines of Mount Diablo and their beautifully marked, wide trails.  I picked a return trip to Macedo Ranch for a hike on the Shell Loop Trail.

This is a gem of a hike with a little bit of everything.  It starts on a rolling ridge line with a quick trip to the sandstone China Wall formations and then heads down a ravine into the wooded section of Shell Loop Trail and returns on the once used by stagecoaches Stage Trail.

Dramatic clouds filled the sky as I hiked along the trail that features views of Rock City and the spire of Castle Rock.  The summer temperature was not too bad and I made the almost 7-mile loop in about two and a half hours.

It was peaceful watching the shadows play across the leaves as the trees creaked and groaned in the breeze.  This will make a a great late fall/early winter hike as the trail cross several seasonal streams.  All in all it was a great quick hike to stretch my legs with some stunning sites along the way.