How to Sneak Into Sykes Hot Springs

December 6, 2017

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We’ve noticed over the past few weeks that this site has started receiving traffic from people using variations of the phrase “How to sneak into Sykes Hot Springs” as search terms. Since we have not, until now, provided any information on that subject, those people have, no doubt, found their visits here disappointing.
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Summer 2017

August 31, 2017

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Santa Cruz Mountains
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A Day on the Arroyo Seco

July 23, 2017

I joined Ventana Wilderness Alliance staff and volunteers in marking the one year anniversary of the ignition of the Soberanes Fire by cleaning up trash and dismantling fire rings along the Arroyo Seco River.

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The Arroyo Seco River, with mile after mile of spectacular swimming holes, is a popular place to beat the heat – especially on days, like yesterday, when temperatures in the canyon climb into the triple digits.

While we found, and hauled out, a lot of junk, this area is less trashed than popular locations on the coast. This might seem surprising, considering the large crowds and heavy alcohol consumption, but it’s probably because Salinas Valley locals outnumber tourists.
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April Wildflowers

April 19, 2017

All that rain has really gotten the wildflowers going this month. Here are some highlights from the past few weeks:

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California goldfields (Lasthinia californica) and Gray’s clover (Trifolium grayi), share a meadow at The Indians in the upper Arroyo Seco watershed.
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Salmon Creek: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

July 7, 2016

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Salmon Creek Falls

A massive surge in the number of visitors to Monterey County in general and Big Sur in particular has led to a large increase in the number of people camping along, and near, Highway One and other roads. While many of these people are, no doubt, careful to leave no trace of their visit, others light illegal campfires and leave their garbage strewn across the landscape. Read the rest of this entry »


Is a Garrapata State Park Trail Being Ceded to a Mexican Drug Cartel?

September 2, 2015

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Yesterday morning, Friends of Garrapata, the volunteers who work tirelessly to keep Garrapata State Park wild and graffiti free, and its trails in usable condition, posted the above graphic to their Facebook page with the following text:

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Please stay clear of the Peak Trail until October.

While environmentally destructive backcountry marijuana grows are indeed a serious problem – that could be solved overnight by legalization – and it’s certainly worth being cautious while traveling off trail in places that might be attractive to growers, this post stands out as strange for several reasons. Read the rest of this entry »


Soberanes Loop Closed for Maintenance

April 7, 2015

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Here’s something you don’t see every day. Actual State Parks employees at Garrapata State Park. They showed up this morning with a CCC crew, coned off a lot of the parking area and fenced off the access points for the Stone Ridge and Soberanes Canyon trails. Read the rest of this entry »