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 »

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March Wildflowers: Garzas Creek & Vásquez Knob

March 7, 2015

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The Carmel River’s last major tributary, Garzas Creek, flows through Garland Regional Park.

Here’s some of what’s currently blooming along the creek and on the trail to the top of Vásquez Knob… Read the rest of this entry »


“Closed Indefinitely” Rocky Ridge/Soberanes Loop Trail More Popular than Ever

October 22, 2014

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State Park employees apparently visited Garrapata State Park recently and posted this new sign reminding users that the extremely popular Rocky Ridge/Soberanes Creek Loop remains closed.

Back in the 60’s and 70’s, a well-established use trail ran up Soberanes Creek and into the redwood forest, where it petered out into a rock hop along the stream as the canyon narrowed. Somewhere around the time Garrapata State Park was founded, in 1985, the park service, or someone acting with their blessing, extended this trail further upstream and then up to meet the Rocky Ridge Trail, forming a loop. Read the rest of this entry »


Cone Peak Directissima: Going Sea to Sky on Big Sur’s Stone Ridge

June 16, 2014

Big Sur’s Cone Peak rises out of the ocean about as steeply as any mountain on the planet. It’s summit, at 5,155 feet, lies less than 3 miles, as the condor flies, from the beach. This delivers an average gradient of around 33%; steeper than the rise of Mt. Whitney from the floor of Owens Valley. Making the journey from the beach to the summit on foot takes only a little over 5 miles, thanks to the open slopes of Stone Ridge. And it’s one of the most spectacular walks in Big Sur. Which is saying something.

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Is Overcrowding at Sykes Camp Getting Worse?

November 18, 2013

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Big Sur River at Sykes

Read the rest of this entry »


Long Summer

August 31, 2013

With the last rainy season fizzling out in January, it seems like it’s been summer for about eight months now. Plenty of time to paddle, pedal, and roam around in the hills — which is why we haven’t been posting here much. Don’t worry, though. We promise to turn our jaundiced eye back to water and development issues again someday soon. Maybe when the rains begin to fall.

In the meantime, here’re a few clues as to what we’ve been up to …

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Trail near the summit of Cone Peak. Coast partially obscured by smoke from an escaped controlled burn on Ft. Hunter Liggett. Read the rest of this entry »


Mushroom Season on the Monterey Peninsula

December 19, 2012

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Porcini (Boletus edulis) emerging from the rain-sodden forest floor. Read the rest of this entry »