Archive for November, 2009

Sykes Hot Springs

November 28, 2009

After an awesome adventure run down the Carmel River last week, I returned to the Ventana Wilderness to see the famous Sykes Hot Springs with a variation on the return trip to see the lush redwood grove at Terrace Creek and expansive views from the Coast Ridge Road (22 miles total). The Pine Ridge Trail to Sykes Hot Springs is one of the most popular destinations in the Ventana and without the cumbersome brush and routefinding issues characteristic of most trails in the region, this trail is like a highway. Since the hike to the hot springs is nearly ten miles one way, most people do it as a backpacking trip and everybody we saw on this day was spending the night in the wilderness.

Map, photos, and more trail descriptions after the jump!


Carmel River

November 20, 2009

I joined Gary Gellin and Jim Moyles for a point-to-point adventure run along the wild Carmel River in the Ventana Wilderness (3 hours south of the Bay Area). The route starts at China Camp along Tassajara Road (rough dirt road) and finishes below Los Padres Reservoir. The first 3.5 miles is along the Pine Ridge Trail with great views into the Tassajara Creek drainage and the rugged Santa Lucia Mountains, including Junipero Serra Peak (the highest point in the range at 5,862 ft) and Ventana Double Cone. Evidence of the huge fires two seasons ago was evident, but the vegetation is coming back and I even spotted small pine saplings.