Bill’s Hill and More: Henry W. Coe State Park

Bill’s Hill and Kickham Ranch Unit Office: 10 miles, 1,600 ft of gain (moderate) Note: This hike includes cross-country travel. Make sure you have a good map, a decent sense of direction, and know how to use both. Note: Beginner Mountain Bikers: Hunting Hollow Road is very scenic and relatively flat. It’s a great place to…

Humboldt Redwoods State Park

A Brief History Long before Humboldt Redwoods was a state park, the Sinkyone-Lolangkok lived in the area. Europeans began to arrive in 1850; this is when things began to go awry for the Redwoods. 1914 brought a railroad and 1922 brought the Redwood Highway to the area; with new transportation came heavy logging. Luckily, in…

Antelope Valley Where Wildflowers Bloom

Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve – 6 miles, moderate Flowers are pretty. I hope no one would argue this point. In California, the Poppy is King; one flower to rule them all. Antelope Valley is the only remaining place where large fields of our state flower still remain. Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve was created…

Solstice Cave: Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

You won’t find a GPS trace for this hike anywhere (including here) and you won’t read about it in any official guidebook. The lack of specific information about the Solstice Cave helps protect the site. It also provides a challenge you don’t get on most hikes. The hike starts at the end of the road…

Carrizo Gorge Railroad: Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

Who would build a trail in the desert? Nobody, that’s who. Typically, desert parks have few trails and Anza-Borrego is no different. There are, however, many exciting destinations if one knows where to look. The open landscapes lend themselves to cross-country travel, though if you choose this option please make sure you go prepared with…

The Whale of MacKerricher State Park

With no snow in the mountains and warm sunny weather on the coast, we were confused. It is January, no? In either case, we headed up the coast to Mendocino County to soak up the sun. Whale Watching As we prepared for the weekend getaway, we remembered the gray whale migration! Every year these massive creatures swim…

Kelly Lake: Henry W. Coe State Park

Henry W. Coe State Park is notorious for its massive calf-wrenching hills and hot hot heat. This trip was no exception. We headed to the park for a 24-mile over-nighter  to Kelly Lake expecting mild, fall weather. Unfortunately, the day brought on high temperatures and plenty of direct sunlight. At the Coe, spring, fall, and…

Angel Island SP Hike’n’Bike

Caltrain tickets for two: $28. Ferry tickets for two: $32. Hiking and biking on Angel Island: priceless. Getting to the island on public transit can take a while and the last ferry leaves the island at 4:30 p.m. Plan accordingly to maximize time on the island. Even though the polar ice caps are melting and the…

A Foray Into the Forest of Nisene Marks

The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park may just have become my favorite park in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Even though we have lived in the area for 5 years, for some reason we have not yet visited the park. That is until this past weekend when we did an 8.5 mile hike there.

Solitude So Close to Home: Henry W. Coe State Park

Henry W. Coe State Park is California’s second largest (Anza-Borrego Desert State Park being the largest). Despite it’s 89,000 acres, the park receives only 40,000 visitors a year. It’s a small wonder, given the name of this blog, that we love this park so much. Sitting only a short drive from the populous Santa Clara…