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Aspen highlands | photo by Matt Feyerabend
   Ventana Chapter Schedule of outings, meetings & other activities

Sierra Club Ventana Chapter Hikes and Outings for Monterey/Carmel and Santa Cruz for January and February 2016
(Please contact leader to reserve a space)

Sunday, December 27
Hike: Harper Canyon to Ollason Ranch (Toro Park)
We'll start at Harper Canyon gate, at the southern end of Toro Park and hike 9 miles with 2000+ feet elevation gain up the Harper Cyn. trail to Coyote Spring. From there we return via Redtail Canyon, the Roller Coaster, and stop at the Ollason Ranch site and down the Harper Hill trail to the trailhead gate. Expect wonderful back country views. Maybe a side trip to the airplane crash site. We'll meet at 8:30 a.m. For reservations, call me. Leader: Larry Parrish, 831-622-7455.

Friday, January 1, 2016
New Year's Day Hike: Holt Road/Garland to my Place
Our traditional New Year's Hike takes us from the parking lot at Safeway's Mid Valley, carpooling to Garland Ranch, climb up to Snively's Ridge, although at a very moderate pace, and still a little higher to a sunny spot for lunch. Then we'll turn west all the way high up through Carmel Valley, down to Hold Road and back to most of our cars. But wait a minute, you are all invited to "Kaffee und Kuchen" at my place, Mid Valley Garden Homes #53, to celebrate the New Year. About 8 miles and 1,500' elevation gain/loss. Bring water and a light lunch, hiking sticks and wear sturdy shoes. Meet at Mid Valley parking lot opposite Chase Bank at 10 a.m. Call to confirm. Heavy rain cancels. Leader: Anneliese Suter, 624-1467.

Sunday, January 3
Hike: Garland Park
A 4+ mile hike with some elevation. We'll walk up to the Mesa via foothill trails, Buckeye and Waterfall, come back via Fern, Mesa, and Lupine Loop trails. Nice valley views. Meet at the Park & Ride on Rio Rd at 9 am for carpooling. Please call me to reserve space, or if wanting to meet at Garland Park. Bring nack/lunch and water. Rain cancels. Leader: Martha Saylor, 831-372-9215.

Monday, January 4
Hike: PG Shoreline and Monarch Sanctuary
Have the Monarch Butterflies returned to Pacific Grove? Let's find out on this easy 6 mile coastal walk. Meet at 10 am outside the Fishwife restaurant, 1996 Sunset Drive. We'll walk around Spanish Bay and might even be lucky enough to spot a grey whale on its southern migration. From there we'll head along the coast to Rocky Shores, then up to the Butterfly Sanctuary, returning via the old railroad trail. Bring a picnic lunch to enjoy in the leaders' back yard (or indoors if it's cool) near the end of the walk. Heavy rain cancels. Leaders Cath Farrant and Mary Dainton, 831-372 7427.

Tuesday, January 5
Senior Saunter: Antonelli Pond
We will start our approx. 3 mile walk along the west side of Antonelli Pond on to Terrace Point and then visit the Seymour Center. The walkers will stop for lunch at the picnic tables at the Center while the others continue on, stopping for lunch at the De Anza gazebo or back at Natural Bridges State Park. Meet before 9:30 am at Sears on 41st Ave. or on Delaware Ave. by entrance to Natural Bridges State Park by 9:50 am. Bring lunch, water, $2 carpool. Rain cancels. Leaders: Jean Harrison, 831-425-5447; Brooke Ewoldsen, 831-475-6188.

Thursday, January 7
Hike: Del Monte Forest
Our 4-5 mile loop with about 500 feet elevation gain at a moderate pace takes us along quiet forested trails that are pretty even in fog. Bring water and a snack. Heavy rain cancels. Meet at the parking area along highway 68 at the Haul Road between Skyline Forest and Forest Hill at 9:30 am. Please let me know if you are coming. Leader: Gisela Nobinger, or 831-393-4983.

Sunday, January 10
Hike: Simas Peak (Toro Park) via Black Mountain Trail
Enjoy expansive views toward Skinner Ridge, Salinas Valley and Chalone Peaks on this 6-7 hour strenuous hike of about 12 miles and 3000'. Meet at the dirt parking area outside Toro Park at 8:30 a.m. Bring lunch, 2-3 liters water, rain/wind gear and headlamp. Heavy rain cancels. Limit 12 hikers, so please reply to with your name and phone number, and we will call you. Leaders: Randy May & Carol Greenstreet.

Tuesday, January 12
Senior Saunter: Pinto Lake
Approx. 3 miles through an oak and madrone forest, mostly on level ground with some low rolling hills. A shorter walk will be available. We'll lunch in picnic grounds. Meet before 9:30 am at Sears on 41st Ave. To go direct, take Hwy 1 south to Airport Blvd exit. Continue on Airport Blvd, crossing Freedom Blvd to 2nd traffic light, Green Valley. Go left and continue on Green Valley past Pinto Lake City Park to Pinto Lake COUNTY Park on the left. Park at the end near the Gazebo. Rain cancels. Bring water, lunch, $3 carpool. Leaders: Denise Lucy, 831-728-6552; Brooke Ewoldsen, 831-475-6188.

Saturday, January 16
Hike: Big Sur, Salmon Creek Trail to Estrella Camp
(Repeat from DEC 13 due to rain cancellation) 6.4 miles up and back, approximately 1500 foot total elevation gain. This will be an all day event due mainly to the long 140 mile round trip drive from the Carmel Park-n-Ride on Rio road where we'll meet at 7:30 am. Perhaps, if all feel up to it, we can take a short side hike to the possibly “thunderous” Upper Salmon Creek Falls. Trail is exposed and steep at the start but levels out as it enters forested canyon terrain and is in good shape except for one small stretch due to loose soil and previous slides. Bring water, snacks, lunch, and $6 carpool. Please RSVP to me. Leader: Steve Jackson, (831) 320-4561.

Sunday, January 17
Walk: Soberanes Point/Whaler's Peak
Walk on the wild side! We'll check out some new/improved trails on the ocean bluffs at Soberanes, and then climb Whale Peak to get some windy views of whales passing. Dress for chilly/wet weather (hard rain cancels), carry binoculars/poles if you have/need them, bring water and snack to tide you over to lunch. We'll meet at the Rio Road Park and Ride. An early start helps us find parking, so call me for the time. Leader: Mary Gale, 626-3565.

Sunday, January 17
Hike: Fort Ord/Marina Dunes
An easy hike through the Dunes and along the ocean, about 4 miles. Some elevation in case you like to climb the dunes. In all weather, beautiful colors, maybe even a few sand flowers. Along the ocean, we'll watch birds and high waves. Bring water and a sandwich, hiking sticks, binoculars and wear layers; it may be windy and cold (but healthy). Meet in Seaside at Home Depot near the gas station at 10 a.m. Leader: Anneliese Suter, 831-624-1467

Tuesday, January 19
Senior Hike: Wilder, Bike Path and Hill
Approx. 3 mile walk to Wilder ranch buildings and then up the hill beyond. Return to horse corral, cowboy cabin, and lunch at the orchard before returning on the bike path. A shorter level walk will be available. Meet before 9:30 am at Sears on 41st Ave. or before 9:50 am at the trailhead just off of Hwy. 1 at Shaffer (last left turn as you leave Santa Cruz, just after Natural Bridges/Western Drive.) Bring lunch, water, $2 carpool. Rain cancels. Leaders: Perry Brohmer, 1-650-793-3987; Jean Harrison, 425-5447.

Friday, January 22
Hike: Carmel to Pebble Beach
This nice lollypop loop begins in Carmel and leads into the quiet Monterey pine forest of Pebble Beach. Lunch gives us the option of purchasing a Poppy Hills sandwich. 6 miles, 750 ft. elevation gain with flora & fauna stops. Arrive early; we depart at 10:00am from the Rio Road Park & Ride in Carmel. Call for a reservation—limit of 8. Leader: Lynn Bomberger, 831-375-7777.

Saturday, 23 January
Hike: Pinnacles North, Wilderness & High Peaks Loop
From Soledad take 146 to the West Entrance and proceed from there to the Chaparral Parking Lot, where we meet at 9:00 am. We'll hike 11 miles, climb 2310 ft.in 7-9 hours. Bring plenty of water, don't forget gloves, a warm head cover, rain gear (just in case), money for the entry fee. Rain cancels. For reservations call leader: Burk Siedhoff, 831-920-1803.

Tuesday, January 26
Senior Saunter: Carmel Circle
3 mile loop in Carmel. We begin at the Carmel Mission, walk to the Mission Preserve Trail, to the historical Flanders House. Restrooms at Sunset Center and lunch on benches there. Return via Scenic Tour near beach & 13th Ave. and back to Mission. A shorter walk will be available. Meet before 9:30 am at Sears on 41st Ave. To go direct, take Hwy 1 South to Carmel Crossroads, turn right on Rio Rd., go one mile to park at Carmel Mission. Bring water, lunch, $6 carpool. Rain cancels. Leaders: Bev Meschi, 831-475-4185; Brooke Ewoldsen, 831-475-6188.

Friday, January 29
Hike: Little Sur River
Our easy hike of about 5 miles is through a sorrel blanketed serene redwood forest alongside the Little Sur River—basic paradise. Arrive early: we depart at 9:30am from the Rio Road Park and Ride—reservation priority given to all wheel or 4 wheel vehicles which are best for the 7 mile rough dirt road to trailhead-can you help drive? Bring water and lunch. Call for a reservation—limit of 8. Leader: Lynn Bomberger, 831-375-7777.

Saturday, January 30
Bicycle Ride: Ocean Viewing Circle of the Monterey Peninsula
32 miles, about 1200 total elevation gain, around 6 hours. This will be a leisurely paced ride stopping at various vista points as desired. Meet 9 am at Dennis the Menace Park at El Estero Lagoon, Monterey. We'll ride south along the Coastal Recreation Trail around Pacific Grove, Pebble Beach, Carmel as far south as Pt. Lobos (22 Mi.) for lunch and a short visit. Return via quiet interior Carmel residential streets (NOT Hwy 1) to the top of Carmel Hill (the bulk of the elevation gain-580'), then down the Hwy 1 bike path and Iris Canyon Rd. to our cars. Limit 10 people. Please RSVP, by calling me. Leader: Steve Jackson, (831) 320-4561.

Sunday, January 31
Hike: Huckleberry Hill
A short but interesting jaunt up to Huckleberry Hill on the east side of Point Lobos. 5 miles with 600' of elevation gain, through a variety of coastal ecosystems. Bring water, lunch, and optional camera for unique views of Point Lobos. Maybe we'll spot a Gowan Cypress or two along the way. Meet at 10 am at the Bagel Bakery near Save Mart in Carmel. Leader: Larry Parrish, 831-622-7455.

Tuesday, February 2
Senior Saunter: UCSC Arboretum and Farm
Two/three mile educational, leisurely tour of gardens and farm. Meet before 9:30 am at Sears on 41st Ave. or by 9:50 am at the Arboretum on Empire Grade Rd. Bring lunch, water, $2 carpool. Rain cancels. Leaders: Irene Lennox, 831-457-2690; Brooke Ewoldsen, 831-475-6188.

Thursday, February 4
Hike: Jacks Peak
Our 6 mile loop with about 700 feet elevation gain at a moderate pace takes us along the quiet forested trails with some views of Carmel and Monterey Bay. Bring water and lunch. Meet near the Whole Foods store at 9:40 am for carpooling or at the West Parking Lot at Jacks Peak at 10 am. Bring water and lunch. Heavy rain cancels. Please let me know if you are coming. Leader: Gisela Nobinger, or 831-393-4983.

Sunday, February 7
Hike: Garland 2½ Ridge Half Marathon
Grand tour of Garland Regional Park. Visitor's center to the park summit on Snively's Ridge, then down to Redwood Canyon and back up East Ridge to Vazquez Saddle. Return via Veeder, Garzas Cyn & Mesa. Meet at the Garland main parking area at 8:00 am. Bring lunch, 3-4 liters water, and rain/wind gear. Heavy rain cancels or modifies. Quite strenuous: About 13 miles, 4300' and 7-8 hours. Limit 12 hikers, so please reply to with your name and phone number, and we will call you. Leaders: Randy May & Carol Greenstreet.

Tuesday, February 9
Senior Hike: Manzanita
This is a moderate hilly 3.25 mile hike in North Monterey County. See ocean and Fremont Peak on a clear day. Lunch at picnic tables in park. A shorter walk will be available. Meet before 9:30 am at Sears on 41st Ave or at Manzanita Park. Call leader for directions. Restrooms. Bring lunch, water, $5 carpool. Rain cancels. Leaders: Bev Meschi, 831-475-4185; Brooke Ewoldsen, 831-475-6188.

Thursday, February 11
Hike: Monterey Parks and Huckleberry Hill Preserve
Our 5-6 mile loop with 800 feet elevation gain at a moderate pace leads us through Via Paraiso Park, Quarry Park, and Veteran's Park into the Huckleberry Hill Preserve. For the hike back into town, we have a couple of options, either along the Veterans trail or through Skyline Forest and along the Don Dahvee trail. Bring water and lunch. Meet at the Monterey City Hall near the corner of Pacific and Madison at 9:30 am. Heavy rain cancels. Please let me know if you are coming. Leader: Gisela Nobinger, or 831-393-4983

Thursday, February 11
Jacks Peak Hound's Tongue
Along the quiet forested trails in Jacks Peak, we will likely find a beautiful display of hound's tongue in bloom. Spectacular views of Monterey, the bay and Carmel Valley are promised. About 5 ½ miles with 700 ft. elevation gain. Bring water & lunch. Arrive early; we depart at 9:30am from the NW corner of Whole Foods parking lot in Monterey (please park back from storefronts). Call for a reservation—limit of 8. Leader: Lynn Bomberger, 831-375-7777.

Saturday, 13 February
Hike: Mount Defiance in Pinnacles National Park
Mt. Defiance offers a grand view of the High Peaks, the Little Pinnacles, North & South Chalone and is the fifth highest peak in this seldom visited part of the park. Elevation gain is 1800 ft. and distance 5-6 miles. The hike is off trail. We will stay together and hike at a leisurely pace. Bring plenty of water. Don't forget gloves, warm head cover and rain gear (just in case). We have lunch at the top of the mountain. From Hollister take 25, then 146 to the Pinnacles East Entrance Visitor Center (toilettes!) and continue from there on to the Peaks View parking lot. If you find yourself at the Bear Gulch Nature Center you have driven too far. We meet at 9:00 am. Rain cancels! For reservations call leader: Burk Siedhoff, 831-920-1803.

Sunday, February 14
Hike: Hills above Brazil Ranch
For a change, just a short drive to the trailhead near Bixby Bridge for this lollipop loop of about 6 miles, 1000' elevation gain/loss. We'll walk up on trails, partly very steep; then cow trails over the meadows high above the Big Sur coast with the Big Sur lighthouse beneath us. Probably no flowers yet but wonderful wide views, or coastal fog which is also exciting from here. Lunch at a stand of redwoods. Back, on trails. Meet on Rio Road at Park & Ride in Carmel at 10 a.m. Bring sandwich and water. Leader: Anneliese Suter, 831-624-1467.

Tuesday, February 16
Senior Saunter: New Brighton Beach
This walk is along the beach in front of New Brighton State Park to Sea Cliff State Park. We'll return to New Brighton, up the cliff, steep but not too long, back to New Brighton Park for lunch. A shorter walk will be available. Meet before 9:30 am at Sears on 41st Ave. To go direct, take Hwy. 1 exit at Park Ave., go right to Kennedy Ave. and turn right for parking along the street to meet before 9:45 am. Bring water, lunch, $2 carpool. Rain cancels. Leaders: Irene Lennox, 831-457-2690; Brooke Ewoldsen, 831-475-6188.

Friday, February 19
Hike: Soberanes Canyon
Our 2 1/2 mile easy walk takes us into a beautiful redwood canyon where we'll have lunch beside a small peaceful creek. Along the way, we'll see a nice variety of coastal shrubs and ferns. Bring lunch or snack and water. Arrive early; we depart at 10:30am from the Rio Road Park & Ride in Carmel. Call for a reservation—limit of 8. Leader: Lynn Bomberger, 831-375-7777.

Saturday, February 20
Hike: Palo Corona Back Country Exploration
This un-trampled, pristine area is part State and Regional Park. Closed to the General public as yet, we'll enjoy a quiet peek at the beauty of the natural landscape without the usual wear and tear of public usage. The terrain features lush redwood canyons with small creeks to higher grassy ridges. I haven't identified the exact route yet, but it will most likely be 10 to 15 miles and possibly as much as 3000' elevation gain. If interested, call me to reserve a place and for more details. Limit 10 people. Leader: Steve Jackson, (831) 320-4561.

Sunday. February 21
Walk/Eat: Jetty Beach/Moss Landing Research Island
We didn't do this in November because our wimpy leader had a bad cold. So we'll try again, meeting at Jetty Beach to check out the critters (tons of otters!) and maybe see whales offshore. We'll then drive to 'town' and stroll around the north end of the Island. No, it's not currently designated 'research', but who knows what the future holds? We'll hear about plans for a major research development, and see what may not be there the next time we visit. Among these may be Phil's, where we'll enjoy a no-host lunch. Dress for weather and beach walking. Gale force winds/rain cancel. For meeting time and place, call me. Leader: Mary Gale, 626-3565.

Monday, February 22
Hike: Pinnacles Juniper Canyon Loop
This spectacular but steep trail climbs along switchbacks to the heart of the High Peaks. At the top, we'll circle through rock formations along the steep and narrow section of the High Peaks Trail and return via the Tunnel Trail. We'll look for condors and early wildflowers. 4.3 miles with 1215 feet elevation gain. Bring lunch and water. Meet at MPC parking lot A at 9 am (where the Friday farmers market is, small fee) or at Pinnacles Chaparral day use area, west side, at 10:30. Heavy rain cancels. Leaders: Cath Farrant and Mary Dainton, 831-372-7427.

Tuesday, February 23
Senior Saunter: Asilomar North
A 3 mile loop from Asilomar, north along the coast to Pt. Pinos Lighthouse and return on the grassy 'dog run' near the residential area. Possible diversion to Monarch butterfly preserve. Bring lunch to eat at Asiloma or arrange with a friend to eat at the Fishwife Restaurant. Meet before 9:30 am at Sears on 41st Ave. To go direct, take Hwy 1 south and exit at 68 West off ramp and meet at Fishwife Restaurant by 10:30 am. Bring lunch, $6 carpool. Rain cancels. Leader: Brooke Ewoldsen, 831-475-6188.

Thursday, February 25
Hike: Point Lobos
Our 5-6 mile loop with minimal elevation gain at a moderate pace takes us along beaches and steep coastal cliffs along open and forested trails with varied views of the ocean and bays. Bring water and lunch. Meet at the Rio Road “Park and Ride” parking lot near Bank of America at 9:30 am. Heavy rain cancels. Please let me know if you are coming. Leader: Gisela Nobinger, or 831-393-4983.

Saturday, February 27
Hike: Jack's Peak, another way
Let's approach Jacks' Peak from Carmel Valley. A short but interesting hike of 6 miles and 1000' of elevation gain. Through a meadow and up a fairly steep trail through the pines and oaks. Possible poison oak, so come prepared. Meet at Save Mart/Bagel Bakery at 10 am. Rain cancels. Leader: Larry Parrish, 831-622-7455.

Sunday, February 28
Hike: Mission Trails
This hike is 2-3 miles long and with 300' elev. gain. We start at the bottom of the canyon on Rio Road across from the Carmel Mission. We will make an elongated loop with some city streets as part of the route. If there is no fog, there will be a nice view of the Mission dome. We will make a stop by the controversial Flanders Mansion. Meet at 9 am at the trailhead. Rain cancels. Call me to reserve a place. Leader: Martha Saylor, 831-372-9215.


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