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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 April 25 to June 30, 2015
(Please contact leader to reserve a space)

Saturday, April 25
Hike: Jacks Peak
We'll walk around Jacks Peak clockwise, starting at the elementary school on Olmstead Road (near Monterey airport) at 9 am. Looking for wildflowers in bloom. A moderate hike of about 8 miles with less than 1,000' elevation gain/loss but with some beautiful views of Monterey and Point Lobos. Bring water and lunch. Heavy rain cancels, dribble doesn't count. Confirm by calling a few days before. Leader: Anneliese Suter, 624-1467.

Sunday, April 26
Hike: Kirk Creek - Twitchel Loop via Vicente Flat
14 miles, ~ elevation 2200 ft, ~ 7-8 hrs.
We meet 7:30 AM in Carmel, Rio Road, P&R. for carpooling to Kirk Creek Campground, 60 mi. south on Hwy.1. The hike starts opposite the campground gate (east side of Hwy. 1) at 9:15 am. Bring plenty of water and lunch. The views will be grandiose! For RSVP please call. Leader: Burkhard Siedhoff, 831-920-1803.

Sunday, April 26
Byrne-Milliron Forest Hike
Our hike of about 5 miles and 900 ft. elevation gain, winds us through a mystical redwood forest with hidden treasures, awesome vistas and spectacular trees. After our hike, we can stop at the Glaum Egg Ranch in Aptos to buy some very fresh eggs and to be entertained by dancing chickens. Bring water & lunch. Arrive early; we depart at 9:00 a.m. from the far end of the parking lot in front of REI in Marina or depart from the parking lot at the Corralitos Market and Sausage Co. at 9:50. Call for a reservation—limit of 8. Leader: Lynn Bomberger, 375-7777.

Tuesday, April 28
Senior Saunter: Neary Lagoon and Wharf
4 mile walk from Lighthouse Field to Neary Lagoon to Santa Cruz Wharf. A shorter walk will be available. Meet before 9:30 am at Sears on 41st Ave. or by 9:50 AM in the parking lot at Lighthouse Field on West Cliff, just left of the bathrooms. Bring lunch or eat at one of the wharf's restaurants. Restrooms. $2 carpool. Leader: Jean Harrison, 425-5447.

Saturday, May 2
Hike: East Garland Regional Park
9-10 miles, 4.5-5 hours, 1600 foot elevation gain. Wonderful flora and amazing views all the way. This hike has about 1.5 miles of steep assent, as much as 15% grade in a few places, high traction soles recommended.

Trails are generally wide and well-groomed so poison oak and ticks aren't usually a problem. Bring lunch, snacks and at least one liter of water. One way hike will require an 11 minute car shuttle. Meet 9:00 a.m. at the east end of Carmel Valley's Mid Valley Shopping Center for car pooling/ shuttling. Hike begins at 9:30 a.m. at the old Rosie's Cracker Barrel, Esquiline & De Los Helechos, Carmel Valley Village, and ends back at Mid Valley Shopping Center. Please RSVP. Leader: Steve Jackson, (831) 320-4561.

Saturday, May 2
Hike: Star Creek Ranch
This is property owned by the Santa Cruz Land Trust on the east side of Watsonville, off Hwy 129 about halfway to Hwy 101 where the cattle graze. SCLT only opens it a couple of times a year. It is on the back side of those hills that you see as you drive east, where few of us have gone before. The views from the top are unique, east over Hollister, etc. Expect 7-8 miles or so and about 1400 vertical feet. We're limited to 4 cars (16 people?), so call me to reserve. We will meet on Main St. in Soquel at 9:30 a.m. to carpool. Leader: Nick Wyckoff, (831) 462-3101.

Sunday, May 3
Hike: Whisler-Wilson Wildflower Hike with Rod Yeager
Our hike of 5 miles with about 600 feet elevation gain will be led by Rod Yeager with Lynn Bomberger. Rod has written many local wildflower books including co-authoring Wildflowers of Garland Ranch - a field guide. We'll meander alongside San Jose Creek, through redwood groves and up to spectacular coastal view point. Bring water, lunch and a towel or wear water sandals—we'll have three shallow creek crossings. Meet at 9:30 am at the Rio Road Park and Ride. Call for a reservation—limit of 8. Leader: Lynn Bomberger, 375-7777.

Sunday, May 3
Hike: Asilomar-Pebble Beach Loop
4 mile hike loop through Pebble Beach neighborhood, sand dunes and then to the coast trail. We go out and back to Point Joe and back along the beach boardwalk to Asilomar Blvd. Beach wild flowers, possible wildlife to be seen. Meet across from the Fishwife Restaurant on Sunset Drive and Asilomar Blvd., Pacific Grove at 9:00 a.m. Back about noon, bring snack and water. Call me to reserve a space. Leader: Martha Saylor, 372-9215.

Tuesday May 5
Senior Hike/Saunter: Bean Hollow
A 2 mile saunter through a blooming paradise on ocean bluffs south of Pescadero. There is the option of a moderate 2 mile round trip climb to Wilbur's Watch near Pigeon Point before the flower walk. Meet before 9:30 am at Sears on 41st Ave. or at Shen's Gallery at Mission & King St before 9.50 am. Bring lunch, water, $5 carpool. (Some may choose to have lunch nearby at Duarte's in Pescadero.) Restrooms. Leaders: Janet Schwind 425-3845 / Irene Lennox 457 2690.

Wednesday, May 6
Hike: Nisene Marks State Park
Our 6-8 mile loop with about 800 feet elevation gain at a moderate pace takes us through Redwoods and Oak forest. We will walk along the old railroad trail past the Hoffman Historic Site to the Bridge Creek for lunch. We return along the creek. Bring water and lunch. Meet at REI near Highway 1 and Imjin Pkwy at 9 am or at 9:30 behind the Epicenter bicycle store for carpooling and sharing the entrance fee. Please let me you if you are coming. Leader: Gisela Nobinger, or 831-393-4983.

Sunday, May 10
Hike: Little Sur River
Our easy hike of about 5 miles is through a redwood sorrel blanketed serene forest alongside the Little Sur River—basic paradise. If our timing is right, we'll see star flowers, inside-out plants and red Clintonias in bloom! Arrive early: we depart at 9:30 from the Rio Road Park & Ride—all wheel or 4WD vehicles best for the 7 mile rough road to trailhead. Can you help drive? Bring water & lunch. Call for a reservation—limit of 8. Leader: Lynn Bomberger, 375-7777.

Tuesday May 12, 2015
Senior Saunter: UCSC Farm and Arboretum
Two 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. Leader: Irene Lennox 457-2690.

Saturday. May 16
Hike: Big Creek Reserve/Canogas Falls
The USCS Landess-Hill Big Creek Reserve gave us a reservation to hike on their property. We'll hike up to High Camp for a short snack, then further up and steep down 1,000' to Canogas Falls, the largest waterfalls deep inside the Ventana Wilderness. Back out to High Camp to get fresh water and down over the meadows with millions of wildflowers and with the ocean shimmering beneath us. Just wonderful! A strenuous day with about 15 miles and 3,000' elevation gain/loss. Bring a hearty lunch and water, a hat and sun protection, hiking poles and some $$ for entrance fee and carpool gas help. Call definitely for a reservation. Meet at Rio Road Park & Ride at 7:30 am. Leader: Anneliese Suter, 624-1467.

Sunday, May 17
Hike: Palo Corona back country
We'll begin our jaunt at the San Jose Creek trailhead on State Park property. Hiking up the road along San Jose Creek we soon arrive at the old Whistler Ranch cabin. Then up to the overlook and eventually down to San Jose Creek. We'll lunch at Natalie's Grove and then take the main road back to our starting point. Expect 10+ miles and about 2,000'+ elevation gain. A longish hike, but not difficult. Call for reservation (20 maximum) and more information on time and meeting place. Leader: Larry Parrish, 622-7455.

Sunday, May 17
Walk: Garrapata Bluff and Beach
Whether sunny or foggy, this walk will feature coastal bluff flowers and shrubs and a sandy beach. We'll stroll from the beach entrance to steps descending steeply into a gully, and saunter back along the beach to steps back up to the bluff. Dress in layers, bring water and snack, and use sunscreen—no shade here! Meet at 9 at Rio Road P&R (between Starbucks and Rio Grill) and expect to be back around noon. To reserve a space, call me. Leader: Mary Gale, 626-3565.

Tuesday, May 19
Senior Hike/Walk: Soberanes/Garrapata
A scenic 2 mile walk up the canyon to enjoy the wild flowers. On our return, walkers may choose to lunch near the cars while the hikers go an additional mile uphill to Whaler's Point to enjoy the view and have lunch. Meet before 9:30 am at Sears on 41st Ave. To go direct, Soberanes is 7.3 miles south of Rio Road in Carmel, on Hwy 1. Look for barn on left side of road and a grove of cypress trees on the right. There is parking along the road on the ocean side. Primitive restroom. Dress for weather. Bring lunch, water, $6 carpool. Leaders: Brooke Ewoldsen 475-6188; Irene Lennox 457-2690

Wednesday, May 20
Hike: West Andrew Molera State Park - Canceled

Saturday, May 23
Hike/Bus: Big Basin to the Sea
Please join us for this marvelous all-day car-free hike from the Big Basin Park Headquarters via the waterfalls to the mouth of Waddell Creek on Highway 1. Meet at the Santa Cruz Metro Center in time to board the #35A bus, which will leave promptly at 8:30 am. I will give a brief talk on the bus about our geology. Please bring a poem to read at lunch. We'll be back at the Metro Center before 6:00 pm, after returning down the coast on the #40 bus. The hike is about 13 miles, but moderate and relaxing, with ample time for photos and lunch. It will be limited to 20 people. Please call me to reserve a place. Leader: Peter Scott, 423-0796.

Tuesday May 26
Senior Saunter: Paradise Park
We'll take a leisurely walk through the Park alongside the San Lorenzo River. Many flowers in the Park. Meet before 9:30 am at Sears on 41st Ave. Those wishing to go directly to the picnic grounds should check with the leader beforehand as there is some uncertainty about this walk. We'll lunch at the picnic area. Restrooms. Bring lunch, water, $2 carpool. Leader: Pat Herzog, 458-9841.

Sunday, May 31
Hike: Maple Falls
This 7 mile Nisene Marks hike with 700 ft. elevation gain takes us through a lovely forest along beautiful creeks and eventually to serene Maple Falls. Agility is required. Stops to enjoy flora & fauna. Bring water & lunch. Arrive early; we depart at 8:40 am from the far end of the parking lot in front of REI in Marina or depart from the parking lot behind Aptos Station at 9:30. Call for a reservation—limit of 8. Leader: Lynn Bomberger, 375-7777.

Tuesday June 2
Senior Hike/Saunter: Wilder - Enchanted Forest or 4 Mile Beach
The hike will begin near the Four Mile Beach parking area off Hwy.1 about 3 miles north of the Wilder Ranch main entrance. The hike is a steep uphill climb thru Enchanted Forest Canyon and then back. 4 miles round trip. The saunter will go gently down to the picturesque beach and back, less than 2 miles. Meet before 9:30 am at Sears on 41st Ave. or at Shen's Gallery at Mission & King Streets before 9:50 am. Bring lunch, water, $3 carpool. Hike Leader: Janet Schwind 425-3845; Walk Leader: Brooke Ewoldsen 475-6188.

Friday, June 5
Hike: Kahn Ranch
This quiet part of Garland, tucked in the southeastern corner of the park, boasts beautiful vistas and diverse plant life. We'll traverse the Fern, Manzanita and Hitchcock trails for around 4 miles and 1100 feet of elevation gain. Our leisurely pace will allow us to scout for wildflowers in preparation for Garland's wildflower show the following weekend. Please phone for a reservation by Tuesday, June 2 so we know how many permits to get. Meet at Rio Rd park and ride at 9 am with lunch and water. Leaders: Cath Farrant and Mary Dainton, 372 7427.

Saturday, June 6
Hike: Pt. Lobos, Bird Rock - Whalers Knoll loop
We'll start this 4+ mile hike around beautiful Point Lobos at the highway, go to Bird Rock, then along the south coast trail to Cypress Grove, up over Whaler's Knoll, then to Whalers Cabin at Whaler's Cove and out. There will be wildflowers to see and wildlife to watch for, maybe even baby Brandts cormorants and baby seagulls at Bird Rock. Meet at the Rio Road "Park and Ride" just east of Hwy 1 at 9 am. There will be a short carpool to start of the outing. Bring snack, water, and binoculars if you like for close-ups of the animal life. Call me to reserve a space. Leader: Martha Saylor, 372-9215.

Sunday, June 7
Hike: Fort Ord National Monument
Let's explore some of the eastern trails of Fort Ord. Wildflowers may still be in bloom and if we're lucky, maybe we'll catch sight of some of the abundant wildlife on these public lands. Expect 6-8 miles with ample elevation gain. Bring water, lunch, etc. Call for more information, meeting time and place. Leader: Larry Parrish, 622-7455.

Tuesday June 9
Senior Saunter: Franklin Point/Costanoa
This is a 4 mile hike on trails around the beach and over the dunes near Costanoa Resort. A shorter walk will be available. Meet before 9:30 am at Sears on 41st Ave or at Shen's Gallery at Mission & King St. before 9:50 am. To go direct, take Hwy 1 to Costanoa and park in the lot by the General Store. Restrooms. Bring lunch, water, $5 carpool. Leader: Perry Brohmer 1-650-793-3987; Walk leader: Brooke Ewoldsen 475-6188.

Wednesday, June 10
Meeting of Ventana Chapter hike leaders
For all hike and outings leaders. Everybody is welcome. We'll collect outings for July and August 2015. At the Monterey Public Library at 5:30 p.m. Anneliese will be on vacation, but Martha Saylor will be glad to see you and collect your write-ups for July and August 2015 on Monday, June 21, or earlier.

Thursday, June 11
Hike: Evening Soap Plant Quest
This 7 mile hike with 700 ft. elevation gain in Toro Park takes us through a forested valley along the Ollason trail then up to oak dotted grasslands. If we are lucky, we will see soap plants blooming—they bloom in the late afternoon and evening. If not, we'll have a nice late day walk in the woods. Bring water & dinner. Arrive early; we depart at 4:30 pm from the dirt parking area outside Toro Park. Call for a reservation—limit of 8. Leader: Lynn Bomberger, 375-7777.

Tuesday June 16
Senior Hike/Walk: Upper UCSC
A fairly flat walk on trails at upper USCS lands, off Empire Grade Rd. A shorter walk is available for those who choose this. Meet before 9:30 am at Sears on 41st. Ave. To go direct, take Mission to Bay Ave. Turn left at top of Bay and follow road past twin gates on Empire and Chinquapin Roads to parking areas on both sides of the road. Park on shoulder on left side of road. Hike leader: Perry Brohmer 1-650-793-3987. Walk Leader: Brooke Ewoldsen 475-6188.

Saturday, June 20
Hike: Big Basin, East Ridge Trail
June is the right time to do something on this trail. It should be warm and the hike is in the shade of redwoods most of the way. Expect 7 or so miles and 1000 uphill ft. We'll meet at the Govt Center in Santa Cruz at 9:30 to carpool. Leader: Nick Wyckoff, (831) 462-3101.

Saturday, June 20
Bicycle Ride: Sand City to Salinas River Wildlife Refuge
About 24 miles round trip, a comfortable pace of 1.5 hours each way, includes comfort stops, 1 hour for lunch and beach combing, total: 4 -5 hrs. We'll meet and start in the Sand Dollar Shopping Center parking lot, between Starbucks and Sports Authority and ride on designated bike trail almost all the way. The last mile at the mouth of the Salinas River is on hard packed dirt. Speaking of Sand Dollars, the beach is covered with them. Lots of birds; binoculars, cameras, tire patch kit or extra tube are recommended. Bring water, lunch and extra wind breaker for cool ocean breeze. Ends back at the cars. For questions and to RSVP, call. Leader: Steve Jackson, (831) 320-4561.

Sunday, June 21
Walk: Point Lobos State Reserve
With both sunny and shady shoreline, this walk gives us both beauty and variety as we meander along cliffs and through woods. Dress in layers, bring snack and water, and binoculars if you like to see the critters up close.
Meet at Rio Road P&R at 9 and expect to be back about noon. To reserve a space, call me. Leader: Mary Gale, 626-3565.

Sunday, June 21
Hike: Kahn Ranch
For those who haven't visited this portion of Garland Park, this
will be worth the effort. Exploring the outer limits of the little jewel that is Kahn Ranch, we will encounter some small waterfalls, abundant wildflowers (hopefully still), and elevated views of the Carmel River. Also expect some poison oak and possible ticks. 8 miles with 2500' of sometimes steep elevation gain/loss. Limit of 20 hikers. Call for a reservation, time and place to meet. Leader: Larry Parrish, 622-7455.

Tuesday, June 23
Senior Saunter: Ano Nuevo
All flat, 3 mile walk in the park famed for the elephant seals. A shorter walk will be available. Meet before 9:30 am at Sears on 41st Ave, or at Shen's Antiques (Mission/King) before Bring water, lunch, $4 carpool. Leader: Irene Lennox 457-2690.

Saturday, June 27
Hike: West Andrew Molera State Park
Starting from park headquarters, ascend the Hidden and Ridge Trails to a dramatic viewpoint, then return along the coast on the Panorama and Bluff trails. Moderate, about 9 miles and 1200'. Meet at the Rio Road Park & Ride at 7:45 am. Bring lunch, 2-3+ liters water, and rain/wind protection. Poison Oak likely on the narrow Panorama trail, so long sleeves and pants are recommended. Limited to 12 hikers, so please reply to with your name and phone number, and we will call you. Leaders: Carol Greenstreet & Randy May.

Tuesday, June 30
Senior Saunter: Sunset Beach
We'll walk both the bluffs and the beach. Moderate 4 miles without steep hills. A shorter walk will be available. Meet before 9:30 am at Sears on 41st Ave. or at Sunset Beach kiosk parking lot by 9:50 am. Bring water, lunch, $3 carpool and share of parking fee. Restrooms. Leader: Denise Lucy, 728-6552.

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