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

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Ventana Chapter Hikes and Outings for Monterey/Carmel and Santa Cruz,
March and April 2019
(Please contact leader to reserve a space)
Next Meeting: Wednesday, February 13, 2019, 5 pm
Write-ups due: Monday, February 24, 2019

Thursday, February 28
Hike: Soldiers Memorial Field, Fort Ord
Our 6-7-mile loop takes us on unmarked trails through oaks and chaparral around the north side of Fort Ord near Gigling Rd. We pass by Soldiers Memorial Field and hike along ridges with views of the munitions cleanup work. We climb about 500 feet total over rolling hills, some on rutted sections of trail. Bring water and lunch. Meet in the parking lot on Inter-Garrison Rd. at the Jerry Smith Trail near Schoonover Rd. Arrive before our 9:30 am departure time. Please RSVP. Leader: Dorothy Denning, .

Saturday, March 2
Bicycle Ride: Corralitos/Aptos/Seascape/Corralitos
About 20 miles round trip, at a comfortable non-competitive pace focusing on a heads up, looking around at scenery, not drafting the bike wheel in front of you, attitude. Our ride will pass through beautiful “estate” apple orchards outlined and back dropped by Redwood forest. We'll then descend through golf course neighbor-hoods to Seascape Village; returning to our cars in the Corralitos Market area via up and over White Rd. The course is an abstract figure eight, so there are 2 or 3 places where participants who start feeling like they have had enough, can sign out and head back to their cars. Total elevation gain/loss 800 to 900 feet. Helmet and bright reflective clothes, tire patch kit or extra tube and bike tools and lock recommended. Bring water, lunch. No parking fees. Meet 9 am at the Corralitos Market area, Corralitos Rd. For questions and to RSVP, Leader: Steve Jackson, (831) 320-4561, texting is OK.

Sunday, March 3
Walk: Carmel River Beach Saunter
How about a Sunday morning saunter with steps from Carmel River Beach to Monastery Beach, returning via some bluff trails. Enjoy views of Point Lobos and watch the surf. 2 to 3 miles. Wear comfortable shoes and dress for the weather; wind breaker recommended. Bring water and a snack. Meet at 9:30 am at the Park & Ride on Rio Road for carpool to start of hike. Rain cancels. Call me to let me know you will be there. Leader: Martha Saylor, 372-9215

Tuesday, March 5
Senior Saunter: UCSC Arboretum and Farm
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 entrance to the Arboretum on Empire Grade Rd. Bring lunch, water, $2 carpool. Rain cancels. Leader: Irene Lennox, 831 457.

Thursday, March 7
Hike: Point Lobos
Our 5-6 mile loop with some 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 9:30 am at the Rio Road “Park and Ride” parking lot near Starbucks. Heavy rain cancels. Please RSVP. Leader: Gisela Nobinger, .

Tuesday, March 12
Senior Hike: De Laveaga Park
We'll hike to the Top of the World and back among trillium and yellow violets. 3 miles with some uphill. Shorter walk available. Meet before 9:30 am at Sears on 41st Ave. or at De Laveaga Park at Twisted Tree picnic area off Branciforte Drive (not Avenue) by 9:50 am. Bring lunch, water, $2 carpool. Rain cancels. Leaders: Steve Bakaley, 831-612-6575 and Brooke Ewoldsen, 831-475-6188.

Thursday, March 14
Hike: Veeder Pond
Our 4-mile hike takes us up the Veeder Trail to Veeder Pond and back on the East Ridge and Terrace Trails. The hike is strenuous, with about 1300 feet total feet of climbing on trails that are very steep. Bring water and lunch. Hiking poles are also advised. Meet on East Garzas Rd. by the meadow just after the left turn from Boronda Rd. at 10:00 am or at 9:30 am at the Rio Rd. park & ride lot for self-organized carpooling. Please RSVP. Leader: Dorothy Denning,

Saturday, March 16
Hike: Eagle Peak and Mt Diablo Falls Rescheduled from Feb 16
Climb Eagle Peak (2369 ft) from the wild north side and return via Donner and Back canyons on a moderately paced but strenuous loop. Be prepared for cold winds, mud, and poison oak. 10 miles and 2800 feet of elevation gain. Meet at 9:30 am at the Mitchell Canyon staging area in Mt Diablo State Park. For full hike details including carpools please register at https://www.meetup.com/Santa-Cruz-Sierra-Club/events. Hike will be listed there 2-3 weeks prior to the event. Leader: Steve Bakaley, or 831-612-6575.

Sunday, March 17
Bicycle Ride (Non-Competitive Pace): Coyote Creek Trail
The intent of this bike ride is to look around and enjoy the scenery. Average speed will be 8 to 9 mph. Total time: 4.5 to 5 hrs. This is an amazingly beautiful country ride considering the proximity to suburbia and Silicon Valley. Mostly level riding, paralleling Coyote Creek with a total cumulative elevation gain of 305 feet spread over this 30 mile round trip. Meet just east of N/B Hwy 101 and Cochrane Rd. by 9:30 AM. I'll lead us to the trail head from there. Lunch will be on the banks of Cottonwood Lake in Hellyer County Park (15 m). We'll return on the same path back to our cars. No parking/park fees. Bring water, lunch and sunscreen. Various parks along the route provide restrooms and extra water. RSVP, preferably by text. Leader: Steve Jackson, (831) 320-4561. If no RSVP's as of 24 hours before meeting time cancels ride.

Sunday, March 17
Walk: Fort Ord
We'll try again (rained out last time!) to revisit an old favorite, a route up old Reservation Road to Engineer Canyon, and then up to a mesa that offers great views to the east and south. Bring water, a snack, and boots or shoes with good traction for a short but steep climb to the mesa. Hard rain cancels. Meet at the Creekside trailhead, near the intersection of Hwy 68 and Reservation Road, at 9 am. Call leader to sign up, and get better directions if needed. Leader: Mary Gale, 626-3565.

Monday March 18
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 farmers market is, small fee) or at Pinnacles Chaparral day use area, west side, at 1030. Heavy rain cancels. Leaders: Cath Farrant and Mary Dainton 372 7427.

Tuesday, March 19
Senior Hike: Quail Hollow
This is a 3 mile loop through the sand hills above the main ranch house. There's a moderate 500-plus foot climb up the Woodrat Trail to the top with great views, and a dwarf redwood forest, returning on the Sunset Trail. Shorter walk available. Meet before 9:30 am. at Sears on 41st Ave. or by the levee near Ross in the Gateway Mall at River St. before 9:40 am. To go direct, hikers will meet the group at 800 Quail Hollow Road in the parking lot by the main house by 9:55 am. Bring lunch, water, $3 carpool. Rain cancels. Leaders: Perry Brohmer, 650-793-3987 and Brooke Ewoldsen, 831-475-6188.

Thursday, March 21
Hike: Toro County Park
Our 6-7 mile hike with about 800-900 feet elevation gain at a moderate pace takes us along the Meyers Loop and Ollason trail to oak dotted grasslands to my favorite lunch spot. We will return along Ollason trail. Bring water and lunch. Meet at 9:30 am in the parking lot on the right just after driving into Toro Park and paying the entry fee ($2/person). Heavy rain cancels. Please RSVP. Leader: Gisela Nobinger, .

Saturday, March 23
Hike: Hills above Brazil Ranch
For a change, just a short drive to the trailhead near Bixby Bridge. A lollipop loop of about 6 miles, 1000' elevation gain/loss. We'll walk up on a trail, partly very steep; then cow trails over the meadows high above the Big Sur coast with the Big Sur lighthouse. We hope for many flowers or what the cows have left us, otherwise, just wonderful wide views, or coastal fog which is also exciting. Lunch at a stand of redwoods. Hiking back on trails. Meet on Rio Road at Park & Ride in Carmel at 10 a.m. Call for more info. Leader: Anneliese Suter, 624-1467.

Saturday, March 23
Hike: Henry Coe Madrone Soda Springs and China Hole
A leisurely - moderately paced hike to Madrone Soda Springs and then on to China Hole. 10.3 miles and 1400 ft of elevation gain. All but 1.6 miles of the hike is narrow trail with wonderful views, the rest is fire road. Meet at 10 am at the Henry Coe Ranch Visitor Center. For full hike details including carpools please register at https://www.meetup.com/Santa-Cruz-Sierra-Club/events. Hike will be listed there 2-3 weeks prior to the event. Leader: Steve Bakaley, or 831-612-6575.

Sunday, March 24
Hike: Happy Trails & Fort Ord National Monument
We'll explore the lands adjacent to the Fort Ord National Monument known locally as 'Happy Trails'. And we'll venture into the FONM and visit some of the vernal ponds (hopefully) and other sites along the way. Expect 6-8 miles of easy sloping oak woodlands with less than 1000' of elevation gain. We can adjust according to the temperature and group sentiment. Map included. Call for meeting time and place. Leader: Larry Parrish, 622-7455.
 
Tuesday, March 26
Senior Hike: Pogonip Harvey West
4 miles with some uphill (some steep) from Harvey West parking lot by baseball fields. We'll walk by the Sacred Tree and the old clubhouse. Meet before 9:30 am at Sears on 41 st Ave. or at Harvey West parking lot near the ballpark before 9:50 am. Bring lunch, water, $2 carpool. Restrooms. Rain cancels. Leader: Perry Brohmer, 650-793-3987.

Thursday, March 28
Hike: Three Sisters, Fort Ord
Our 7-8-mile loop takes us out to Three Sisters and along ridges and trails with magnificent views and wildflowers. We climb about 1000 feet total, some on steep and rutted sections of trails. Bring water and lunch. Meet at the Fort Ord Creekside Terrace Trailhead off Reservation Rd. near Hwy 68. Arrive before our 9:30 am departure time. Please RSVP. Leader: Dorothy Denning,

Friday, March 29
Hike: Post Summit (East Molera State Park)
From the East Molera trail and Post Summit (3455') itself, you can enjoy dramatic views of the Big Sur Coast, and of the interior Ventana Wildnerness ranging from Pico Blanco to Ventana Double Cone to Junipero Serra Peak. This is a strenuous 6-7 hour hike of about 10 miles and 3500'. Meet at the Rio Road Park & Ride to carpool by 8:00 am. Bring lunch, 3+ liters water, and rain/wind gear. Wear long pants, preferably light colored, as overgrown parts of the route may have ticks. The last section before the summit is steep and loose, so if you have hiking poles you may want to bring them. Limit 12 hikers, so please reply with your name and phone number to , and we will call you. Leaders: Randy May & Carol Greenstreet.

Sunday, March 31
Hike: Butano State Park--or-Saturday, March 30
This will be a delightful hike of 9 to 10 miles. We'll visit magnificent old-growth redwoods, the headwaters of Butano Creek,
and the north ridge with its fine views. We should see many wildflowers, including, if we're lucky, a colony or two of the uncommon Calypso orchids (John Muir's favorite wildflower). Last year we saw only a single tiny orchid---maybe there will be more this year. Meet at 8:45 am at the Santa Cruz County Government Center parking lot to car-pool. Bring lunch and water. Call me. Leader: Peter Scott, (831) 423-0796 (or write to Peter at ) if you plan to come.

Tuesday, April 2
Senior Hike: Toro Park
We'll hike the Oliason Trail and hopefully see great flowers. 3.5 miles with one uphill section. A shorter walk is available. Meet before 9:30 am at Sears on 41st Ave. or at Toro Park at Sycamore Grove, the next to last parking lot, near restrooms. Toro Park is off Hwy. 68 between Monterey and Salinas. Bring lunch, water, $5 carpool. Rain cancels. Leaders: Steve Bakaley, 831-612-6575 and Brooke Ewoldsen, 831-475-6188.

Thursday, April 4
Hike: Palo Corona
Our ~6 mile hike with about 800 feet elevation gain at a moderate pace takes us up through a meadows and oak dotted grasslands with views of Carmel and Carmel Bay. The trails allow for loops with different perspectives. Bring water and lunch. Meet at 9:30 am in the parking lot at Palo Corona headquarters. This is off Carmel Valley road right past the Middle School on the right. Please RSVP. Leader: Gisela Nobinger, .

Saturday April 6
Hike: Forest of Nisene Marks Hike to Maple Falls
A leisurely - moderately paced hike in Forest of Nisene Marks State Park practically in his back yard to Maple Falls. We will be going up via the Bridge Creek Trail and coming back via the Loma Prieta Grade. Parts of the route are rugged and require a bit of scrambling. They make the hike strenuous. 11.5 miles and 1300 feet of elevation gain. Meet at 10 am in the parking lot next to the entry way Kiosk. For full hike details including carpools please register at https://www.meetup.com/Santa-Cruz-Sierra-Club/events. Hike will be listed there 2-3 weeks prior to the event. Leader: Steve Bakaley, or 831-612-6575.

Tuesday, April 9
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 or at the picnic area in Paradise Park. We'll lunch at the picnic area. Restrooms. Bring lunch, water, $2 carpool. Leader: Perry Brohmer 650-793-3987.

Thursday, April 11
Hike: Trails 49 and 50, Fort Ord
Trails 49 and 50 are lovely trails in Fort Ord, and especially beautiful when the wildflowers are blooming. Our 8+-mile hike will take us out to and up Trail 49 to Lookout Ridge, where we'll have lunch, and then back on Trail 50. We climb about 1200 feet total. Bring water and lunch. Hiking sticks are also recommended for steep sections of trails. Meet at the corner of East Garrison Dr. and Watkins Gate Rd. in the East Garrison development off Reservation Rd. Parking available on street. Arrive before our 9:30 am departure time. Please RSVP. Leader: Dorothy Denning,

Saturday April 13
Hike: Tomales Bluff
The bells toll as bay meets sea at land's end on a leisurely paced 10 miles - 1000 ft elevation gain hike along the moors of the northern tip of Point Reyes. Could be the best Douglas Iris displays in the Bay Area. Meet at 11:00 am at McClure's Beach lower parking lot at the end of Pierce Point Road. For full hike details including carpools please register at https://www.meetup.com/Santa-Cruz-Sierra-Club/events. Hike will be listed there 2-3 weeks prior to the event. Leader: Steve Bakaley, or 831-612-6575.

Sunday, April 14
Hike: Henry Coe Loop
This 6.5 mile hike starts and ends at the main visitor center. 1600 foot elevation gain. Hike traverses the western ridges covered in thick mixed forest. Due to plentiful rains this year, there might be lots of green and wild flowers. Bring water, snacks, lunch, for a hike lasting 5 hours. For carpooling, the usual gas and parking fee sharing apply. Monterey Peninsula hikers meet by 9AM at REI in Marina. Santa Cruz hikers show up at the main park entrance by 10:15AM. Get off NB 101 at East Dunn, go all the way up to the end of the road. Please RSVP, preferably by text. Leader: Steve Jackson, (831) 320-4561.

Sunday, April 14
Hike: Asilomar-Pebble Beach Forest & Coast Loop
4 mile hike loop through Pebble Beach neighborhood, sand dunes and then to the coast trail. We'll go out 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 9:30 am. Back about noon, bring snack and water. Rain cancels. Call to let me know you are coming. Leader: Martha Saylor, 372-9215

Sunday, April 14
Hike: Terrace Trail
It's flower time, and this trail always delights! Bring a stick or two to help keep you on this narrow trail, along with footgear for mud and good traction. The hike is not strenuous, but hikers should be good on steep hills. Bring lunch, water, dress in layers, and meet at the east end of the lower parking lot (NOT on the shoulder of CV Rd.) at Garland Ranch at 9 to form carpools. If you live east of Boronda Rd. you can meet us at the trailhead around 9:30, but call ahead to let us know to look for you. Leader: Mary Gale, 626-3565.

Monday, April 15
Hike: Pacheco State Park
Near the top of Pacheco Pass is a windswept area of rolling hills, secluded meadows, and in the spring usually wildflowers. We'll walk a leisurely loop of 5 or 6 miles with some steep ups and downs. Bring lunch, water (there is no drinking water at the trailhead,) sturdy shoes and maybe your camera. Meet at 9 am at the far end of the parking lot in front of REI (next to the wall) in Marina. Santa Cruz area hikers may meet at 41st Ave Sears, no leader, and make their own way to the park. Take Hwy 152 east to Pacheco Pass, turn right on Dinosaur Point Rd then soon the park entrance is on your right. We should be at Pacheco State Park parking area (fee) by 10:15 am. Leaders: Cath Farrant and Mary Dainton, 372 7427.

Tuesday, April 16
Senior Hike: Garland Ranch Park
We'll head up the waterfall trail to the Mesa Pond, with some hills and stairs, for lunch at the benches, and back down the Mesa trail, about 3.5 miles. There is an approximately 600 foot gradual climb. For those who want to visit the nature center at the end of the hike, the round trip adds another mile. A shorter walk is available. Meet at 41st Ave. at Sears by 9:30 am or go directly to the new visitors' center, in Garland Ranch Park about 8 miles up Carmel Valley Rd., by 10:45 am. Restrooms available. Bring lunch, water and a $6 share of cost for car-pooling. Rain cancels. Leaders: Bev Meschi, 831-475-4185 and Brooke Ewoldsen, 831-475-6188.

Thursday, April 18
Hike: Del Monte Forest
Our ~6 mile loop with about 600 feet elevation gain at a moderate pace takes us along quiet forested trails that are even pretty in fog. Bring water and a snack. Meet at 9:00 am at the parking area along highway 68 at the Haul Road between Skyline Forest and Forest Hill. We should be back by noon. Heavy rain cancels. Please RSVP. Leader: Gisela Nobinger, .

Easter Sunday, April 21
Hike: Mount Madonna County Park
This beautiful more than 3000 acre park has several different landscapes from redwood forest to oak woodland, chaparral and grassy meadows. We should find spring flowers all over. We'll walk about 8 miles with 1300 feet of elevation gain, the steep part through the pine and redwood forest in the beginning. After lunch in a comfortable hut with picnic tables we walk down in a large circle around the whole park. Bring food and water. Meet at Home Depot in Seaside at 8:30 or on Main Street in Soquel when coming from Santa Cruz, 8:15 to carpool, no leader. Drive to the Sprig parking lot to start the hike at 9:15 am. Call for more info. Leader: Anneliese Suter, 624-1467.

Sunday, April 21
Hike: Jack's Peak, another way
Let's approach Jacks' Peak from Carmel Valley. A short but delightful 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. Call for time. Rain cancels. Leader: Larry Parrish, 622-7455.

Tuesday, April 23
Senior Saunter: Neary Lagoon
4 mile loop from Lighthouse Field to Neary Lagoon to Santa Cruz Wharf and back. 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 restaurants on the wharf. Restrooms. $2 carpool. Leader: Irene Lennox, 831 457 2690.

Thursday, April 25
Hike: Marks Ranch Wildflowers
Enjoy spectacular wildflowers and views in Marks Ranch on a 6-mile hike with about 900 feet of climbing. Big Sur Land Trust purchased the 816-acre ranch in 2007, protecting important wildlife corridors. BSLT later transferred a portion of the property to Monterey County Parks which expanded Toro Park and its back country open space. BSLT continues to care for 73 acres of the property and its beautiful rolling hills, woodlands, meadows, grazing lands and 90 species of wildflowers. Bring water, lunch, and hiking poles. We'll start hiking at 9:30 am from the BSLT gate. Reservations required. Leader: Dorothy Denning,

Saturday, April 27
Hike: Twitchell Loop (Kirk Creek to Limekiln State Park)
This point-to-point hike (requiring a car shuttle along route 1) begins at Kirk Creek Campground, ascends to Vicente Flat, crosses Hare Ridge, traverses Stone Ridge Trail below Cone Peak, and eventually descends on the steep and loose "Twitchell Elevator" to Limekiln State Park. This is a steep and strenuous 7-8 hour one-way hike, for experienced Ventana hikers only, of about 12 miles and 3600' elevation gain. Meet at the Rio Road Park & Ride to carpool by 7:30 am. Bring lunch, 3+ liters water, and rain/wind gear. Hiking poles recommended. Limit 12 hikers, so please reply to with your name and phone number, and we will call to discuss your recent hiking experiences. Leaders: Randy May & Carol Greenstreet.

Tuesday, April 30
Senior Saunter: Bean Hollow and Wilbur's Watch
A moderate 2 mile round trip climb to Wilbur's Watch near Pigeon Point followed by a saunter through a blooming paradise on ocean bluffs south of Pescadero. Alternative walk just on ocean bluffs. Meet before 9:30 am at Sears on 41st Ave. or before 9:40 am in the Gateway Shopping Mall by the levee, between Ross and Petsmart. Restrooms. Bring lunch, water, $5 carpool ($3 from Gateway). Leaders: Irene Lennox, 831-457-2690 and Brooke Ewoldsen, 831-475-6188.

Friday, May 3
Hike: Henry Coe
It's a long-ish drive to Henry Coe State Park, which is in the hills east of Morgan Hill. But it's worth it for the green rolling hills, oak studded meadows, wildflowers and interesting visitor center. We'll hike a leisurely 5 mile loop to include the Spring and Forest trails. Bring lunch, water and wear sturdy shoes. Meet at 9.00 am at the far end of the REI parking lot, next to the wall, in Marina. Santa Cruz area hikers may meet at 41st Ave Sears, no leader, at 9.00 am and make their own way to the park. Take the East Dunne Ave exit from Hwy 101 and follow signs to the Park's main entrance. We should be at Henry Coe parking lot (fee) by around 10.30 am. Leaders: Cath Farrant and Mary Dainton, 372 7427.

 


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