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


Ventana Chapter Hikes and Outings for Monterey/Carmel and Santa Cruz,
November and December 2019
(Please contact leader to reserve a space)

Monday, October 28
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 along the coast to Rocky Shores, looking for birds and sea mammals. Then we’ll head 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, 372 7427.

Thursday, October 31
Hike: Lookout Ridge, Fort Ord
Our 10-mile loop takes us up to and along Lookout Ridge in Fort Ord for magnificent views of the area. We climb about 1500 feet total. Bring water and lunch. Hiking poles are also useful for steep sections of trails. Meet in the paved parking lot at the Badger Hills Trailhead off Hwy 68 across from the Toro Café. Arrive before our 9:15 am departure time. Please RSVP. Leader: Dorothy Denning,   .

Tuesday, November 5
Senior Saunter: Natural Bridges
Four mile roundtrip walk visiting Natural Bridges State Park, the Butterfly Sanctuary and West Cliff. Meet before 9:30 A.M. at the former Sears on 41st Ave. or by 9.50 A.M. on Delaware Ave. beside the Park entrance. Bring water, lunch, $2 carpool. Lunch at Natural Bridges. Leader: Irene Lennox 831-457-2690.

Thursday, November 7
Hike: Fort Ord North-West
Our 6-7 mile loop with a bout 700-800 feet elevation gain at a moderate pace takes us gently to an overlook. The area has some shade, but also open trails, so bring a hat as well as water and lunch. Many of the trails have deep water channels, so good shoes are recommended. Meet at the parking lot for the Jerry Smith Trail on Inter-Garrison Road, near Schoonover Road at 9:30 am. Heavy rain cancels. Please RSVP. Leader: Gisela Nobinger,  .

Saturday, November 9
Hike: Mission Peak from Ohlone College
This is a moderately paced nine mile / 2500 ft elevation gain day hike in Mission Peak Regional Preserve in Fremont. Meet at 9:30 am at the Mission Peak trail head adjacent to the parking structure. $4 parking fee. For full hike details including carpools please register at Hike will be listed there 2-3 weeks prior to the event. Leader: Steve Bakaley,   or 831 612-6575.

Saturday, November 9
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, maybe among some cows. Always 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.

Sunday, November 10,
Hike / Saunter: Point Lobos
We’ll start this 5+- mile walk & pause around beautiful Point Lobos at the highway, walk down to the South Shore, go north to the Pit, then to the Whalers' Cabin and on to the top of Whaler’s Knoll, returning via North Shore to Cypress Grove & South Shore. There will be some stops along the South Shore to look at geologic features recently pointed out by Docent Ed Clifton. There is usually wildlife to see. Meet at the Rio Road, Carmel "Park and Ride" just east of Hwy 1 at 9:30 am. Back about 1:30 pm. There will be a short carpool to start of the outing. Bring $1 walk-in fee, snack, water, and binoculars if you like for close-ups of the animal life. Call leader to let her know you are coming. Leader: Martha Saylor, 372-9215.

Sunday, November 10 
Hike: West Pinnacles – High Peaks
Ascend the Juniper Canyon Trail to the steep and narrow section of the High Peaks Trail for spectacular views and the possibility of sighting a condor. Drop to the east side via the Condor Gulch Trail, then return via Bear Gulch Cave and Reservoir, and High Peaks and Juniper Canyon Trails. Strenuous 6-7 hour hike of about 10 miles and 2700’. Meet at the Park & Ride at Highway 68 and Laureles Grade by 7:30 am or at the trailhead by 8:45. Bring lunch, 3+ liters water, headlamp (for cave) and rain/wind gear. To participate, you MUST be sure-footed and comfortable with heights. Leaders: Randy May & Carol Greenstreet. Limit 12 hikers, so please reply to   with your name and phone number.

Tuesday, November 12
Senior Hike: Cowell Observation Deck
We will have a 4 mile hike over the rolling hills of the Henry Cowell campground area to the observation deck to enjoy its commanding views. Meet before 9:30 A.M. at the former Sears on 41st Ave. To go direct, meet inside the main entrance to the campgrounds on Graham Hill Rd. by 9.50 A.M. Bring snack, lunch, water, $3 carpool. Leader: Perry Brohmer 650-793-3987.

Thursday, November 14
Hike: Black Mountain, Toro Park
Our 7-mile out and back takes us up the Black Mountain trail in Toro Park to 2100 feet with splendid views of the Salinas Valley, Mt. Toro, and the local hills. We’ll start from my house and climb about 1900 feet total. Bring water, lunch, and hiking poles. Meet at the Buena Vista Library at 18250 Toro Dr. off River Rd. Arrive before our 9:00 am departure time to caravan up to my house. Please RSVP.  Leader: Dorothy Denning.

Friday, November 15
Hike: Buzzard Roost
This popular trail in Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park has re-opened after closures due to fire and flood. Midweek in winter will be the quietest time to enjoy hiking slowly up through the redwood forest to a lovely viewpoint. We’ll picnic by the Big Sur river afterwards. Total distance 5 miles with elevation gain about 900 feet. Bring lunch, water and $ for your share of the park entrance fee. Meet at the Rio Road Park and Ride at 9:30 am. Heavy rain cancels. Leaders: Cath Farrant and Mary Dainton 372-7427.

Sunday, November 17
Afternoon Walk: Beach or Town?
What's the weather doing? Warm and sunny--that's a beach day! Garrapata Beach is perfect for a sunny stroll, so plan to walk at an easy pace on the bluff, then back along the beach. Be sure to dress in layers and wear sunblock. But what if the day is cold and wet?  In that case, we’ll stay in town and ramble around the historic sights near the old First Theater and Lower Presidio Park. For meeting place and time, call leader by the day BEFORE the walk. Leader: Mary Gale, 626-3565.

Tuesday, November 19
Senior Saunter: Asilomar South
Easy 3+ mile walk from Asilomar to Point Joe and return along sandy paths and beach boardwalk. Lunch at tables just south of Point Joe. Meet before 9:30 A.M. at the former Sears on 41 st Ave. To go direct, meet before 10:30 A.M. at Fishwife Restaurant by Asilomar in Pacific Grove. Bring lunch, water, $5 carpool. NB Last date to book Holiday Lunch. Leader: Bev Meschi, 831-359-9961.

Thursday, November 21
Hike: Jacks Peak
Our 6 mile loop with about 800 feet elevation gain at a moderate pace takes us along the quiet forested trails of the park with some views of Carmel Bay and Monterey Bay. Bring water and lunch.  Meet near the California Pizza Kitchen in the Del Monte Shopping Center at 9:30 am for carpooling or at the West Parking Lot at Jacks Peak after 9:45 am. Bring water and lunch. Heavy rain cancels. Please, RSVP  . Leader: Gisela Nobinger.

Saturday, November 23
Bicycle Ride: Corralitos/Aptos/Seascape/Corralitos
About 20-25 mile round trip, at a comfortable non-competitive pace. Our ride will pass through beautiful “estate” apple orchards outlined and back dropped by Redwood forest. We’ll then descend through golf course neighborhoods 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. Hames Rd., Corralitos. For questions and to RSVP, texting preferred. No RSVP’s as of 24 hours before meeting, time cancels ride. Leader: Steve Jackson, (831) 320-4561.

Tuesday, November 26
Senior Hike: Fall Creek
Shady 3 mile hike in redwood forest partly along a creek. Some moderate uphill, rocky in places. Lunch at limestone kilns. After lunch, we'll do another mile or so. Meet before 9:30 A.M. at the former Sears on 41st Ave. or before 9:40 A.M. in the Gateway Shopping Plaza by the levee, between Ross and Petsmart. To go direct, cross from Graham Hill Rd to Felton Empire Rd in the center of Felton and drive half a mile to the Fall Creek parking lot on the right. No restrooms. Bring water, lunch, repellent, $3/$2 carpool. Leader: Steve Bakaley 831-612-6575.

Saturday, November 30
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’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 9:00 am. When coming from Santa Cruz, drive to the Sprig parking lot at the lowest point in the Park to start the hike with us at about 10 am. Call for more info. Leader: Anneliese Suter, 624-1467.

Sunday, December 1
Hike: Garland Ranch, Carmel Valley
We'll hike up to the Mesa via foothill trails, Buckeye and Waterfall, come back via Fern, Mesa, and Lupine Loop trails. About 4 miles with modest elevation gain, including steps. Nice valley views. Meet at the Park & Ride on Rio Road at 9:30 am for carpooling. Please call me to reserve space or if wanting to meet at Garland Park. If there has been rain, the trails may be muddy and there might even be some water over the waterfall. Bring snack/lunch and water. Rain cancels. Call to let me know that you are coming. Leader: Martha Saylor, 372-9215.

Thursday, December 5
Hike: Pilarcitos Ridge, Fort Ord
This 8.5-mile loop takes us out along Crescent Bluffs to the remote 80-numbered trails in Fort Ord and up to Pilarcitos Ridge where we will have lunch and enjoy the views. On the way back, we’ll watch for wildlife in Mudhen Lake and follow trails along Barloy Canyon. We climb about 1100 feet total. Bring water and lunch. 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; return by 3:00 pm. Please RSVP.  Leader: Dorothy Denning.

Saturday, December 7
Hike: Henry Cowell Fall Creek 
This is a moderately paced nine mile / 2300 ft elevation gain day hike. Portions of the uphill are quite steep, i.e. strenuous. Meet at 9:30AM at the Fall Creek Trail Head on Felton Empire Road (Bennett Creek). For full hike details including carpools please register at Hike will be listed there 2-3 weeks prior to the event. Leader: Steve Bakaley or 831-612-6575.

Tuesday, December 10
Senior Saunter: San Juan Bautista
A walking tour of the historic town of San Juan Bautista, the Plaza and the old Mission buildings. Meet before 9:30 A.M. at the former Sears on 41st Ave. Bring water, $5 carpool, lunch, (or plan ahead to lunch at one of the local restaurants in San Juan Bautista.) Leader: Irene Lennox 831-457-2690.

Thursday, December 12
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.

Sunday, December 15
Afternoon Walk: Beach or Town?
Which will it be: a beach walk or a ramble around town? Our decision depends on the weather, and to see what our options are, you can read the information for Sunday, Nov. 17, and then call me to see which choice we’ll take for this upcoming Sunday. Leader: Mary Gale, 831-626-3565.

Sunday, December 15
Hike: Hitchcock Canyon (the hard way)
Because of access restrictions, the Kahn Ranch addition of Garland Park is only lightly visited. We begin at the Garzas trailhead and take the Saddle, Gabilan, Vasquez and Cougar Ridge trails to Kahn Ranch. Then we climb the Hitchcock Loop trail and descend the Manzanita trail back to the ranch and return via Cougar Ridge to visit Vazquez saddle and finally descend the East Ridge and Veeder trails. Rather strenuous 7-8 hour hike of 12 miles and 4200’ elevation gain. Meet at Garzas trailhead and be ready to start hiking at 8:00 AM PST. Take Carmel Valley Road 1.6 miles past the Garland main parking lot, turn right on Boronda, then at T-junction turn left on W. Garzas Road and drive about 300 yards. Bring lunch, 3 liters water, rain/wind gear and headlamp. Heavy rain cancels. Limit 12 hikers, so please reply with your name and phone number to: Leaders: Randy May & Carol Greenstreet.

Tuesday, December 17
Senior Saunter: Carmel Town
This walk will start at the bathrooms by the beach on Ocean Ave in Carmel. We will explore the beach, the Mission Preserve and return to Ocean Ave to enjoy lunch and a look at the shops and holiday decorations downtown. Meet before 9:30 A.M. at the former Sears on 41st Ave. Bring lunch, water, $6 carpool. Leader: Bev Mesch, 475-4185.

Thursday, December 19
Hike: Trails 41, 42, and 43, Fort Ord
Our 6-7-mile loop takes us out Trail 41 to Trails 42 and 43 in Fort Ord. We climb about 1000 feet total and enjoy beautiful views along the way. Bring water and lunch. Meet on Anza Drive. From Monterey, exit Hwy 68 at Portola Drive. At the stop sign, turn onto Portola Drive, drive under 68, and turn right at the next stop sign, staying on Portola Drive. Turn left at the second entrance to Anza Dr. (there’s a white picket fence at the house on the far corner) and park by the dirt area on the right. Arrive before our 9:30 am departure time. Please RSVP. Leader: Dorothy Denning.

 Friday, December 27
Hike: Del Monte Forest
Our 4-5 mile loop with about 600 feet elevation gain at a moderate pace takes us along quiet forested trails that are pretty even in fog. Trails can be muddy. Bring water and a snack. Meet at the parking area along highway 68 at the Haul Road between Skyline Forest and Forest Hill at 9:30 am. If the road work is still going on, we may have to find another spot for parking and meeting. We should be back by about noon. Heavy rain cancels. PleaseRSVP Leader: Gisela Nobinger.
Saturday, December 28
Bicycle Ride (Non-Competitive Pace): Coyote Creek Recreation Trail
The intent of this bike ride is to look around and enjoy the scenery. Average speed will be 8 to 10 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 Depaul Dr. and Cochrane Rd., Morgan Hill 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 miles). We’ll return on the same path back to our cars. No parking or park fees. Bring water, lunch and sunscreen. Various parks along the route provide restrooms and extra water. RSVP, texting preferred. No RSVP’s as of 24 hours before meeting time, cancels ride. Leader: Steve Jackson, (831) 320-4561.

Tuesday, December 31
Senior Saunter: Watsonville Slough
A mostly flat walk around Watsonville and Struve Sloughs. We’ll see egrets, herons, mallards, etc. Meet before 9:30 A.M. at the former Sears on 41 st Ave. or at the Nature Center, 20 Harkins Slough Rd., by 9:50 A.M. No restrooms. Lunch at Ramsay Park. Bring lunch, water, $3 carpool. Rain cancels. Leaders: Bev Meschi, 831-359-9961; Ann Brohmer, 650-793-3987.

Wednesday, January 1st, 2020
New Year’s Day Hike
Our traditional New Year's Hike takes us from the parking lot at Safeway's Mid Valley, carpooling to Garland Ranch, climb up to Snifely's Ridge at a very moderate pace, and still a little higher to a sunny spot for lunch. The very ambitious hiker may go up to the tower on their own. Then we'll turn west all the way high down through Carmel Valley, 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 am. Call to confirm. Heavy rain (or snow) cancels. Leader: Anneliese Suter, 831-624-1467.


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