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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 from
June 23 until August 2016
(Please confirm space with hike leader)

Thursday, June 23
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 near REI near Highway 1 and Imjin Pkwy at 9 am or at 9:30 behind the Epicenter bicycle store. Leader: Gisela Nobinger, or 408-406-9650.

Sunday, June 25
Hike: Skinner Ridge Trail to Mount Carmel
This is a strenuous out-and-back hike of 9.6 miles through shaded forest and open ridges. Beginning at Bottchers Gap (parking fee required), we will ascend a total of 2500' elevation gain to amazing views of Pico Blanco, Ventana Double Cone, and the Big Sur Coast with wildflowers galore along the way. Bring 2-3 liters of water, sturdy boots, trekking poles, hat, sunscreen, and lunch. Meet at Rio Road Park and Ride in Carmel at 9:00 AM. Heavy rain cancels. Leader: Stanley Dudek, or 831-726-6200.

Sunday, June 26
Walk: Carmel River Beach
How about a morning saunter from Carmel River Beach over the high path with steps to Monastery Beach, returning via the bluff trail. Enjoy the breathtaking views of Point Lobos and listen to the surf. Approximately 3 miles. Wear comfortable shoes and dress for the weather; wind breaker recommended. Bring water and a snack. Meet at 9 am at the parking lot at Carmel River Beach at the lagoon (south end of Carmelo in Carmel.) Call me to reserve a place. Leader: Martha Saylor, 372-9215.

Tuesday, June 28
Senior Saunter: Asilomar South
Easy 3+ mile walk from Asilomar to Point Joe and return along sandy paths and beach boardwalk. A shorter walk will be available. Lunch at tables just south of Point Joe or at Asilomar. Meet before 9:30 am at Sears on 41st Ave. To go direct, meet before 10:40 am at Fishwife Restaurant & Asilomar in Pacific Grove. Bring lunch, water, $5 carpool. Leaders: Bev Meschi, 831-359-9961; Brooke Ewoldsen, 831-475-6188.

Sunday, July 3
Hike: Julia Pfeiffer Burns to Tin House
Let's start at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, walk through to a newly opened trail to the Tin House for lunch. It is a beautiful way high through the hills with gorgeous views down the coast. After Lunch, we'll walk down on the Tan Bark Trail to the Highway where some of our cars are parked, pick up the first cars from Pfeiffer Burns and drive home. About 11 miles with 1,500' elevation gain/loss in a moderate pace. Bring lunch and lots of water, some $ for park entrance share. Don't forget a hat and your hiking poles. Reserve time for a long day. Meet at Park & Ride on Rio Road in Carmel at 8:00 a.m. For more info, call me. Leader Anneliese Suter, 624-1467.

Tuesday, July 5
Senior Hike/Saunter: Lower Nisene Marks/Chaminade
For the hikers this is an approx. 3.5 mile nature walk among the redwoods, the largest tree in the Park and the twisted trees. Some uphill. To go direct, park at the first kiosk. Primitive restrooms. The walkers are going to Chaminade. To go direct, park behind the tennis courts. Both groups meet before 9:30 AM at Sears on 41st Ave. Bring lunch, water, $2 carpool and share of Park fee. Leaders: Perry Brohmer 1-650-793-3987; Brooke Ewoldsen 1-475-6188.

Wednesday, July 6
Hike: Williams Canyon Leopard Lily Walk
Chris Hauser, Santa Lucia Conservancy's botanist, will take us on this easy walk of about 5 miles. The trail winds along Williams Creek through a serene redwood forest with very little elevation gain. We'll see a nice variety of ferns and flowers and possibly spectacular Leopard Lilies. Bring water and lunch. Meet at the Santa Lucia Conservancy office parking area, 26700 Rancho San Carlos Road, Carmel by 9:30am. Call Sierra Club leader Lynn at 831-375-7777 for a reservation—limit of 15.

Thursday, July 7
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. Leader: Gisela Nobinger, or 408-406-9650. Please let me you if you are coming.

Sunday, July 10
Hike: Jacks Peak – The Trails Less Travelled
Curious about some of those trails around Jacks Peak that you always wanted to take, but never did? Well, let's see where they go. Expect 6-8 miles, perhaps 1200' of elevation gain, and probable poison oak exposure. Good hiking boots will be beneficial, and bring a lunch. Let's meet at 9:30. Call for meeting site and shuttle info. Leader: Larry Parrish, 831-622-7455.

Tuesday, July 12
Senior Saunter: Ano Nuevo
3 mile walk in the park famed for the elephant seals. Longer walk includes walking on sand dunes. A shorter walk will be available. Meet before 9:30 am at Sears on 41st Ave, or near Shen's Antiques (Mission/King) before 9.50 AM. Bring water, lunch, $5 carpool ($3 from Shen's) and share of entrance fee. Leaders: Irene Lennox 831-457-2690; Brooke Ewoldsen 831-475-6188.

Saturday, July 16
Hike: Forest of Nisene Marks (Aptos)
Rescheduled August 27

Sunday, July 17
Afternoon Stroll: Lower Presidio Park
What's all the buzz about Lower Presidio Park? Do we even know how to find it? We do, and we can mosey over there from a hidden library in an old church, check out a fascinating museum, look for a headless saint, and hear how the early folks of Monterey Presidio outfoxed the dreaded Pirate Bouchard in 1818. We'll meet at 1 pm for this easy walk backward in time. For more info/sign-up, call leader Mary Gale at 831-626-3565.

Monday, July 18
Hike: West Molera
Meet at the Park and Ride Lot on Rio Road at 9am for this moderately strenuous hike of around 8 miles with elevation gain of 1200 feet. We shall hike up Hidden Trail and Ridge Trail, enjoying views of Pico Blanco and Post Summit. After lunch we descend via the Panorama Trail and Bluff Trail, with views of the ocean and Point Sur. Bring lunch, water and a sweater or windbreaker as the ocean breeze can be cold even at this time of year. Optional: bring sandals or aqua shoes for a possible river crossing. Leaders: Cath Farrant and Mary Dainton 831-372-7427.

Tuesday, July 19
Senior Saunter: Capitola Stairs
An approx. 3 mile walk takes us through the "Jewel Box" of Capitola, down steps to the Esplanade with a walk through the Venetian condos, up and round Depot Hill and back to the Esplanade. Shorter walk available. Meet before 9:30 AM at Sears on 41st Ave., where walk begins. Restrooms. Bring water and lunch or buy lunch at one of the restaurants. Leader: Denise Lucy 831-728-6552.

Thursday, July 21
Hike: Point Lobos Cypress Grove Discovery Walk
Join Jerry Loomis on a "questions encouraged" CNPS/Sierra Club discovery walk in Point Lobos. Our focus will be on birds, native plants, Native American history, geology, marine biology and anything else we might find along the trail. Jerry was a park ranger at Point Lobos for 22 years and currently is a docent there. About 2 miles with minimal elevation gain. Bring water and lunch. Arrive early; we depart at 10:00am from Rio Road Park and Ride in Carmel. Call Sierra Club leader Lynn for a reservation at 831-375-7777—limit of 8.

Friday, July 22
Hike: De Anza Trail from Salinas to San Juan Bautista
We meet 8:00 am at REI in Marina for Carpooling and drive (29 miles) to the trailhead, a gate on the Salinas side of the historic Old Stage Road, which used to link San Juan Bautista to the Salinas Valley as part of the El Camino Real that linked southern and northern California. Today, a 4 mile (one way) section of the old unpaved road is now a hiking, biking, and horseback riding trail maintained by the national Park Service as part of the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail. Our plan is to have lunch at Jardins De San Juan in San Juan Bautista. We could also make time to walk to some of the historic places such as the San Juan Bautista Missions, founded June 24, 1797. This moderate hike is a total of 10 miles long. Depending on what we want to do after lunch in S.-J.-B. it could be a little more! Bring water! Please RSVP! Hike leader: Burk Siedhoff, 831-920-1803,

Saturday, July 23
Hike: Whitehouse Canyon Rd to Sandy Point
This is a walk after driving from Santa Cruz north on Hwy 1 and then up Whitehouse Canyon Rd. We'll enter Big Basin SP on the Chalks Trail from the west side and go north from there. Expect 5-6 miles and about 1000 vertical feet with forest plus sun exposure. Meet at the Santa Cruz Gov't Center at 9:30 am to carpool and call for more information. Leader: Nick Wyckoff (831) 462-3101.

Saturday, July 23
Bicycle Ride: Ocean Viewing Circle of the Monterey Peninsula
32 miles, 1180 total elevation gain, around 6 hours. This will be a leisurely paced ride stopping at various vista points as desired. Meet 9AM at Dennis the Menace Park at El Estero Lagoon, Monterey; ride south along the Coastal Recreation Trail around Pacific Grove, Pebble Beach, Carmel as far south as Pt. Lobos (22 Mi.) for lunch. 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. Bring lunch & water. Extra water available along our route. Limit 10. Please RSVP, by calling ride Leader: Steve Jackson, (831) 320-4561.

Sunday, July 24
Hike: Point Lobos State Preserve
We'll start this 4-5 mile leisurely hike around beautiful Point Lobos at the highway, walk down to Whaler's Cove, go north to the cove at The Pit, back to visit the Whalers' Cabin, then on to the top of Whaler's Knoll for great views and return via south coast trails. There will be wild flowers to see and wildlife to watch. Meet at the Rio Road "Park and Ride" just east of Hwy 1 at 9:30 am. 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. Please RSVP, by calling hike leader, Martha Saylor, 831-372-9215.

Tuesday, July 26
Senior Saunter: Pogonip Spring St.
A 3.5 mile mostly level walk in Pogonip. We will take the Spring Trail to the lime kilns and back, visiting some unique stone labyrinths along the way. A shorter walk will be available. Meet before 9:30 AM at Sears on 41st Ave. or at the top of Spring St. in Santa Cruz before 9.50 AM. No Restrooms. No lunch arrangements. $2 carpool. Leader:Janet Schwind, 831-425-3845.

Thursday, July 28
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. Leader: Gisela Nobinger, or 408-406-9650. Please let me you if you are coming.

Tuesday, August 2
Senior Saunter: Lover's Point
This is a round trip north, approx. 2 miles from Lover's Point to the Monterey Bay Hotel Plaza, or 3 miles to the Coast Guard Wharf. Lunch near the coffee shop at the Plaza. Meet before 9:30 AM at Sears on 41st Ave or take Hwy 1 exit to Fisherman's Wharf, drive south and park on street by Lover's Point. Restrooms. Bring lunch, water, $5 carpool. Leader: Brooke Ewoldsen: 831-475-6188.

Tuesday, August 2
Meeting of Sierra Club Ventana Chapter Hike Leaders
Please come to our Chapter Meeting, only every second month, at the Monterey Public Library at 5:00 pm. We'll talk about new hikes/outings and tell each other how many people participated at the last hikes and what should be changed maybe. If you can't make it, please send in your write-ups by e-mail to Anneliese Suter at as soon as possible.

Thursday, August 4
Hike: West Andrew Molera State Park
Our 8-9 mile loop with about 1000 feet elevation gain at a moderate pace takes us across Big Sur River. We will walk along River and Hidden Trails to the Ridge Trail. After hiking up along Pfeiffer Ridge to the bench at the top, we return on Ridge Trail and walk to the mouth of Big Sur River and the beach and return to the parking lot. Bring water and lunch. Plan for an all-day outing. Meet at the Rio Road Park and Ride parking lot near Bank of America at 9 am. Please let me you if you are coming. Leader: Gisela Nobinger, or 408-406-9650. Please let me you if you are coming.

Saturday, August 6
Hike: Asilomar-Pebble Beach Forest & Coast Loop
4 mile loop starts inland of Spanish Bay and through Pebble Beach neighborhood to sand dunes horse trail to beach. We then go out to windy Point Joe and return along the beach/beach boardwalk back to Asilomar Blvd. Dune wild flowers, cormorants, and possibly pelicans can be seen. Meet across from the Fishwife Restaurant on Sunset Drive and Asilomar Blvd., Pacific Grove at 9:30 a.m. Back after noon, bring snack and water. Please RSVP by calling leader, Martha Saylor, 831-372-9215.

Sunday, August 7
Hike: Holt Road to Snively's Ridge
We will carpool from Mid-Valley to the trailhead at the Western extremity of Garland Park. Then up a moderate incline about 5 miles to our lunch spot atop Snively's Ridge. Possible side trip to higher elevations. Expect some poison oak, but views should be gorgeous during our Summer Sunday. About 10 miles total, perhaps 1500' elev. gain. Meet at Mid-Valley shopping center. Call for info. Leader: Larry Parrish, 831-622-7455.

Tuesday, August 9
Senior Saunter: Seabright/Arana Gulch
3 to 4 miles along the cliffs in Seabright, across a beach, around the marina, through Arana Gulch and back. A shorter walk is available. We'll lunch at Frederick St. Park. Meet before 9:30 AM at Sears on 41st Ave. or by 9:50 AM at the beginning of East Cliff Dr. at the junction with Alhambra Ave. Restrooms. Bring lunch, water, $2 carpool. Leaders: Irene Lennox, 831-457-2690; Brooke Ewoldsen, 831-475-6188.

Sunday, August 14
Hike: Henry Coe State Park
Hunting Hollow, located in the extreme south west corner of the park will be our entry point for this 11.9 mile, 2020 foot total elevation gain loop hike. We'll start by ascending Lyman Wilson Ridge to Wilson camp which will account for almost all of our elevation gain. The circle back will be mostly down hill except for a few hundred feet up crossing Phegley Ridge. August brings hot days, so expect upper 80's plus temperatures. Pack at least 2 litters of water. Extra potable water available at Wilson Camp. 6 to 7 hours on the trail. Bring lunch. Meet at REI, Marina at 8:30 AM, or at Hunting Hollow entrance by 10 AM. Please RSVP. Leader: Steve Jackson, (831) 320-4561.

Sunday, August 14
Hike: Bluff Camp
Let's see how much water is left in the Los Padres Reservoir and upper Carmel River. About 8 miles and 900' elevation/loss on a sunny or shady trail at a modest pace. Maybe for a short dip in the cool water. Meet at 8:00 am at the Safeway Midvalley Shopping Center, at ACE Hardware. Bring sun protection, some car pooling $$ and as always water and lunch. Please call me for more info. Leader: Anneliese Suter, 831-624-1467.

Tuesday, August 16
Senior Saunter: Salvia Gardens
Tour Salvia Gardens with Ernie at Cabrillo Horticultural Center. We'll lunch at tables in front of gardens. Great views! Optional short hike. Meet before 9:30 AM at Sears on 41st Ave. Bring lunch, water, $2 carpool. Leaders: Brooke Ewoldsen 1-475-6188; Perry Brohmer 1-650-793-3987.

Friday, August 19
Hike: Rain Rock to Kirk Creek
We meet at 7:00 am for carpooling at Rio Rd. Park & Ride in Carmel. From there it is a 1 hr. 17 min. 51.6 mile drive south on Hwy.1 to Rain Rock, the trailhead. We park north of it, on the ocean side! This is a point to point hike. We therefore have to shuttle a car to Kirk Creek, the endpoint of the hike. From Rain Rock, a rock shed on Hwy.1, we hike up to Twitchel Flat where we see remnants of a homestead from the late 1800s and continue on up the steepest section of the hike - the "Twitchel Elevator". This takes us to the apex of the hike at 2200 ft. From there we continue along Stone Ridge Tr. to a special lunch spot! We then again hike on the Stone Ridge Tr. to Vicente Flat, where we rest in the cool shade of gigantic redwood trees. The final leg to Kirk Creek Campground at Hwy 1 is via Espinosa Camp. From steep "golden" slopes, high above Hwy. 1 we will experience fantastic vistas. The hike is strenuous for distance and elevation gain. Total miles are 11.9 with a total elevation gain of ~ 2900 ft. Time approx. 8 hrs. Bring 2 -3 liters of water. We will cross creeks! Filtering water is possible. Please RSVP! Hike Leader: Burk Siedhoff, - 831-920-1803 -

Saturday, August 20
Hike: Mt Madonna County Park
This will be another huckleberry effort plus some walking around the top of the Park. We'll do 5-7 or so miles and maybe 900 vertical feet. Meet on Main St in Soquel at 9:30 a.m. to carpool. Call for more information. Leader: Nick Wyckoff, (831) 462-3101.

Sunday, August 21
Early Walk: Garrapata Beach
Do sand, sea and surf sound like fun? Garrapata has a bluff to walk along, some very steep descents to the beach (bring poles if you like), and a beach that goes on forever. We'll meet EARLY!! to try to get ahead of the traffic, and return by early afternoon. For more info/sign-up, call Leader Mary Gale at 831-626-3565.

Tuesday, August 23
Senior Saunter: Chaminade
2+ miles fairly easy walk through the redwoods, some uphill. Hikers may add a hike down into the canyon. Lunch at the picnic area. Beautiful views. Meet before 9:30 AM at Sears on 41st Ave or go direct and park behind tennis courts at Chaminade before 9:50 AM. Bring lunch, water, $2 carpool. Restrooms. Leaders: Brooke Ewoldsen 831-475-6188; Perry Brohmer 1-650-793-3987.

Wednesday, August 24
Hike: Garzas Creek Hike
Escape your daily grind; slip into serene oak and redwood forests. Unwind with a few other happy hikers and some very quiet woodrats along the Garzas Creek, Garzas Canyon Trail and the Terrace Trail in Garland Ranch. 4 miles, 800 ft. gain with flora & fauna stops. Bring a lunch and water. Arrive early; we depart at 10am from the lower parking lot at Garland Ranch. Call for a reservation—limit of 8. Leader: Lynn Bomberger, 831-375-7777.

Thursday, August 25
Hike: Carmel Beaches
Our 4-5 miles out and back with minimal elevation gain at a moderate pace take us along Carmel Beach, Carmel River Beach to Monastery Beach. Enjoy views of Point Lobos, surf and ocean. Bring water and lunch. Meet at the bottom of Ocean Ave at 9:30 am. Leader: Gisela Nobinger, or 408-406-9650. Please let me you if you are coming.

Friday, August 26
Hike: Buzzards Roost and Molera Headland
Starting in Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, we'll hike up through redwood forest to Buzzards Roost viewpoint, 5 miles round trip and 700 ft elevation gain. The trees and plants on this trail suffered badly during the Dec 2013 Pfeiffer fire, and it is fascinating to observe the regeneration. After a picnic lunch by the Big Sur river we'll drive a few miles back up the road to Andrew Molera State Park. Here we'll walk the easy trail through the campground and out to the headland, 2 miles round trip. Bring lunch, water and $ for your share of the park entrance fee. Meet at the Rio Road Park and Ride at 9 am. Leaders: Cath Farrant and Mary Dainton 831-372-7427.

Saturday, August 27 (Note rescheduling from July 16)
Hike: Forest of Nisene Marks (Aptos)
Beat the inland summer heat with this walk through the redwood forests, with lunch at the scenic Sand Point Overlook. Starting at Porter Family Picnic Area, take the Loma Prieta Grade and Big Stump Gap trails toward the overlook, then return via Big Slide and Aptos Creek trails. Somewhat strenuous, about 6-7 hours for 12 miles and 2000’. Meet at Home Depot in Seaside, near the gas station on the left side, at 7:45 AM, or at 8:45 am at the Porter Family Picnic Area (the gate at the end of paved Aptos Creek Road). There is $8/car parking fee in the state park. Limit 12 hikers, so please reply to with your name and phone number, and we will call you. Leaders: Randy May & Carol Greenstreet.

Sunday, August 28
Hike: Palo Corona Back Country Exploration
This un-trampled, pristine area is part State and Regional Parks. 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 oak and laurel studded grassy ridges. I haven't identified the exact route yet, but it will most likely be about 12 miles with possibly as much as 3000' elevation gain. 7 to 8 hours. Meet at the Rio Rd., Carmel Park-n-ride at 8 AM. Limit 15 persons. Bring lunch & water. Please RSVP. Leader: Steve Jackson (831) 320-4561.

Tuesday, August 30
Senior Hike: 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. A shorter hike will be available. Meet before 9:30 AM at Sears on 41st Ave. or at Harvey West parking lot near the ballpark before 9:50 AM. Bring lunch, water, $2 carpool. Restrooms. Leaders: Perry Brohmer 1-650-793-3987; Brooke Ewoldsen 831-475-6188.


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