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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 November and December 2015
(Please contact leader to reserve a space)

Sunday, November 1
Hike: Garland Park Loop
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. Nice valley views. Meet at the Park & Ride on Rio Road at 9 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. Leader: Martha Saylor, 372-9215.

Tuesday, November 3
Senior Saunter: Natural Bridges
Four mile roundtrip walk from Lighthouse Field to Natural Bridges. Meet before 9:30 AM at Sears on 41st Ave. or by 9.50 AM in the parking lot on West Cliff, across from the Lighthouse, just left of the restrooms. Bring water, lunch, $2 carpool. Lunch at Natural Bridges. Leader: Jean Harrison, 425-5447.

Thursday, November 5
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. Heavy rain cancels. Please let me know if you are coming. Leader: Gisela Nobinger, or 393-4983.

Tuesday, November 10
Senior Saunter: Pleasure Point
A pleasant 2+ mile walk along the cliffs at Pleasure Point to Lake Moran Park for lunch, returning by a route through the neighborhood. Meet before 9:30 AM at Sears on 41st Ave. To go direct, park in the small surfers' parking lot at the bottom of 41st Ave or at the roadside on Opal Cliff Dr. Bring lunch, water. Leader: Brooke Ewoldsen, 475-6188.

Thursday, November 12
Hike: Elkhorn Slough Nature Walk with Stanley Dudek
Stanley is not only a Sierra Club hike leader, he is also a docent at Elkhorn Slough. He will guide us for about 2-1/2 miles and show us birds, animals, and other sights. This will most likely be quite slow. Bring your binoculars as well as water and lunch and a credit card for the entrance fee (last time it was $4.12). If we feel like more walking, we can do that after lunch. Meet in front of REI near highway 1 and Imjin Pkwy at 9:30 am or at 10:00 at the Elkhorn Slough visitor center. Heavy rain cancels. Please let me know if you are coming. Leader: Gisela Nobinger, or 393-4983.

Friday, November 13
Hike: Bluff Camp
Let's see if there's any water left in Los Padres reservoir! Meet at the Park and Ride lot on Rio Road in Carmel at 9 am for carpooling to Princes Camp in Cachagua. Our walk of 8 miles round trip takes us across the dam and along the edge of the reservoir to our lunch spot at Bluff Camp on the upper Carmel River. Expect scenic and moderately strenuous terrain at a leisurely pace. Bring lunch and water. Rain cancels. Leaders: Cath Farrant and Mary Dainton, 372 7427.

Saturday, November 14
Bicycle Ride: Ocean Viewing Circle of the Monterey Peninsula
20 miles (+ or -), 500' to 600' (+ or -) elevation gain, around 6 hours. This will be a leisurely paced ride, stopping at various vista points as desired. Start 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 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), then down the Hwy 1 bike path and Iris Canyon Rd. to our cars. Limit 10. Please RSVP, by calling ride Leader: Steve Jackson, (831) 320-4561.

Saturday, November 14
Hike: Stevens Creek to Picchetti Ranch Winery
This is a mild walk that starts on the west side of Stevens Creek County Park and goes to the Picchetti Ranch Winery. Expect 5 to 6 miles and about 900 ft elevation gain. If we're lucky, the ranch peacocks will lunch with us. We'll meet at the Govt Center in Santa Cruz at 9:30 to carpool. Leader: 3101 Nick Wyckoff, 462-3101.

Sunday, November 15
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 fairly 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, and rain/wind gear. Limit 12 hikers, so please reply to with your name and phone number, and we will call you. Leaders: Randy May & Carol Greenstreet.

Tuesday, November 17
Senior Hike/Walk: 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. Alternative 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 9:45 AM. To go direct, cross from Graham Hill Rd to Felton Empire Rd in the center of Felton; drive half a mile to the Fall Creek parking lot on the right. No restrooms. Bring water, lunch, repellent, $4 carpool. Leader: Bev Meschi 475-4185.

Wednesday, November 18
Hike: Ewoldsen Trail/Julia Pfeiffer Burns
This gorgeous 4-1/2 mile lollipop loop with 1,400 ft. elevation gain follows McWay Creek through dense coastal redwood forest to a panoramic overlook of the Big Sur coastline. Stops to enjoy flora and to catch our breath. Bring water & lunch. Arrive early, depart at 9:00 am from Rio Road Park & Ride in Carmel. Call for a reservation - limit of 8. Leader: Lynn Bomberger, 375-7777.

Thursday, November 19
Hike: Fort Ord
Our 6-7 mile loop with about 700 feet elevation gain at a moderate pace takes us uphill on Guidetti Road and back to the parking lot in a big loop. The area is wide open with minimal shade, so bring a hat as well as water and lunch. Meet at the new Fort Ord National Monument parking lot on highway 68, across the street from Toro Café, at 9:30 am. Heavy rain cancels. Please let me know if you are coming. Leader: Gisela Nobinger, or 393-4983.

Saturday, November 21
Hike: Big Sur, Hwy 1 to Timber Top via Boronda Ridge Trail
6 miles Round Trip, 2500 foot (approximately) elevation gain. Over 50 miles of north to south expansive panorama views of the ever impressive Big Sur Coast. Mostly oak studded grassy terrain in direct sun. 2500 feet in 3 miles is fairly steep, but it's a short hike and we've got all day. Trail is in good shape. May add 2 miles on the way down to explore possible water source around the 2100' elevation at Lafler Creek. Please RSVP. Leader: Steve Jackson, (831) 320-4561.

Sunday, November 22
Walk/Eat @ Jetty Beach/Moss Landing Research Island
Let's begin at Jetty Beach to check out the critters and try to count the myriad otters. We'll then drive back 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 MBARI development, and see what may not be there the next time we visit. Among these (in 2 years) is Phil's, where we'll enjoy a no-host lunch. Or you can bring a bag lunch. Dress for weather and beach walking. Gale force winds/rain cancel. For meeting time and place, call Leader: Mary Gale, 626-3565

Sunday, November 22
Hike: Jacks Peak
A moderate hike around Monterey's "house mountain." We'll walk through several different landscapes. Views onto the Bay and the town. Meet at the Elementary School on Olmsbye Road (opposite the Monterey Airport) at 10 a.m. Bring water and a snack and wear good shoes for the hike of about 6 miles and 800' elevation gain/loss at a leisurely pace. Heavy rain (let's hope for it) cancels. Leader: Anneliese Suter, 624-1467.

Sunday, November 22
Hike: Andrew Molera Park
This is a loop hike of 7.5 miles with 1300 foot elevation with one steep stretch and otherwise moderate to nearly level hiking at an easy pace. We will cross open grassland into shady redwoods and oaks out into sunny chaparral with panoramic vistas. Maybe we will see Condors. Bring lots of water and lunch; sturdy boots, trekking poles, sun hat and screen. Also bring $5.00 carpool gas contribution and plan to pay a share of the entrance fee. Meet at Rio Road Park and Ride in Carmel at 9:00 AM. Leader: Stanley Dudek, or call 831-726-6200.

Tuesday, November 24
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 lunch arrangement. No restrooms. Leader: Janet Schwind, 831-425-3845.

Sunday, November 29
Hike: Palo Corona ramble.
We'll begin our trek at the San Jose Creek trailhead on State Park property. Hiking up the road along San Jose Creek, we soon arrive at the old Whisler Ranch cabin. Then up to the overlook and eventually down to San Jose Creek and on to lunch at the Corona Cabin. On our return we'll maybe explore upper Seneca Creek. Expect 14-15 miles and 3,000'+ elevation gain. A long, grueling and sometimes brushy hike. Call for reservations (20 maximum) and meeting info. Leader: Larry Parrish, 622-7455.

Tuesday, December 1
Senior Hike: Cowell Observation Deck
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 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, meet the group in the parking area on Graham Hill Rd on the left side of the road going up hill, just past Sims Road, by 9:50 am. (This is about a mile before the campground entrance.) Bring snack, lunch, water, $3 carpool. Leader: Perry Brohmer, 650-793-3987

Thursday, December 3
Walk: Monterey History and Holiday walk
Our walk with little elevation gain at a moderate pace takes us through town with stops at the Royal Chapel, Colton Hall, the Custom House, and several of the old Adobes. Bring water and snack. Meet at the Monterey City Hall at 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 393-4983.

Friday, December 4
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. If it has rained the Fern Falls are lovely. Please phone for a reservation by Tues Dec 1 so we know how many permits to get. Meet at Rio Rd park and ride at 9.30 am with lunch and water. Heavy rain cancels. Leaders: Cath Farrant and Mary Dainton, 372 7427.

Friday, December 4
Hike: Garzas Creek
Escape the holiday rush; slip into serene oak and redwood forests. Unwind with a few other happy hikers and some very quiet woodrats along the Garzas Canyon and Terrace trails. 3.3 miles, 530 ft. elev. gain with flora & fauna stops. Bring a lunch and water. Arrive early; we depart at 10 am from Rio Road Park & Ride in Carmel. We should return around 2 pm. Call for a reservation—limit of 8. Leader: Lynn Bomberger, 375-7777.

Sunday, December 6
Hike: Pt. Lobos, Whalers Knoll, South Shore loop
We'll start this 4+ mile hike around beautiful Point Lobos at the highway, go to the Pit, then up over Whaler's Knoll, and along the South Shore and out. There might be some wild flowers to see and wildlife to watch for. 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.

Tuesday, December 8
Sierra Seniors Holiday Lunch at 12 PM at Bangkok West

Wednesday, December 9
Please come to our bimonthly meeting at the Monterey Public Library at 5:00 pm. Everybody is welcome! We'll plan hikes and outings for January and February 2016. Write-ups are due on Sunday, December 20, 2015 or any time earlier.

Saturday, December 12
Hike: Eagle Rock from Little Basin Rd
I don't think that the group has done this one during the winter? We'll see what it's like. It is about 5- 6 miles and maybe 1100 ft uphill, including a lunch spot with a view. We'll meet at the Govt Center in Santa Cruz at 9:30 to carpool. Leader: Nick Wyckoff, (831) 462-3101.

Sunday, December 13
Big Sur, Salmon Creek Trail to Estrella Camp
6.4 miles up and back, 1500 foot (approximately) elevation gains. This will be an all day event due mainly to the long 70 mile each way drive from the Carmel Park n ride, (140 round trip). Perhaps some rain will fall by the time we take this hike and a short side trip to the possibly "thunderous" Upper Salmon Ck Falls (2.5 miles up the trail) will be in order. Trial 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. Please RSVP. Leader: Steve Jackson, (831) 320-4561.

Saturday, December 19
Hike: Old Coach Road to San Juan Bautista
We'll start on Crazy Horse Road, drive for a while on the Old Coast Road, park, and finally hike all the way over the hills and down to San Juan Bautista. After lunch and exploring the Mission and old town, back the same way. With about 12 miles and 1,000 feet elevation gain/loss at a leisurely pace, this is a good work-out before all the Xmas food. Bring a hat, water and lunch, or $ for a sit-down in a café, wear good shoes and bring your hiking poles. Meet at Home Depot in Seaside near the gas station at 9 a.m. Or when coming from further south, go all the way on Crazy Horse Road to the end to the large parking area near the fields. Please call to tell that you are coming. Heavy rain cancels. Leader: Anneliese Suter, 624-1467.

Saturday, December 19
Hike Ewoldsen Trail, Big Sur
This is a moderate to challenging "lollipop" loop of 5+ miles and elevation gain of 1500 ft. We will ascend a steep to then moderate trail through redwoods and mixed hardwoods to the loop junction, then hike the loop in the easier clockwise direction to a spur and our highest elevation, with fine views of the Big Sur coast. From the spur, the trail descends steeply through oaks and redwoods back into the gorge to rejoin the lollipop stem back to the trailhead. Bring lots of water and lunch; sturdy poles, sun hat & screen. Also bring $5.00 carpool contribution and plan to pay a share of $10.00 car entrance fee. Meet at the Rio Road Park and Ride in Carmel at 9:00 AM. Leader: Stanley Dudek, or 831-726-6200.

Sunday, December 20
Easy Hike: Fort Ord National Monument
We'll walk into the FONM from the Jerry Smith parking area on Intergarrison Road between Reservation Road and 8th. (Google it or call me before the 20th!) From the official boundary, we'll explore some newer trails and try not to get lost! (joke) Then we'll drive around to the area of the proposed racetrack, to see where you might someday place your bets! or not? Dress for weather and bring water and snack; no facilities around here. Gale force winds/rain cancel. Call me for time and place of meeting: Mary Gale, 626-3565.

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, 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 Snifely'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.

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