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National Sierra Club
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,
January and February 2019
(Please contact leader to reserve a space)

Sunday, December 30
Hike: Huckleberry Hill
Let's finish the year with a short but interesting jaunt up to Huckleberry Hill on the east side of Point Lobos. About 5 miles with 600' of elevation gain, through a variety of coastal ecosystems. Bring water, lunch, and optional camera for unique views of Point Lobos. Maybe we'll spot a Gowan Cypress or two along the way. We'll meet at 10 am. But call for updated info. Rain cancels. Leader: Larry Parrish, 622-7455.

Tuesday, January 1st, 2019
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. 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.

Tuesday, January 1
Senior Saunter: Watsonville Slough
Watsonville Wetlands – A mostly flat walk around Watsonville and Struve Sloughs. We'll see egrets, herons, mallards, etc. So there will be three groups: Hikers with Bev Meschi, 831-359-9961, walkers with Brooke Ewoldsen, 831-475-6188 and birders with Ann Brohmer, 650-793-3987. Meet before 9:30 am at Sears on 41st Ave. or at the Nature Center, 20 Harkins Slough Rd. by 9:50 am. No restrooms. Lunch at Ramsay Park. Bring lunch, water, $3 carpool. Rain cancels.

Thursday, January 3
Hike: Parker Flats Area, Fort Ord
Our 6-mile loop takes us along unmarked trails through oaks and chaparral near Parker Flats in the Northwest area of Fort Ord. We climb about 600 feet total. Bring water and lunch. Meet in the dirt parking lot on the SW corner of Gigling and 8th Ave. before our 9:30 am departure time. Please RSVP. Leader: Dorothy Denning,

Saturday, January 5
Hike: Mt Diablo Necklace
Climb above the winter fog on a leisurely to moderately paced hike around the mountain. This is a strenuous eight and a half mile/2300 ft elevation gain day hike. Meet at 10 am at Juniper Campground 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, January 6
Hike: Asilomar, Pebble Beach
A 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 along the beach boardwalk back 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 leader to let her know you are coming. Leader: Martha Saylor, 372-9215

Tuesday, January 8
Senior Saunter: Antonelli Pond
We will start our approx. 3 mile walk along the west side of Antonelli Pond to Terrace Point and then visit the Seymour Center. We will stop for lunch at the De Anza gazebo or back at Natural Bridges State Park. Meet before 9:30 am at Sears on 41st Ave. or on Delaware Ave. by the entrance to Natural Bridges State Park by 9:50 am. Bring lunch, water, $2 carpool. Rain cancels. Leader: Jean Harrison, 831-425-5447.

Thursday, January 10
Hike: Jacks Peak
Our 5-6 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 9:45 am for carpooling or at the West Parking Lot at Jacks Peak after 10 am. Bring water and lunch. Heavy rain cancels. Leader: Gisela Nobinger, . Please, RSVP.

Tuesday, January 15
Senior Saunter: Pinto Lake
Approx. 3 miles through an oak and madrone forest, mostly on level ground with some low rolling hills. We'll lunch in the picnic grounds. As Pinto Lake is good birding terrain, there will be three groups: Hikers with Perry Brohmer, 650-793-3987, walkers with Brooke Ewoldsen, 831-475-6188 and birders with Ann Brohmer, 650-793-3987. Meet before 9:30 am at Sears on 41st Ave. To go direct, take Hwy 1 south to Airport Blvd exit. Continue on Airport Blvd, crossing Freedom Blvd to 2nd traffic light, Green Valley. Go left and continue on Green Valley past Pinto Lake City Park to Pinto Lake COUNTY Park on the left before 10:00 am. Park at the end near the Gazebo. Rain cancels. Bring water, lunch, $3 carpool.

Thursday, January 17
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,

Saturday, January 19
Bicycle Ride: Around the Monterey Peninsula
This will be a leisurely paced ride along the ocean stopping at various vista points as desired. 28 miles (+ or -), 580' elevation gain, around 6 hours. Start at 10 am at Dennis the Menace Park at El Estero Lagoon, Monterey; ride along the Coastal Recreation Trail thru Cannery Row, around Pacific Grove, Pebble Beach, to Carmel Beach. Return via quiet interior Carmel residential streets (NOT Hwy 1) to the top of Carmel Hill (the bulk of the elevation gain), then back to Monterey down the Hwy 1 bike path and Iris Canyon Rd. to our cars. Please RSVP, by calling Leader: Steve Jackson, (831) 320-4561.

Sunday, January 20
Hike: Mitteldorf Preserve
Join me on this wonderful hike around the Mitteldorf Preserve on a cold winter day. Moderately strenuous with about 9 miles and 2000 feet elevation gain/loss at a moderate pace. Expect great views and gorgeous old trees (the largest redwood in Monterey County). Bring lunch and water, prepare for the weather with hat and gloves. Meet at South Bank Trail Parking Lot (just to your right after crossing Carmel River on San Carlos Road off Carmel Valley Road at 9 am. Call leader for appointment and more information. Leader: Anneliese Suter, 624-1467 or .

Tuesday, January 22
Senior Hike: Wilder, Bike Path and Hill
Approx. 3 mile walk to Wilder Ranch buildings and then up the hill beyond. Return to horse corral, cowboy cabin and lunch at the orchard before returning on the bike path. A shorter, level walk will be available. Meet before 9:30 am at Sears on 41st Ave. or before 9:50 am at the trailhead just off Hwy. 1 at Shaffer (last left turn as you leave Santa Cruz, just after Natural Bridges/Western Drive.) Bring lunch, water, $2 carpool. Rain cancels. Leaders: Perry Brohmer, 650-793-3987; Jean Harrison, 831-425-5447.

Thursday, January 24
Hike: Elkhorn Slough Nature Walk with Stanley Dudeck
Stanley is not only a Sierra Club hike leader; he is also a docent at Elkhorn Slough. He will guide us for about 3 miles and show us birds, animals, plants, 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 near REI at highway 1 and Imjin Pkwy at 9:30 am or at 10:00 at the Elkhorn Slough visitor center. Heavy rain cancels. Leader: Gisela Nobinger, . Please RSVP.

Sunday, January 27
Afternoon Walk: Rancho Canada/Palo Corona
This easy walk takes us down old golf cart paved tracks to the river bridge and then into Palo Corona via Southbank Trail. We'll climb a gentle rise to enjoy a beautiful oak woodland and views of the ocean. We return by the same trails after orienting ourselves to routes for those who want to plan more strenuous future hikes. All ages welcome, lots of parking! Meet at the Rancho Canada Discovery Center (aka the golf clubhouse). Restrooms, maps, and water to fill your bottle available; comfortable shoes and layered clothing best. Hard rain cancels. To know meeting time and reserve space, call leader: Mary Gale, 626-3565.

Monday, January 28
Hike: Fort Ord Ramble
We'll explore some of the trails in the northern section of Fort Ord National Monument. Meet at 9:30 am in REI parking lot, Marina, for a short carpool to the Jerry Smith access point on Intergarrison Road. We'll walk at a leisurely pace for around 5 miles through hilly oak chaparral terrain. Bring water and a snack, we should be done by 1:30 pm. Leaders: Cath Farrant and Mary Dainton 372 7427.

Tuesday, January 29
Senior Saunter: Asilomar North
A 3 ml. loop from Asilomar, north along the coast to Pt. Pinos Lighthouse, returning on the grassy ‘dog run' near the residential area. Possible diversion to Monarch butterfly preserve. Walkers group will follow a similar route. Bring lunch to eat at Asilomar. Meet before 9:30 am at Sears on 41st Ave. To go direct, take Hwy 1 south and exit at 68 West off ramp and meet at Fishwife Restaurant by 10:30 am. Bring lunch, $6 carpool. Rain cancels. Leaders: Irene Lennox 831-457-2690; Brooke Ewoldsen 831-475-6188.

Thursday, January 31
Hike: Manzanita and Sandy Ridge, Fort Ord
Our 6-mile loop takes us over to the Manzanita fire road and back along Sandy Ridge with splendid views of Fort Ord. We climb about 800 feet total. 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,

Sunday, February 3
Hike: Garland Park, 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, includes steps. Nice valley views. 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. 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. Leader: Martha Saylor, 372-9215.

Tuesday, February 5
Senior Hike: New Brighton Beach
This walk is along the beach in front of New Brighton State Park to Sea Cliff State Park. We'll climb the stairs to Seacliff, near the cement ship, and return along the railway line to New Brighton Park for lunch. A shorter walk will be available. Meet before 9:30 am at Sears on 41st Ave. To go direct, aim to arrive at the start points before 9:45 am. Take Hwy.1, exit at Park Ave and turn right. Hikers then turn left to enter New Brighton State Park, and park near the cliff. Walkers turn right on to Kennedy Road and park there. Walkers will be starting from there and exploring the New Brighton State Park. Bring water, lunch, $2 carpool. Rain cancels. Leaders: Steve Bakaley, 831-612-6575; Brooke Ewoldsen, 831-475-6188.

Thursday, February 7
Hike: Garland Ranch
Our 5-6 mile loop with about 900 feet elevation gain at a moderate pace takes us along the waterfall trail to the Vaquero Trail to La Mesa and the Mesa Pond for lunch, then on to Fern Pond and Maple Canyon back to the visitor center. A lot of the trails are in the forest, but we will get some good views of Carmel Valley. Bring water and lunch. Meet at the Rio Road "Park and Ride" parking lot near Bank of America at 9:30 am or at the Garland Ranch parking at 9:50 am. Heavy rain cancels. Leader: Gisela Nobinger, . Please RSVP.

Sunday, February 10
Bicycle Ride: Coyote Creek Recreation Trail
The intent of this bike ride is to look around and enjoy the scenery. Non-competitive pace, 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 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 to Leader: Steve Jackson, (831) 320-4561. If no RSVP's as of 24 hours before meeting time ride is canceled.

Tuesday, February 12
Senior Hike: Manzanita Park
This is a moderately hilly 3.25 ml. hike in North Monterey County. See ocean and Fremont Peak on a clear day. Lunch at picnic tables in park. A separate walkers group is available. Meet before 9:30 am at Sears on 41st Ave., or at Manzanita Park. Call leader for directions. Restrooms. Bring lunch, water, $5 carpool. Rain cancels. Leaders: Bev Meschi, 831-475-4185, Brooke Ewoldsen, 831-475-6188.

Thursday, February 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 and 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, .

Saturday, February 16
Hike: Eagle Peak and Mt Diablo Falls
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, February 17
Walk: Fort Ord National Monument
Let's hope for a sunny day with bright prospects to check out the view from a mesa above Engineer Canyon and the Salinas River. This hike has moderate grades with minor elevation gain and not more than 3-5 miles. We'll meet at 10 am, mosey up to the mesa, look for Indian Warriors (blooms), enjoy our snacks up at the scenic view point, and be back at our cars in early afternoon. For more info and meeting place, call leader: Mary Gale, 626-3565.

Sunday, February 17
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 strenuous hike of about 12 miles and 3000'. Meet at the dirt parking area outside Toro Park at 8:30 am. Bring lunch, 2-3 liters water, rain/wind gear and headlamp. Heavy rain cancels. Limit 12 hikers, so please reply to with your name and phone number, and we will call you. Leaders: Randy May & Carol Greenstreet.

Monday, February 18
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 5 miles and 1100 feet of elevation gain. If it has rained the Fern Falls are lovely. Please phone for a reservation by Wednesday, February 13 so we know how many permits to get. Meet at Rio Road park and ride at 9.30 am with lunch and water. Heavy rain cancels. Leaders: Cath Farrant and Mary Dainton, 372-7427.

Tuesday, February 19
Senior Hike: Henry Cowell Sand Hills
We'll explore Sandhill/Upper Henry Cowell area. This is a rolling hills semi wilderness hike. We will have lunch back at the baseball park near the parking area. Walkers will walk up to Bear Mt. and have lunch near the RR tracks. Meet before 9:30 am at Sears on 41st Ave, or beside the levee in the Gateway Plaza on River St, between Ross and Petsmart, before 9:40 am. We will be parking at the Santa Cruz County Juvenile Facilities, 3650 Graham Hill Road, Felton, CA 95018. Bring water, lunch, $3/$2 carpool. Leaders: Perry Brohmer, 650-793-3987; Brooke Ewoldsen, 831-475-6188.

Thursday, February 21
Hike: Sunset Beach
Our 6 miles out and back with minimal elevation gain at a moderate pace take us along Sunset Beach towards Paharo Dunes and back.
Bring water and lunch. We will have lunch at the lower parking lot and picnic area. Meet near REI at highway 1 and Imjin Pkwy at 9:30 am or at 10:00 at the upper parking lot right at the entrance to Sunset Beach. Heavy rain cancels. Leader: Gisela Nobinger, Please RSVP.

Sunday, February 24
Hike: Arroyo Seco
A winter hike, not a swim hike. We'll walk from the gate to Horse Bridge up on a side trail. Then down to the Arroyo Seco Road and eventually to the old suspension bridge, cross and walk mildly uphill to a wonderful rock formation above the Horse Trail for lunch. Same way back. About 10 miles and 800' elevation gain/loss at a moderate pace. Bring lunch and water, wear good shoes and dress for winter. Meet at Mid Valley Safeway opposite Chase at 9:00 am for the one hour drive to the trailhead. People from Salinas and Santa Cruz could drive to the Park Entrance of Arroyo Seco to meet us at 10:15. Call to confirm and more information. Leader: Anneliese Suter, 624-1467,

Tuesday, February 26
Senior Saunter: Carmel Circle
3 ml. loop in Carmel. We begin at the Carmel Mission, walk on the Mission Preserve Trail to the historical Flanders House, then into Carmel. Restrooms at park in Carmel, lunch on benches there. Return via Scenic Tour near beach & 13th Ave. and back to Mission. A shorter walk will be available. Meet before 9:30 am at Sears on 41st Ave. To go direct, take Hwy 1 South to Carmel Crossroads, turn right on Rio Rd., go one mile to park at Carmel Mission, by 10:20 am. Bring water, lunch, $6 carpool. Rain cancels. Leaders: Bev Meschi, 831-475-4185; Brooke Ewoldsen, 831-475-6188.

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/Larkin Valley Exploration
About 25 miles round trip, a comfortable non-competitive pace focusing on a heads up, looking around at scenery, not the bike wheel in front of you, attitude. The first part of our ride will pass through beautiful "estate" apple orchards outlined and back dropped by Redwood forest. We'll then descend into the rolling grassy hills and valleys common to the southern Santa Cruz County; returning to our cars in the Corralitos Market area. The course is an abstract figure eight, so there is 2 or 3 places where participants who start feeling that they have had enough, can sign out and head on their own back to their cars. Total (spread out over the entire ride) elevation gain/loss is basically a 50/50 split, (974' up/976' down). Helmet and bright reflective clothes, tire patch kit or extra tube and bike tools and lock recommended. Bring water, lunch. No parking fees. Meet at 10 am at the Corralitos Market area, Corralitos Rd. & Hames Rd., Corralitos. For questions and to RSVP, Leader: Steve Jackson, (831) 320-4561.

Sunday, March 3
Walk: Carmel River Beach
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 to let me know you will be there. Leader: Martha Saylor, 372-9215.

 


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