I was afforded the (rare) opportunity to travel to California for a corporate training, butting up against a free weekend… so why not stay a few extra days and explore what the Bay Area has to offer in terms of hikes??
This was the second, and longer, of the two hikes I did. The route started at Bear Valley Visitor Center, about an hour’s drive from the AirBnB I was staying at in Berkeley. I stumbled upon a fantastic deli, Moonlight Delicatessen, in San Raphael on the way to the hike, and loaded up on a few sandwiches to munch on pre- and mid-hike.
I chose a more challenging route, starting uphill towards the summit of Mt. Wittenburg, continuing on the Sky Trail toward the ocean, descending towards the Coast Trail, and returning on the significantly-easier Bear Valley Trail. I hadn’t thought much about the names of trails before this, but Bear Valley is named appropriately, as it slices through the mountains on either side to provide an easy way back after a long and tiring hike up and down Wittenburg.
The most striking part of the hike were the stark contrasts that would creep up on you in short order… going from dark and dismal to bright and colorful…. forest to ocean to sand to rock… to JUNGLE. Sky View was quite crazy, with miles of hike in very thick forest, with bees and other insects humming constantly in the background (and foreground). The trail was often a foot wide, with no one in sight for long stretches at a time. It was eerily isolating. But ultimately awesome.
Best photo was probably the panoramic:
Nothing like seeing the Mazda3 rental getting back.
Oh and there were some cool cow pastures on the way home.