Since the High Sierra and Cascades are snowbound until early summer, I’ll be sticking to coastal regions until then so here is a list of adventure run possibilities for the coastal regions of California. Ideas for the High Sierra and Cascades are forthcoming.
- Miners’ Ridge and James Irvine Loop: Located in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, this 11+ mile hike is known as the “best redwood hike in the world,” for good reason. The route includes a wild coastal beach, a lush fern canyon, and some of the most magnificent redwoods in existence.
- Lost Coast: Encompassing King Range National Conservation Area and Sinkyone Wilderness, the Lost Coast is the most remote and wild stretch of coastline on the US West Coast. The northern portion in the King Range Wilderness is primarily a beach walk while the southern portion in Sinkyone is trail on top of the bluffs traversing through redwood and fern glens. The complete Lost Coast trek is nearly 60 miles.
- Look Prairie-Peavine-Thornton Loop: The biggest redwoods in the world at Humboldt Redwoods State Park.
- Grasshopper Peak: A high point in Humboldt Redwoods State Park with great views.
- Cone Peak via Vicente Flat (“Sea to Sky”): A trail run from the beach all the way up to 5,155 ft Cone Peak in the Ventana Wilderness. The summit is less than three miles away from the Ocean as the crow flies so it is known as the most spectacular summit along the Central CA Coast, if not the entire West Coast. You can drive a dirt road high up the mountain leaving only ~2 miles to the summit, but the most aesthetic route is to do it right from the ocean via the Vicente Flat Trail, which has superb vistas of the rugged Big Sur coast and a nice redwood grove in Hare Canyon. Total distance is 11 miles each way, 22 miles roundtrip. This trip was completed on January 10th, check out the video and blog entry.
- Junipero Serra Peak: The highest point in the Santa Lucia Mountains with 360 degree views and a good workout of 4,000 feet of vertical climbing over 6 miles.
- Henry Coe State Park: Over 200 miles of trails are located in this huge area of protected lands, including the 23,300 acre Orestimba Wilderness Area. This area is stellar in the spring when the wildflowers are in bloom.
- Arroyo Seco River Gorge: A point-to-point 11 mile river and canyon adventure in the Ventana Wilderness where wading and swimming in the river is the only way to go. A place of contrast, the mountainsides are arid while the river canyon is lush. An excellent route for a hot summer day!
- Pinnacles National Monument: Revisit this great park in the spring when the hills are green and do the North Wilderness Loop.