The Science of Snow Cone

The “Snow Cone” is somewhat of a mythical event to experience. A snow on Cone Peak is not rare in itself, but rather the ability to experience and capture a fresh snow. Most years have snow on Cone Peak, and sometimes multiple times per year, but as I will describe, they are virtually always difficult to…

Cone Above the Clouds

Since the non-winter travel season in the Sierra ended I’ve been fairly active in Big Sur but have not blogged on those trips, partially due to time constraints, but mostly because I have already posted on these particular routes many times in the past. The Soberanes Fire burned a good deal of the Ventana Wilderness…

Miller Santa Lucia Fir Grove

I’ll admit it: I’m enamored with the majestic Santa Lucia Fir, Abies bracteata. The species is the rarest fir on the earth and can only be found on the rocky peaks or canyon bottoms in the Santa Lucia mountain range. Even within the mountain range it’s not a common tree and is limited to around…

Last Chance Falls

When in flow, Last Chance Falls is arguably the most dramatic waterfall in the Ventana Wilderness. The falls flows over an overhanging precipice with a 120 foot free fall with a large cavern behind the falls. A natural amphitheater of cliffs surrounds the falls. The ephemeral nature of Last Chance Falls perhaps makes it more special…

Cone Peak & Beyond

Cone Peak is the King of the Big Sur Coast and a visit to the region is always awesome. Rising 5,155 ft above the Pacific Ocean in around 3 miles as the crow flies, the summit has a commanding view of the region with stunning coastal vistas. The rugged topography is simply spectacular with a…

Panther Beach & Hole in the Wall

North of Santa Cruz near the outpost of Davenport is a stretch of rugged coastline with rocky cliffs, sea stacks, and unique marine terraces interspersed with golden sandy beaches.  Panther Beach and Hole in the Wall Beach are two of these stunning beaches. Both are located just south of Bonny Doon Road and accessed from the same…

Pigeon Point Sunset

Pigeon Point Light Station, built in 1871, is the tallest lighthouse on the West Coast of the United States standing 115 ft tall. It is located a few miles south of Pescadero on a rocky promontory with gorgeous views of the surrounding coastline and Pacific Ocean. The lighthouse is currently undergoing restoration to preserve this important heritage…

Long Ridge Sunsets

Long Ridge Open Space Preserve has some of the best vistas in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The combination of meadows and forest on a high ridge overlooking the Pescadero watershed to the Pacific Ocean produces some awesome photography opportunities. Here are some photos from a hike to the Stegner Bench at Long Ridge last summer…

Above the Fog on Mount Tam

Earlier in the week the forecast called for blazing sunshine and warm temps for the entire Bay Area over the weekend. Instead most locations experienced a gray weekend as moisture trapped under a strong ridge of high pressure produced widespread fog and stratus. In other words, the forecast was a bust! However, it was a…

More Sunsets from Borel Hill!

As long as I’m on the topic of sunsets, here are a few more from the summit of 2,572 ft Borel Hill from a month ago with the marine layer between 1,600 ft-1,800 ft. . More photos after the jump!

More sunset shots!

Sunset photos taken yesterday from Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve. I love marine layers! More after the jump!

Above the Fog on Windy Hill

With the stable pattern of morning fog and afternoon sun the past week, there have been many opportunities to rise above the fog. Here are some shots from Windy Hill looking over the San Francisco Bay with the Diablo Range rising above. With all the human infrastructure inside the fog layer I could kind of…