Monday, March 3, 2014

60 Hikes in 60 Miles in 60 Weeks: Week Twenty-seven
Anthony Chabot Regional Park
Grass Valley Trail at Anthony Chabot Regional Park

What it's like:
This 5.4 mile east bay loop is a wonderful choice for beginner hikers or a family. Navigation is easy and the trails offer some elevation change but not enough to make kids (or reasonable grown ups) grumble.

Why now:
Chabot's grassland is greening up and wildflowers are blooming.

If you can't make it this week:
My cutoff for this hike is mid June. After that it's almost always hot and dry and I'd rather hike elsewhere.

Insider tip:
Grass Valley Trail is well, grassy. If you prefer trees to grassland, take Brandon instead of Grass Valley Trail. Brandon runs parallel to Grass Valley and both paths meet at the stone bridge. From that junction continue uphill on Jackson Grade, following the rest of the featured hike.

Chabot is hike number 20 in 60 Hikes in 60 Miles: San Francisco (third edition)Read about this hike on BAHiker.

Alternate choice:
If pressed to choose my favorite bay area waterfall hike, I probably would answer Alamere Falls. This 7.5 mile out and back is a gorgeous trek along the Point Reyes coast, with the midpoint destination a waterfall dropping off a cliff onto the beach. The official Point Reyes position forbids scrambling down the steep rocky cliff to the beach -- you are supposed to continue north on Coastal Trail to beach access near Wildcat Camp and walk south on the beach to see the Falls crashing onto the beach. However, people do scramble down from the top of the falls to the beach (and back) all the time. Use good caution and judgement; this is not a good hike for beginners.

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