60 Hikes in 60 Miles in 60 Weeks: Week Fifty-three
What it's like:
Los Vaqueros Watershed
Sun-baked grassland at Los Vaqueros
4.2 miles looping through grassland west of the Altamont Pass.
I know more than a few City dwellers (especially those on the west side) who are feed up with our summer gloom. This Los Vaqueros hike will give fog-weary folks a healthy dose of hot! While you're hiking keep an eye out for tarantulas wandering the hillsides looking for love.
If you can't make it this week:
Early spring, when the grass is short and the flowers are blooming, is sublime. Golden eagles nest at Los Vaqueros; your best chance to see them is late winter to early spring.
Los Vaqueros has two separate, non-contiguous areas -- check out the northern trailhead via Marsh Creek Road.
Los Vaqueros is hike number 26 in 60 Hikes in 60 Miles: San Francisco (third edition). Read about this hike on BAHiker.
It's incredibly easy to drive right past Upper Stevens Creek Canyon's trailhead -- there is no parking lot on Highway 35, just scant roadside parking. This 5.5 mile loop descends on fire roads, then climbs back to the trailhead on a narrow path. The mostly-shaded hike passes through mixed woods (lots of madrone, oaks, California bays, and some Christmas tree farm escapees) and is quiet and lonely.
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