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Topic: Looking for destination ideas in northern CA, Mid March< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 22 2013, 5:56 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hello all,
I am trying to plan a trip in Mid march, to try and get an extra early season trip in.  I'm having a hard go of it because I want to keep out of the bulk of the snow.  I would like to stay below say, 3500-4000 feet, because I have to schedule vacation for trips in advance and don't want to cancel for weather.

I would love to hear some ideas for lower elevation hikes.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 22 2013, 7:10 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hard to get. "Lower elevation" than the Lost Coast  Trail, unless you scuba.

Or something thereabouts. The Coast Redwoods are a treat as well.
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I must not be there yet, I keep hiking...
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 22 2013, 8:32 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

You should look at the interactive map on the California State Park page, then the BLM website. Then look at the central coast area. Then look at East Bay Regional Parks for the Ohlone trail.

That should give you nearly everything Bay Area and north-ish under 4,000 feet. Henry Coe State Park could have you out there for two weeks if you had good intel and planned around water sources.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 22 2013, 9:54 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

"don't want to cancel for weather"

Isn't there a fair chance of serious rain on the Lost Coast in March?
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 23 2013, 12:19 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

More than some months less than a lot of others.

http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/cgi-bin/cliMAIN.pl?cashel+nca

Otoh the human body is not water soluble and it won't snow...
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 23 2013, 6:37 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thank you for your replies.

The group I hike with will generally not back out on a trip because of rain in the forecast, but snow is another story.  We have been snowed on before in plumas national forest, and I loved that trip, but I know it was a bit out of some of my friends comfort level, and they most likely would opt out of a higher elevation hike where we could see snow.

We hiked the southern section of the lost coast last april, and I think that another coastal redwoods hike would be great.  Henry Coe looks like a cool destination too.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 23 2013, 7:29 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(retfird @ Jan. 22 2013, 2:56 pm)
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Hello all,
I am trying to plan a trip in Mid march, to try and get an extra early season trip in.  I'm having a hard go of it because I want to keep out of the bulk of the snow.  I would like to stay below say, 3500-4000 feet, because I have to schedule vacation for trips in advance and don't want to cancel for weather.

I would love to hear some ideas for lower elevation hikes.

How about the Cache Creek Wilderness?   Mid-March should have nice weather there, at least if you don't get rained on. No chance of snow.

Or try the least used national forest in the USA, the Mendocino National Forest.

-Don-  SF, CA


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 23 2013, 4:25 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Ishi Wilderness, north of Chico, might be another possibility. Haven't hiked there myself, but it's always looked kind of intriguing.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 24 2013, 6:33 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

WE've also done some hiking in Henry Coe State Park...very steep hills, and you can get away from the crowds.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 25 2013, 5:19 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

On a side note, your "below 4,000 foot stipulation" immediately sent up some personal red flags.
I regularly used to do Big Sur area, Lost Coast, Marin Headlands, Sutter Buttes, and even Sespe Creek areas and discovered that they all have one thing in common - poison oak.  
After a Salmon Creek campfire and being exposed to the urushiol oil in the smoke…(ACK!...woke up looking like Shrek.)
Research soon discovered that Poison Oak does not grow much above 4,000 in California.
After that 6-month torture (Got it on the boys too)…now I only hike above 4,000.
Just saying.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 29 2013, 2:21 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(markskor @ Jan. 25 2013, 2:19 pm)
QUOTE
On a side note, your "below 4,000 foot stipulation" immediately sent up some personal red flags.
I regularly used to do Big Sur area, Lost Coast, Marin Headlands, Sutter Buttes, and even Sespe Creek areas and discovered that they all have one thing in common - poison oak.  
After a Salmon Creek campfire and being exposed to the urushiol oil in the smoke…(ACK!...woke up looking like Shrek.)
Research soon discovered that Poison Oak does not grow much above 4,000 in California.
After that 6-month torture (Got it on the boys too)…now I only hike above 4,000.
Just saying.

It can usually be avoided if you stay on-trail...but even on-trail I recommend eternal vigilance (since it often encroaches on the trail clearance).  

First thing I did when I moved out to CA 36 years ago was learn to recognize poison oak. (Only had it once since then, and only on a tiny patch of skin on my hand--but man, that experience made me glad it wasn't worse.) I would recommend that anyone planning to hike in the Coast Ranges & Sierra foothils do the same.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 31 2013, 7:48 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Henry Coe

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 01 2013, 11:28 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Ventana Wilderness

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 07 2013, 11:10 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Cache Creek isn't bad. Good views, steep trails, no people, you might see some elk and golden eagles. Nothing truly spectacular, except for the lack of people (if you go before turkey season) so close to the Bay Area. You might avoid snow in the Yolla Bolly Wilderness as well, and even fewer people.
Point Reyes National Seashore, if you can score a permit, would be world class.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 16 2013, 10:00 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

It would be tough to string together a long trip, but Hood Mountain, by Santa Rosa is a really underrated mountain that has great topography, interesting scenery, great summit views and a pretty backcountry campsite:



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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 04 2013, 6:37 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I think my group has come to a consensus, and we are going to hike the Ishi wilderness.  We put together a four day, 30 mile (as the crow flies) loop starting at the black rock campground in the northern part of the area.  I just did a dual sport scouting run through the area this weekend, and it looks beautiful.  

Thank you all for your suggestions.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 06 2013, 12:04 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I wish you an enjoyable excursion, and I'll be looking for a trip report. I went pig-hunting in there years ago, and all I remember is sharp lava rock, little water, and lots of poison oak and rattlesnakes! I've always wanted to go back, though--don't really know why.

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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 06 2013, 6:01 am Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

The Ishi is beautiful. You can see some images hereif anyone is interested. Fair warning: if you are planning a loop, you may run into some serious problems with trail over growth. I have not tried any trails other than the main Deer Creek and Mill Creek Trails for a few years now but there has been little to no maintenance. You may have trouble with brush and with faint trails, especially once you get away from the creek and ridgetop trails. In my opinion, the nicest spot in the whole area is when Mill Creek wraps around Black Rock. There is a nice rocky beach where the creek shoots through a slot at the base of the Rock. You can climb it from the road as it climbs out the south side of the canyon too.


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