Tie Down Peak

Burra Burra and Tie Down Peaks, Henry Coe State Park

I frequently hike in Henry Coe State Park and have written about it here a lot. With challenging trails it is a perfect training ground for getting ready for summer climbing trips, and there are many options to choose from. After all, it is the second largest state park in California (behind Anza Borrego).

Deep in the park is a rarely open entrance station known as Dowdy Ranch. I’ve never been to this entrance station, so since it is open right now I decided to head out and do a short hike. I’m recovering from a calf injury, so I decided I’d hike the short loop to Burra Burra peak.

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Murietta Falls Loop Hike

The East Bay mountains are known for their rolling green hills, oak trees, and spring wildflower displays. In the summer they are dry and brown, a constant source of wildfire concern and rattlesnakes. Waterfalls and rocks are not the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of this part of California, but it turns out there are some interesting places tucked back in the hills that provide exactly that.

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Knibbs Knob

Knibbs Knob, Uvas Canyon County Park

Believe it or not, there are still a few Bay Area summits I have yet to climb. Until Sunday, Knibbs Knob in the southern Santa Cruz mountains could be counted among those peaks. It’s a short but steep hike, climbing from approximately 1000 ft to 2700 ft in 1.7 miles.

With the new puppy, I didn’t want to be away for too long this weekend, so on Sunday morning I decided it was the perfect time to tag Knibbs Knob. I got to the parking lot at Uvas at 9 am and started off to the trail. It’s a little difficult to find, not being connected to the main attraction of the park, a waterfall loop trail. The hike starts at the gated end of an old road behind a group camp area.

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Columbia School House

Exploring California’s Gold Country

I’ve been in California for fourteen years, and until now Gold Country was simply something standing between me and the mountains. We’d drive through quaint old west towns on our way to the high country, and I’d always tell myself that one day we’d come back to explore.┬áLast weekend was finally the time for that exploration. Over two days, we drove from Sonora to Auburn via the historic highway 49. Along the way we learned a lot about the history of California’s gold rush, explored antique shops, stayed in a ‘haunted’ hotel, and spent a night on the town in one of the bigger remaining cities along the route.

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