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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Saratoga Gap Hike


The forecast was for iffy weather this morning, but it was supposed to be a rain later, so we set off to Saratoga Gap for a moderate hike. At the top, we met with Phil Sung, Irene, Tracy Wang, and Johnson, and all piled into Phil's car to the trailhead. While I usually descend Charcoal road and climbed Grizzly flat, this time I was worried that inclement weather might do bad things for visibility later, so we opted to hike along Long Ridge open space preserve to see what views there were while there was time. Sure enough, we spotted the Big Sur mountains above a fog bank that was hanging above Monterey Bay.

Following along Long Ridge, we hiked onto Peters Creek Trail towards the Grizzly Flat parking lot, and enjoyed a cool weather hike with no rain and only a few encounters with some mountain bikers. The descent from Grizzly Flat, however, saw quite a number of mountain bikers, one of whom told us that there was a lot of water. It started drizzling soon after, so we stopped to put on rain gear, and since I had boots with me, hiking boots for me and Lisa.

At the creek, we found that there wasn't actually a lot of water at all, and both stream crossings were over and we found the trail to Table Mountain easily. The climb was as pretty as I remember, and soon we were at Table Mountain. Once there, the road widened up into Charcoal road, and the mud was a bit stickier. On a bike it takes about 20 minutes to ride this section, but it took quite a bit longer on foot, but we arrived at the car around 1:00pm, without serious rain until we started down the mountain.

Approximately 9 miles with 1500' or so of elevation gain.
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