Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Soberanes Canyon in Garrapata SP

In Garrapata SP we initially planned to hike a 7 mile loop consisting of the following three trails: Soberanes Canyon, Peak and Rocky Ridge. Unfortunately, at the beginning of the trail we noticed a small message informing hikers that part of the loop is inaccessible due to severe trail erosion. We decided to hike there nonetheless and we opted for hiking the open part of the Soberanes Canyon Trail. At first the trail led us through cactus and chaparral-covered hills, but soon we ended up in a narrow canyon filled with redwoods. It was a nice change after hiking along the coast. It also reminded us, yet another time, how blessed we are to live in a such spectacular area of the world as California.

The hike was very pleasant, though short (3-miles round trip). I hope the other part of the trail will reopen soon and we'll have a chance to do the full loop, as I'm sure it is also beautiful. Its beginning definitely looked promising.

Garrapata SP is located on both sides of Hwy 1, 7 miles past Rio Road in Carmel. It is easy to miss it as no big signs advertise its presence. Hence, I would recommend using a GPS or following your cars mileage meter. The Soberanes Canyon Trail starts on the eastern, inland part of the park, but there are also several short trails on its western side. All of the latter lead to the Pacific ocean and offer great views of the coast.

Wildflowers along the trail:

The trail crossed Soberanes Creek several times:

Redwood Grove:

The coastal part of Garrapata park: