Desolate Beauty above Martinez on the Ridge Trail

MAY 26, 2021 – The Ridge Trail crosses rolling pastureland atop the bluffs at the Carquinez Strait Regional Shoreline, with views of the strait, Benicia-Martinez Bridge and city of Martinez. The trail then dips from the bluffs to city streets on the northwest end of town and tacks east to the 880-acre Martinez Refining Co. operation at the foot of the bridge.

Trail Maps:

  • Carquinez Strait National Shoreline (Hulet Hornbeck Trail) here.
  • Martinez City Streets here.

(Note: We had hiked Mount Wanda during our ramble across the Franklin Ridge Ranches earlier in the month. We deferred the walk across the Benicia-Martinez Bridge to another day.)

We are hiking the 390-mile Bay Area Ridge Trail. Sign up to follow our progress here.

Continue reading “Desolate Beauty above Martinez on the Ridge Trail”

Almond Ranch Fills Ridge Trail Gap at Franklin Ridge

MAY 21, 2021 – The hike out Contra Costa Feeder Trail No. 1 on the Bay Area Ridge Trail includes a peaceful canyon hike to a dead end before boomeranging back across the grassy Franklin Ridge Ranches to the stunning oak-studded hillsides of Mount Wanda at the John Muir National Historic Site. The trail connecting the ranches to the historic site opened only last year, when the John Muir Land Trust purchased neighboring Almond Ranch. Find a trail map here.

We are hiking the 390-mile Bay Area Ridge Trail. Sign up to follow our progress here.

Continue reading “Almond Ranch Fills Ridge Trail Gap at Franklin Ridge”

Fog to Forest in the Berkeley Hills on the Ridge Trail

MAY 15, 2021 – The Ridge Trail from Tilden Regional Park to Redwood Regional Park begins with magnificent views – unless it’s foggy – in the hills above Berkeley and Oakland before dipping into the grassy Siesta Valley and weaving through poison oak-laden woods at Sibley Volcanic and Huckleberry Botanic regional preserves. Find a trail map here.

We are hiking the 390-mile Bay Area Ridge Trail. Sign up to follow our progress here.

Continue reading “Fog to Forest in the Berkeley Hills on the Ridge Trail”

FOMO Powers Dinosaur Ridge Ascent on the Ridge Trail

MAY 5, 2021 – The trail through East Bay Municipal Utility District property north of Castro Valley and Cull Canyon Regional Recreation Area begins with a walk in the woods before ascending with increasing intensity, rising nearly 500 feet in less than half a mile below Dinosaur Ridge. The trail descends from the peak back into woods above Cull Creek, undulating intensely at times along the steep hillside. Find the trail map here.

We are hiking the 390-mile Bay Area Ridge Trail. Sign up to follow our progress here.

Continue reading “FOMO Powers Dinosaur Ridge Ascent on the Ridge Trail”

Navigating the Carquinez Bridge on the Ridge Trail

May 1, 2021 – The Bay Area Ridge Trail crosses the Carquinez Strait at Crockett on the Alfred Zampa Memorial Bridge. The hike across the suspension bridge with its sweeping view of San Pablo Bay is anchored by the California State University Maritime Academy to the north of the span and downtown Crockett to the south. Find the trail map here.

We are hiking the 390-mile Bay Area Ridge Trail. Sign up to follow our progress here.

Continue reading “Navigating the Carquinez Bridge on the Ridge Trail”

The Ridge Trail Kicks Our Butts in the Pinole Valley

APRIL 28, 2021 – The trail across the Pinole Valley Watershed from Pereira Creek to Sobrante Ridge undulates steeply through mostly shadeless grasslands. Our side trip through Fernandez Ranch included some welcome shade and a picnic area. We were too exhausted to tackle the Sobrante Ridge Trail, as planned, but returned three days later to enjoy the woods and view of San Pablo Bay.

  • Pinole Valley Watershed trail map here
  • Pinole Valley Watershed West and Sobrante Ridge Regional Preserve trail map here
  • Fernandez Ranch trail map here

We are hiking the 390-mile Bay Area Ridge Trail. Sign up to follow our progress here.

Continue reading “The Ridge Trail Kicks Our Butts in the Pinole Valley”

Crockett Hills on the Bay Area Ridge Trail

APRIL 21, 2021 – Crockett Hills Regional Park rises into the hills southwest of the confluence of the Napa River and Carquinez Strait at San Pablo Bay. The park features stands of bay laurel and oak amid rolling grasslands with views of Mount Tamalpais, the Phillips 66 San Francisco refinery and the twin bridges that carry Interstate 80 across the strait at Crockett. Watch out for scary tall poison oak. Find the trail map here.

We are hiking the 390-mile Bay Area Ridge Trail. Sign up to follow our progress here.

Continue reading “Crockett Hills on the Bay Area Ridge Trail”

Purisima Creek Redwoods Preserve on the Bay Area Ridge Trail

APRIL 17, 2021 — Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve on The Coastside of the Santa Cruz Mountains features a second-growth redwood forest and ridgeline trails with views of the forest canopy and the Pacific Ocean. This segment of the Bay Area Ridge Trail includes portions of the Purisima Creek, Craig Britton and Harkins Ridge trails. Find the trail map here.

We are hiking the 390-mile Bay Area Ridge Trail. This is our first post. Sign up to follow our progress here.

Continue reading “Purisima Creek Redwoods Preserve on the Bay Area Ridge Trail”

Cruising The Coast Beneath Apocalyptic Skies on the San Francisco Peninsula

“Red sky in morning, sailors take warning.” That’s sound advice from a wise mariner. But what about when smoke from California wildfires plunges The Coastside into darkness and the blood-orange sky persists at midday? We went for a drive to immerse ourselves in the weirdness.

Continue reading “Cruising The Coast Beneath Apocalyptic Skies on the San Francisco Peninsula”