Monday, January 24, 2011

The Elusive Muddy Hollow Trail

Last year about this time, we headed out towards Limantour beach, because we had read the Muddy Hollow Trail was a very nice hike, and you could start the hike from the beach, and make a loop ending up back at the Beach. Well, that was not entirely true. The portion of the trail from Limantour Beach to the Muddy Hollow trail was closed, so we ended up walking on the beach to the end of the spit and back again, which was beautiful. It was, like yesterday, a beautiful Northern California day, dry and upper 60's.

Yesterday we headed out in search of the Muddy Hollow trail again, and this time, armed with maps and a hiking guide, (California Hiking, The Complete Guide to 1,000 of the Best Hikes in the Golden State) we found the trail head. We arrived around 12:15 and after changing shoes, adjusting trekking poles, discussing the need for sweatshirts or not, we headed out to do the Muddy Hollow loop. According to the map the loop is 7.5 mi. The trail goes through all sorts of terrain, open grass lands, forests, over small creeks, and up on a bluff overlooking the ocean.

The view of the Farallones Islands was the most beautiful I had ever seen. Normally you are lucky to see some dark shapes off in the haze, but yesterday you could make out the actual shape of the islands. My camera is not good enough to really do the view of the Farallones justice, and of course the light was all wrong, but if you look carefully you can see them off in the distance.

We stopped on the bluff to have our lunch after having gone about 2.5 mi. (according to my pedometer, accuracy of which is suspect).

It took us almost 4 hours to do the entire loop. We got back to the car at just 4:00 pm, tired and hungry.

I'm the slowest in the crowd, so if it weren't for me, the others would have finished the loop a lot quicker, I'm sure. Not only am I slow, but I stop often to take pictures.

I love it when I find a gnarly tree to photograph.

This hike is part of the Pt. Reyes National Seashore. You can read all about the other hikes and download maps here

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