This pastoral loop hike in Briones’ less-visited northern section leads past a miniature waterfall, two duck ponds, and miles of cow-populated grasslands. Briones Regional Park is more than 6,000 acres of grasslands and oaks that were once part of Rancho San Felipe, a Spanish land grant. In the mid-1800s, this was an important fruit-growing region. Today it’s the grassy home of grazing cows and is frequently visited by hikers, mountain bikers, dog walkers, and horseback riders. Its sunny exposure , wide dirt roads, and large expanse of open grasslands.


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This is a DIFFICULT hike and is NOT for beginners. Please note that the elevation is steady with very few breaks. However, the views are awesome and the terrain is scenic and varied. Shade is somewhat minimal, so bring lots of water and electrolytes (i.e. Gatorade). Wear sunscreen and a hat.

Civil twilight is at 8:52 pm. I don’t anticipate being out after dark, but it’s good to be prepared. I always bring a headlamp or flashlight. Don’t rely on your phone.


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Established in 1902, Big Basin Redwoods is California’s oldest state park. In the heart of the Santa Cruz Mountains, its biggest attractions—literally—are its ancient coast redwoods. Some of these giants are more than 50 feet around and as tall as the Statue of Liberty. At 1,000 to 2,500 years old, some may predate the Roman Empire. The park also offers spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean, lush waterfalls, and a fascinating natural and cultural history.


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We will start from Skyline Ridge Open Space Preserve and cross the street into Monte Bello OSP to hike up to Black Mountain.

This is a DIFFICULT hike and is NOT for beginners. Please note that the elevation is steady with very few breaks. However, the views are awesome and the terrain is scenic and varied. Shade is somewhat minimal, so bring lots of water and electrolytes (i.e. Gatorade). Wear sunscreen and a hat.

Civil twilight is at 8:52 pm. I don’t anticipate being out after dark, but it’s good to be prepared. I always bring a headlamp or flashlight. Don’t rely on your phone.


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