Had a great time hiking a section of the Mokelumne Coast to Crest Trail west of Pardee Reservoir outside of Valley Springs. Beautiful day for it – clear blue skies with hardly a cloud in the sky. I took off from the Rich Gulch Trail Access Point. From there a hiker can try out a couple of different sections of the trail. (A bit of caution for anyone driving the three miles down to the access point, the one-lane county road is in horrible shape with some of it claimed by the stream below the road. Drive with caution and reduce speeds or you might end up in the stream.) Former co-worker Alex Breitler suggested these trails and for that I thank him.
It was a little crisp at first and I hiked in shade most of the day, but I saw no one – no one – the entire time. Saw a couple of boot and dog prints, a couple of cow plops, but that was it, except for a few small birds. Very scenic and very remote for not being all that remote. Some sections of the trail were strenuous, that’s for sure, but overall enjoyable. Several steep sections – probably too few for this guy – featured stone stairs. I appreciated them.
This was the first time on an East Bay MUD trail and am sure I will return often. Ran into one of the EBMUD rangers on the way out – Ranger Greg. Nice guy with knowledge and willingness to chat. The trip was well worth the $10 annual permit fee.
This was the second hike with my Vasque Mantra 2.0 GTX shoes. I love ’em. They did great and my feet never tired. Already planning to hike the heck out of them and get another pair. Or maybe I’ll just get another pair. Also, first time with a new pack – Camelbak Francone LR 24 with 3-liter water bladder. As I normally do for a first-time hike on a new trail, I overpacked and my shoulders began to feel it by the end of the day. I think with a few adjustments to the suspension system, it will work out very nicely. All in all, very pleased.
Learn more about the trail at the EBMUD recreation site for its Sierra Foothills Trails.