Skip to comments.Hiking Rancho Corral de Tierra (Northern California)
Posted on 11/08/2017 10:56:52 AM PST by ProtectOurFreedom
FReepers NickCarraway and ProtectOurFreedom hiked Rancho Corral de Tierra in San Mateo County yesterday. It was of those rare and magnificent days where you could see the hard edge of the ocean out at the horizon -- it wasn't masked in a fog bank at all. This park is now part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, but is not promoted much and there are no explanations we could find about where to park. We went up Ranch Road in Moss Beach past many beautiful horse ranches to eventually find the Spine Trail trailhead. It was a good slog up to 1,450 feet elevation. Being a weekday and a rather unknown open space area, we passed only one rather sweaty horse with rider and three mountain bikers in the 7.5 mile hike. At the top, what looked like a flat traverse along a ridge line, was actually a hard up and down along a PG&E pole line. There were no switchbacks, so going up the short 30% hills covered with slippery decomposed granite was a real challenge.
The views were incredible -- we are always amazed that you can be so close to San Fran and San Jose, yet, right in our backyards, you feel like you are a million miles away from anything. The remote canyons of San Mateo country are still rugged and wild.
Here are few pics from yesterday. The first three are of the Dennison Creek Canyon. Pic #1 is actually a big panorama I took hand-held and stitched together using Adobe Photoshop CC. You can't see all the detail in the panorama because of the TinyPic hosting. The others are single exposures. Pic #4 is of Princeton-by-the-Sea, Pillar Point, and the Pillar Point Harbor. The famous Mavericks surf break is just outside Pillar Point.
At 1,450 feet elevation, the horizon of the ocean was 48 miles away! The Farallon Islands were as clearly visible as I've ever seen them - 33 miles out to sea.
I recently had an "Aha" moment and started doing one-way hikes and using Uber to get back to my car. Avoiding out-and-back hikes makes them more interesting because you get constantly changing scenery by not backtracking. It won't work everywhere, but here we hiked along the ridge south somewhat parallel to CA-1 and came out in an El Granada neighborhood where Uber picked us up.
Pinging those who have enjoyed the Northern California hikes and photos before...
Wife, kids and I lived in SF for 20 years, the drive down PCH to Santa Cruz were some of our happiest memories of the area, the other way up to Mendocino was/is also just wonderful.
Great stuff. The San Mateo County coast and mountains have been my stomping (and surfing) groups for the better part of my life (I’m currently living in the San Pedro Valley in Pacifica, half a block from the trailheads). PM sometime, maybe I can join!
Awesome. I used to hike in the Marin County hills a lot and was rewarded with similar views on fog-free days. :)
We’d love to have you join! We’ll definitely PM you. We were right in your backyard yesterday!
I read your title and went directly to the photos. Couldn’t figure out why it didn’t look like Corral de Tierra down in Monterey County.
Now I know.
GORGEOUS! Thank you.
I was planning to hike up at Pt. Reyes but the Tubbs fire broke out so those plans got cancelled. Still want to do Pt. Reyes and some of the Mt. Tam hikes. Haven’t been to Marin in a couple years. The fog-free days are incredible, aren’t they? Of course, being up high in the sunshine and watching the fog roll in below you is spectacular, too.
Please add me to your ping list. Nice pics!
LOL. I read Steinbeck’s first novel, “The Pastures of Heaven,” a few months back. I was so intrigued by his descriptions that I did some digging and found he placed it in Corral de Tierra in Monterey County. My daughter and I hiked Toro County Park there in the spring of 2016. What a gorgeous place!
I live in New York, but even here wonder sometimes how people put up with the political and tax environment in CA - and I realize from my fairly regular visits to CA, its exactly things like you are showing - beautiful weather and scenery.
I’m jealous. Looks like a fantastic way to spend a day.
Thanks. I added you. It’s an occasional ping list all about hiking in NorCal and attempts to capture the beauty of our region. Glad you liked it.
That area is beautiful. Used to live in Cali. Been to NorCal once. Loved it.
I was born in West Chester County and lived there as an infant and toddler for a couple years. Grew up in upstate NY. Found my way to CA after college and that was the end of the moving for me. Dealing with the politics and taxes here is absolutely brutal and it just keeps getting worse every year. But CA is so spectacular and the weather so good it is very hard to leave. The amazing thing is that, even with 5 million people around us, it’s very easy to go 10 or 15 minutes into the hills, hike a mile, and be completely isolated and roaming with the mountain lions. Yesterday, NickCarraway posted an article about a bear sighting next door to Carmel, CA! Soon we’ll have bears AND lions to worry about.
I did part of my growing up in Carmel Valley and used to really enjoy reading Steinbeck and being able to place the locales in his novels.
I left Kali over 25 years ago and would never go back but I have to admit it is still one of the most beautiful areas on Earth.
This is the aspect of California I miss. Beautifully photographed my FRiend!
wow, so great, thanks for posting!!
Beautiful photos of a ruggedly beautiful place!
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