Sunday, December 05, 2010

Adventures in Silicon Valley: Part 0x03 - Hiking The Open Spaces

To the west of Silicon Valley are a series of undeveloped land called open space preserves.   On Saturday I went for a hike at two of these spaces: Monte Bello and Los Trancos.

View Silicon Valley Open Spaces in a larger map

Since I drove between the two preserves this was technically two hikes back to back. However the parking lots were less than a 10th of a mile apart, so it was more of a "break in motion".  Collectively these two hikes are the longest I have done, at 6.16 miles.

Both preserves had roughly the same terrain, being a mix of meadows and forests.  The trails criss cross over the San Andreas fault.  Nothing is flat or level, and both hikes had significant elevation differences. I spent both hikes going down for half the trail, then climbing back up, which makes them more exhausting than I would have thought.  Both trails did provide awesome views at the end of Silicon Valley and San Francisco, which worked as an awesome ending to a great hike.

  I also spent some time geocaching on the trails, grabbing 11 of them (12 for the day, including my 300th find).

  The trails themselves were wide and well marked.  The landscape is a lot less rugged than that of the Blue Ridge Mountains where I have done most of my hiking.  As a result it is not nearly as important to have hiking boots when tackling these trails, tho a good tread is required.