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Old 09-25-08, 07:01 PM   #1
jonathanb715
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Twilight Photo-Opportunity Hike

Any interest in a twilight hike up to Trampas Peak (the highest point in Las Trampas Regional Park at just over 2,000 feet)? It has a great view to the west towards Oakland, SF and the bay and is pretty spectacular at sunset. The trailhead starts around 500 feet, so there's a pretty significant elevation gain. I don't know how many miles it is exactly, but it took about 2 1/2 hours for a naturalist-led hike (with a few folks that were not really in good shape, even compared to me) to get up there on an indirect route. The indirect route is much more scenic and interesting than the direct route. You get great views along the way of the tri-valley and the hills to the East and South of Livermore and Pleasanton, Mt. Diablo, the Northern part of the bay, Walnut Creek, Danville, Orinda/Moraga, etc.

Since it will be dark on the way back, we'd take the fireroad back. You'd need good shoes with plenty of support (running shoes are ok, but there's lots of loose dirt on steep trails, so boots would be better), water, some food (since we'd be getting back somewhere around 9pm?), some additional layers (it gets cold when the sun goes down) and a good flashlight. Oh, and a camera. I'll have my dog along - it's ok to let dogs off leash as long as they are under control and will return when called. I might even have my kids, depending on if I have custody that weekend.

I figure this time of year, we should be up there by around 7, so we'd want to start hiking around 4:30 - 5 on a weekend evening. Any interest?

JB

Edit - the park gate closes at 7 (in theory - I've never seen it closed before 8 or so), so we wouldn't want to park inside the park itself. We'd want to park in the parking lot just before the gate on Bollinger Canyon Rd. It's a short walk to the trailhead from that parking lot. The park curfew is 10 pm - I'd hope we'd be out of there way before then. Chipotle makes some mean burritos and is close by - maybe we should plan on refueling there after the hike.

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Old 09-25-08, 07:08 PM   #2
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I'm in - I've hiked up there many times, but never at sunset and then out in the dark. I like to go up to Trampas Peak with the family. We usually climb straight up the Valley Trail and then come down the ridge-line. Lots of fossilized seashells up there to look at. We'll have to park outside the gate, though, as the main lot closes and gets locked up at sundown.

What weekend?
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Old 09-25-08, 07:16 PM   #3
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I'm in - I've hiked up there many times, but never at sunset and then out in the dark. I like to go up to Trampas Peak with the family. We usually climb straight up the Valley Trail and then come down the ridge-line. Lots of fossilized seashells up there to look at. We'll have to park outside the gate, though, as the main lot closes and gets locked up at sundown.

What weekend?
I was thinking of doing almost the exact opposite - up the Chamise trail to Mahogany to Trapline to Ridgeline, then down the Valley Trail. The Valley trail (which is really a fire road) will be much easier to navigate in the dark.

As for weekends, maybe the weekend of 10/11?

JB
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Old 09-25-08, 07:27 PM   #4
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I was thinking of doing almost the exact opposite - up the Chamise trail to Mahogany to Trapline to Ridgeline, then down the Valley Trail. The Valley trail (which is really a fire road) will be much easier to navigate in the dark.

As for weekends, maybe the weekend of 10/11?

JB

W.E. of 10/11 is good for me.

I've done your route as well. I've pretty much hiked every inch of that park. When the dot-com boom went bust back in 2000, I had a lot of time on my hands, and not a lot of money. Hiking was cheap, and occupied time really well.
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Old 09-25-08, 07:30 PM   #5
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10/11 is good for me.

I've done your route as well. I've pretty much hiked every inch of that park. When the dot-com boom went bust back in 2000, I had a lot of time on my hands, and not a lot of money. Hiking was cheap, and occupied time really well.
Oh, Snap! I forgot to check the new and improved soccer tournament schedule - my son has a game starting at 4 on the 11th. I can do either Friday the 10th or Sunday the 12th, though.

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Old 09-25-08, 07:33 PM   #6
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Oh, Snap! I forgot to check the new and improved soccer tournament schedule - my son has a game starting at 4 on the 11th. I can do either Friday the 10th or Sunday the 12th, though.

JB

you're in charge - pick one.

I vote Friday.....
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Old 09-25-08, 07:41 PM   #7
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Friday it is (unless lots of others whine and complain about having to work for a living). Added benefit: potential for lots of wildlife viewing. The deer aren't particularly afraid of people. There are lots of coyotes around, raccoons, vultures (why do they always circle above me when I'm hiking?), turkeys, hawks, etc. Plus, added bonus for photos of the zebras and ostriches.

My dog is deaf, so she makes a ton of noise and scares most of the animals away but I always seem to get close to something.

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Old 09-25-08, 10:19 PM   #8
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As and avid cyclist, I'm allergic to walking...,but I'm interested anyway. Count me in. Is there a place for me to lock up a bke. I'll be taking the BART.
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Old 09-25-08, 10:51 PM   #9
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As and avid cyclist, I'm allergic to walking...,but I'm interested anyway. Count me in. Is there a place for me to lock up a bke. I'll be taking the BART.
I live 5.5 miles from the trailhead. You can park it here. If you ask nicely, I might consider picking you up at BART.

Alternately, there is a bus express that runs from BART to the San Ramon Transit Center, which is less than 2 miles from my house. Lots o' options......
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Old 09-25-08, 11:11 PM   #10
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As and avid cyclist, I'm allergic to walking...,but I'm interested anyway. Count me in. Is there a place for me to lock up a bke. I'll be taking the BART.
Make it a mountain bike and you could ride up there! Like John, I'm not too far from the park - and you could always toss your bike into my car while we're hiking.

JB
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Old 09-25-08, 11:45 PM   #11
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Alright, alright...Pretty please with "freaking sugar on it!" I'll park at the house and Hitch over...Maybe you'll pick me up? I'll have Pizza and a couple of cold ones on the side of the road waiting for a ride!
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Old 09-26-08, 10:21 AM   #12
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Make it a mountain bike and you could ride up there! Like John, I'm not too far from the park - and you could always toss your bike into my car while we're hiking.

JB
How about a cyclocross or fat-tired road bike?
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Old 09-26-08, 11:01 AM   #13
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How about a cyclocross or fat-tired road bike?
If you stuck to the fire road you could probably do it, although it does get a bit steep. the fire road is packed dirt, with the steeper parts having sections with loose sand and dirt.

JB
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Old 09-26-08, 11:51 AM   #14
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Hrm. That sounds fun.
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Old 10-09-08, 08:50 AM   #15
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It's looking like I won't be able to make this - both kids have come down with bronchitis, and if they're still coughing and hacking like this I won't be able to leave them with a sitter as planned.

My apologies to BBM and Taxi and anyone else who was planning on showing up - the weather is looking like it would be really nice, too!

JB
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