Northern California Adventures for Olympics

07.26.12


Gold Mettle

With the Olympics officially kicking off tomorrow, we've rounded up a few epic hikes that will test your mettle and have you reaching for glory. Ready, set, gold!


Purisima Creek Redwoods hike

Go the Distance: Purisima Creek Redwoods is a buffet of the best elements of Bay Area hiking: great ocean views, towering redwood trees, fern-filled canyons, and almost no people! Take a 10-mile (round-trip) journey that touches all the highlights of this northern Santa Cruz Mountain preserve.

Peak Performance: Slicing between Napa and Sonoma, the north-to-south Mayacamas Mountains divide the valleys, with the highest point in this range being Hood Mountain, a lofty 2,730-foot peak. The 3.5-mile (one-way) hike to Gunsight Rock is no walk in the park. This is all about the climb—nearly 2,000 feet of it!

Reach for the Top: Pacifica's Montara Mountain rises to a 1,900-foot-high peak that can be accessed via a 7-mile (round-trip) route with epic views, including a spectacular northward vista of the rocky Pacific coastline and the Golden Gate Bridge.

Pear-fect Score: Looking for an overnight backpacking trip deep into the tallest mountain range in the lower 48? Pear Lake is your destination: a sparkling, emerald lake surrounded by jagged granite peaks with multiple cascading waterfalls filling its glacial green waters.

All or Nothing: Wildflowers, hidden beaches, coastal forests, babbling creeks and awesome Pacific views are just a few of the things that make Point Reyes a world-class hiking destination. With so much to see, which hike should a person do? Do the one that's got it all!

Rise to the Occasion: Big Sur is California's soul-refreshing capital. Get right into the heart of this storybook landscape by hiking Andrew Molera State Park's 8.4-mile Ridge Bluff loop.  Duck through sturdy oaks and imperious redwoods as you climb high above the world on a ridge overlooking the Pacific and the wild Santa Lucia Mountain Range.

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