It's time again for a hike to the top of Bald Mountain. When clear you can see from the Sierra Nevada Range to the San Francisco skyline and the Golden Gate Bridge. This is not an easy climb, as we climb to the top of Bald Mountain, but it IS very worthwhile - This is an 7.5 mile loop with an elevation gain of approximately 1700 feet!
Note, as indicated in the details below, this is a variation from our more typical Bald Mountain loop, as we first head along the Meadow Trail rather than straight up the Lower Bald Mtn Trail.
Bring some snacks for the hike since we will not be stopping for lunch on the trail. Why, you might ask? Because after the hike I will be hosting a meetup for my wine group: SOCO Social Wine Group at Naked Wines in Kenwood. There will be free wine tasting and free tacos for 12 total. To partake in this event, click on the group link above and RSVP (but only if you are really, really sure you can make it since I am limited to 12 tickets). Also, bring some extra snacks to share since the Taco's aren't expected to be a full meal. If you want to skip the event, then bring your lunch and have a picnic at the trailhead tables.
We start on the Bald Mtn Trail but quickly veer right onto Meadow trail. Then to Grey Pine, but quickly branch left again onto the Vista Trail and our first major climb. From Vista, we branch on to the Headwaters Trail which will give us continued uphill, wandering through oaks and bay trees. This stretch is particularly beautiful when we've had a bit of rain as there is a stream cascading down the side of the mountain beside the trail! From this, we branch to Red Mountain trail where we make our way to the beloved (but Steep) Gray Pine fire road which gives us our last good climb to make it to the top of Bald Mountain.
After rewarding ourselves with views and our snacks, we come down the paved Bald Mountain Trail – though paved, it is very scenic. We will stay on the fire road most of the way down, and then veer off on a dirt trail for the last mile.
This is a moderate to difficult trail: Steep and narrow at some points on the way up. Highly recommended if you are a moderate hiker that has been hiking consistently. Please make sure you are good with both the steep & narrow parts, and being on a fire road for a portion of the trip down!
THERE is a State Park Entrance Fee!
A link to the park brochure and trail map:
Car pooling: Because of the event afterwards, I don't recommend carpooling unless you set it up yourselves in the comment section. Usually, Adobe Canyon Road near the entrance to Landmark Winery is not recommended, but because it is just across the road from Naked Wines, I think it makes sense this time. If you want to meet there, do so at 9:15 and post in comments section.
Please read and be familiar with the guidelines of the group as listed below. It’s important before you come on a Wanderer hike that you agree and are prepared with the following.
We combine enjoyment of the trail with respect for everyone’s time. A steady pace and we just keep going! If you are in the lead you will end up waiting at trail junctions. If you are in the back you will be asked to do your best to keep up with the group and at waiting points the group may move on as soon as you are within sight. Our pace averages 2.5mph. We do get separated from time to time as everyone walks their own pace but please bear in mind that you will need to be able to stay within several minutes of the group. Make sure this is something you are prepared for and would enjoy.
Please always check your email the night before just in case there are any necessary adjustments. Cancellations or any adjustments will be posted by 10pm the previous evening.
Give yourself time to find the trail head so that you arrive prior to the scheduled time. That is the time we head out on the trail. It would be disappointing to miss having you on the hike due to late arrival. You will be left behind if you are not ready to head out at the hike start time.
Wear comfortable hiking shoes with good rugged soles that are well broken in.
Duration: 3.5 or so hours
Facilities: at the trail head
Dogs?: none allowed here
Bring plenty of water. More than one bottle is usually a good idea.
Dress in layers. The hike can start off warm but rapidly cool down.
Bring a snack. We have a break at the top - great stop with a view!
Bring your smile and great attitude! Once again....this is not about finishing the hike in record time...it's about enjoying ourselves and the outdoors! If you are a fast hiker you will be waiting for those of us that huff and puff our way up the trail. If you are a slow hiker you will find that we head off up the trail as soon as you catch up with the group. Please make sure this is something that you will enjoy! We are ALL about trail enjoyment while respecting everyone’s time!
See you on the trail!