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New Meetup: Andrew Molera Loop: Bluffs, Panorama, & Ridge Trails (~9 Miles, ~1,200 Feet)

From: user 1.
Sent on: Wednesday, September 29, 2010 7:39 PM
Announcing a new Meetup for The Monterey Bay Area Hiking Group!

What: Andrew Molera Loop: Bluffs, Panorama, & Ridge Trails (~9 Miles, ~1,200 Feet)

When: Sunday, October 10,[masked]:00 AM

Price: $1.00 per person

Where: Andrew Molera State Park
Big Sur
Big Sur, CA 93920

Since Maria and I will be out of the country on our Himalayan trekking expedition, Amy has graciously volunteered to lead this Sunday hike at one of Big Sur's most beautiful locations: Andrew Molera State Park.

With an area of 4,766 acres, Andrew Molera is Big Sur's largest state park. Originally a part of a Mexican land grant known as Rancho El Sur, this park was originally a property of Juan Bautista Alvarado. Andrew Molera was the grandson of Juan Bautista Rogers Cooper, a Monterey sea captain and merchant who bought the land from Alvarado. In 1965, Molera's daughter donated the land to the park system in his name. The parks boasts 20 miles of trails that give hikers access to the Big Sur river mouth and estuary, the driftwood-strewn Molera Beach, as well as other vibrant ecosystems.




HIKE SUMMARY:
Location: Andrew Molera State Park
Start Time: 10:00 a.m.
Hike Duration: 4 to 6 hours
Pace: Moderate (2.5 to 3 mph)
Total Distance: ~9 miles
Total Elevation Gain: ~1,200 feet
Difficulty: Challenging for Distance, Cumulative Elevation Gain









HIKE DESCRIPTION:

From the western edge of the parking area, you'll head towards the ocean and first need to cross the Big Sur River on the seasonal foot bridges that are provided. NOTE: If the bridge has been removed for the Steelhead Trout migration, carefully asses whether it is safe to cross through the river to the other side.

After crossing the river, head left (south) along the River Trail until you come to a marked junction. Take the Creamery Trail to the right and follow along the sandy road about a mile until you hit the beach.

After checking out the beach area, backtrack to pick up the trail and head south towards the junction with the Ridge Trail. Take the Bluffs Trail on the right and follow along the coast as the trail ascends a bit, offering great views north and south. Several spurs along this trail will take you to secluded beaches, and might be worth the trip for this feature alone.

As the Bluffs Trail starts heading inland, it will join up with and become the Panorama Trail, which continues as a series of switchbacks up the side of the sandy hill. All along this stretch are great views of Point Sur and its lighthouse to the north.

Eventually you'll reach the top where there is a large wooden bench among some trees. You are now at the Southern edge of the park, and looking south from the bench area, you'll actually be looking down on several interesting houses and access road.

After your rest, look for the trail marker just north of the bench, and head down the Ridge Trail all the way back to the Creamery Meadow Trail. The Ridge Trail is a wide, evenly graded path that could probably fit a small truck in most places. You'll pass through a few small wooded areas, and then out into open brush where you'll have views both towards the coast and inland towards the Santa Lucia Mountains.

Once you rejoin the Creamery Trail, retrace your path back to the parking area.

-Map & Hiking Description Source: hikinginbigsur.com




WHAT TO BRING: Sturdy hiking shoes, layered clothing, wind & rain gear, lunch, hat, gloves, 4-6 liters of water, long pants and long sleeve shirt (for poison oak protection). Bring your trekking polls if desired.

WHO SHOULD ATTEND: Very fit, disciplined hikers who can handle a 9 mile hike with at least 1,000 feet of climb.

HOW TO ATTEND: You must have appropriate hiking experience to qualify for attendance. NO EXCEPTIONS! Members who do NOT have appropriate hiking experience should consider attending another event.

NOTE: The event organizer reserves the right to withhold a member's eligibility for attendance if it is deemed the member does NOT have sufficient prior hiking experience to adequately fulfill the skill requirements for this event.




WHAT TO EXPECT ON THIS HIKE:
Hike will commence at approximately 10 minutes after the posted start time. Hike will average speed between 2 to 3 mph. Trail conditions in the state parks can be unpredictable and vary significantly from recently published trail reports. Opportunities to bushwhack through overgrown brush and unstable terrain may be present. It is recommended that you wear solid hiking boots with good tread for added confidence and stability. In addition, the presence of POISON OAK is likely!! It would be unwise to attend this hike without: long pants (or pants with removable legs), hat, gloves, long sleeve shirt due to poison oak & all the other bushes we may have to pass through. Trekking poles are also recommended.

THIS WILL BE A TEAM HIKING EFFORT WHICH MEANS WE WILL STAY TOGETHER AS A GROUP. WE WILL BE HIKING THROUGH AREAS OF VASTLY REMOTE WILDERNESS AND FOR SAFETY REASONS WE WILL MAKE EVERY ATTEMPT TO STAY TOGETHER AS A GROUP THROUGHOUT THE DURATION OF THE HIKE.




RESPONSIBILITY:
Please be aware that we expect you to take responsibility for your safety while we are out on the trails. This means being prepared with adequate hiking gear and making sure the difficulty level of the event IS NOT beyond the limits of your health & conditioning. We understand that your "Yes" RSVP to this event means you accept this. For more information regarding safety, please refer to the Monterey Bay Area Hiking Group "About" section for more details.




RSVP to this Meetup:
http://www.meetup.com/The-Monterey-Bay-Area-Hiking-Group/calendar/14944472/

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