September South Bay Suffer-fest!

PLEASE READ THIS CAREFULLY BEFORE SIGNING UP:

Let's see if September ends with a bang, a whimper, or desperate gasping for breath!

This big loop hike will be 29 miles and at least 5000 feet of elevation gain, likely more. The route will take us through Long Ridge OSP, Portola, Big Basin and Castle Rock State Parks, then back through Long Ridge to the start. There will be a significant uphill at the end to get back up to Skyline Blvd (around 5 miles long). When I scouted this hike 3 weeks ago it took me 10 hours. We need to finish in 11 hrs at the most so that we can get back to the cars before dark sets in and the rangers start issuing tickets. Due to the length and difficulty of the hike and the need to make good time, it is only open to people who have hiked 20+ miles with me before and who can average 3+ mph over this distance. I'll move people off the waitlist accordingly.

The starting point is a pullout approximately 1.5 miles north of Saratoga Gap (i.e. the junction of HWY 9 and 35). There is enough parking along the road there for a few cars.

Water is available along the way at Portola SP HQ (Mile 7) and again at Waterman Gap (Mile 21). The hike passes through some very beautiful, mostly shaded terrain so should be relatively comfortable even on a hot day. I'll shorten the hike in the event of a major heatwave.

Let me know if any questions.

Join or login to comment.

  • Jim I

    Had a lot of unintentional "motion pictures". With this group it's hard to stop, and it's hard to shoot on the move! But I've uploaded a few decent ones. (No group shot came out, I'm afraid.)

    September 30, 2013

  • Jim I

    I enjoyed this hike a lot despite having to bail early (nothing Gatorade and salty chips wouldn't cure, as it turned out). Short on long scenic vistas compared to some routes, but nice changes in forest and terrain. Hope that last climb went well. I may have some pictures to post later.

    September 30, 2013

    • David A

      Everything finished well especially since Sophie met up with us and brought beer, a chef and a massage therapist. Great group - I had fun hiking with all of you!

      September 30, 2013

  • Sophie

    I will join you for the end of the hike with a friend or two.

    September 26, 2013

    • David A

      Who are these mysterious friends? I'm hoping that one is a masseuse and the other a gourmet chef.

      September 28, 2013

    • Sophie

      Maybe I will sing Renaud songs to get you back in shape in no time.

      September 29, 2013

  • David G.

    I'm feeling just enough scratchy tickle throat to justify a wimp out. Phooey.

    September 28, 2013

    • Monika

      Remember, there is the abbreviated version just right for the wimpy kind.

      September 28, 2013

  • Jim I

    Thanks for posting the route. I tried to follow it on GoogleMaps -- not a chance! Some of these must be deer paths.

    September 24, 2013

    • David A

      They are all main trails. To see the whole route you need 4 maps: Long Ridge OSP, Portola SP, Big Basin and Castle Rock SP. I can email them to anyone who is interested.

      September 24, 2013

    • Yvon

      Yes please!

      September 24, 2013

  • Monika

    Not exactly sure why I'm doing this to myself but I'll join the abbreviated version.

    2 · September 24, 2013

    • David A

      It'll just be a pleasant stroll in the woods.

      1 · September 24, 2013

  • David A

    Here is the route.

    Hickory Oaks Trail[masked]
    Ward Road 2 3.6
    Slate Creek Trail[masked]
    Old Tree Trail [masked]
    Park office, water[masked]
    Iverson Trail [masked]
    Portola Trail 1.4 9
    Ridge Trail [masked]
    Basin Trail [masked]
    Cross China Grade[masked]
    Basin Trail [masked]
    Skyline-to-the Sea Trail[masked]
    Waterman Gap
    Skyline-to-the Sea Trail[masked]
    Achistaca Trail [masked]

    1 · September 24, 2013

  • Patricia

    Sounds amazing! I wish I didn't have to work! I'd love to see your route.

    September 24, 2013

  • Jenn C.

    I'm doing the Alcatraz invitational that day - would otherwise love to do this hike, sounds epic!!

    September 19, 2013

  • hailong t.

    Sorry David, I just realized that I had another backpacking at Desolation wilderness on that weekend

    September 19, 2013

  • Trish K.

    Ever onwards to new experiences!

    September 16, 2013

    • David A

      this one will start with some downwards and finish with a lot of upwards!

      September 16, 2013

  • Trish K.

    Ever onwards to new experiences!

    September 16, 2013

  • Lijuan

    Hello David, sorry that I have to drop as I just got a chance to hike Half Dome during that weekend. Will join your hiking next time. Have fun in the Big Basin area.

    September 13, 2013

    • David A

      OK have fun at Half Dome

      September 14, 2013

  • Jim I

    I've been really interested in the Portola / Big Basin area since camping there years ago. (I heard then that there was an old fire road to the ocean from Portola.) But I'll have to fit in a couple more long ones between now and the 29th to get ready for this one.

    September 9, 2013

  • Lucie

    Unfortunately I have to work that morning, totally forgot about it:( hope to join some other time :)

    September 6, 2013

  • Giulia

    Enjoy the hike! Turns out that I'll be actually meandering through narrow streets in some medieval town that day.

    September 5, 2013

  • Lincoln

    Got something else going on for this date. Everyone have a great hike!

    September 4, 2013

  • David A

    Just an FYI that the first map link provided by Meetup was wrong. I've corrected it and it should show the right starting point now.

    September 4, 2013

  • Lijuan

    Any carpool options?

    September 3, 2013

    • David A

      Hi Lijuan, we can meet up somewhere in San Francisco. I'll let you know the time and place later.

      1 · September 4, 2013

5 went

Our Sponsors

  • John Muir
  • Henry David Thoreau

People in this
Meetup are also in:

Sometimes the best Meetup Group is the one you start

Get started Learn more
Katie

I'm surprised by the level of growth I've seen since becoming an organizer, it's given me more confidence in my abilities.

Katie, started NYC ICO

Sign up

Meetup members, Log in

By clicking "Sign up" or "Sign up using Facebook", you confirm that you accept our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy