Topic

Henry Coe State Park- Los Cruzeros – The Narrows


Forum Posting

A Membership is required to post in the forums. Login or become a member to post in the member forums!

Home Forums Campfire Photo Gallery Henry Coe State Park- Los Cruzeros – The Narrows

  • This topic is empty.
Viewing 2 posts - 1 through 2 (of 2 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #1329338
    Tony Wong
    BPL Member

    @valshar

    Locale: San Francisco Bay Area

    Corral Trail Head to Los Cruzeros – The Narrows

    14.1 Mile Loop, Overnight Trip

    Memorial Day Weekend 05-23-15 to 05-24-15

    Daytime Temps: 75-70F

    Evening Temps: 50-45F

    Website: Henry Coe State Park

    This trip was a spur of the moment adventure after plans to get to the Trinity Alps, the Five Lakes Basin near Lake Tahoe, and the Ventana WIldern fell through. The likely chance of cold weather and rain at the Trinity Alps and Five Lakes Basin, killed those locations. Oddly, the Ventana Wilderness was open to us, but the Ranger repeatedly told me that all stoves were banned, requiring cold meals. Not an ideal way to introduce my girlfriend to her first backpacking trip.

    Henry Coe offered a location that was only 1.5 hours away from the East Bay, had good weather, and was familiar terrain. The only issue was that Henry Coe is often a very dry location, which dries out by late spring til the rains of late fall. We were fortunate that there were still sources of water, which will like be gone in a month's time.

    Henry Coe State Park is the largest State Park in Northern California with 89,000 acres and the is the second largest State Park in all of California. It is also known as or encompasses the Orestimba Wilderness.

    Typically, only the Western Zone/Portion of the park is accessible year round. The other zones being too dry to venture into in the summertime. Call the Ranger Station for the status of water sources to be safe.

    Interestedly, there is a 50 loop that is possible to but due to the lack of water in the summer time, I am thinking that it would be an interesting winter/wet weather trip to do in the future.

    Campsites are on a first come, first serve basis with permits being offered at 8 am.

    We arrived at 8:30 am on Saturday morning to find that all of the campsites in the Western Zone had been taken. In fact, driving into the parking lot, we were greeted with the sight of lots of backpackers getting ready to head out or just hitting the trails….along with day hikers.

    Henry Coe Headquaters

    Henry Coe Headquarters
    Note: Photo was taken at the end of the trip as I forgot to take a shot upon arriving

    A Grey Morning of Mist

    A Grey Morning of Mist
    Hanging out while I drive the car to a lower parking lot with a short 1/2 or 1/4 mile hike back to the headquarters

    Left to Right: Scott, Jeremy, and Nadesdye on her 1st backpacking trip

    Corral Trail Head at the Headquarters

    Corral Trail Head at the Headquarters
    Note: Photo was taken on the last day heading out

    A Cool and Damp Start

    A Cool and Damp Start
    The mist hung in the morning air and felt like tiny droplets of invisible rain that never fell from the skies

    A Lush and Damp Trail

    A Lush and Damp Trail
    0.6 Miles on the Corral Trail to Fish Trail

    Up and Down the Trail

    Up and Down the Trail
    1.9 Miles along the Fish Trail to Middle Ridge Trail

    Scott on the Way to Poverty Flats

    Scott on the Way to Poverty Flats
    2.5 Miles along the Middle Ridge Trail

    Step Sections of the Trail

    Step Sections of the Trail
    Nothing too horrible, but the hard, dry clay ground offered little traction.
    Happy to have my trekking poles on this trip

    Nadesdye with Her New Luxurylite External Frame Pack

    Nadesdye with Her New LuxuryLite-StackPack, External Frame Pack 24 oz. for the Frame & Hook Belt. Three waterproof storage cylinders with a volume of 3845 CU IN adds 16 oz. Total Weight of 2 lbs 8 oz.

    A lightweight modular storage cylinder packing system with telescoping frame to adjust to any torso length. We chose this pack for her first backpacking trip because of her rotator cuff injury, which prevents her from having any weight on her shoulders. The external frame transfer all of the weight to a large hip belt with a hook for the Luxurylite frame to attach too. The result is that there is ZERO weight placed upon the shoulders.

    Note: The Top Cylinder is under filled, which resulted in the top cylinder sliding behind the lower cylinder and throwing off the balance of the load. The cylinders need to be tightly loaded up so that they retain their shape and do not deform under the weight of the cylinders above them.

    Either on or on the way to Poverty Flats Road

    Either on or on the way to Poverty Flats Road

    Stopping for Lunch Just Short of the Poverty Flat Campsites

    Stopping for Lunch Just Short of the Poverty Flat Campsites
    Having just crosses a trickle of a stream, we stopped within sight of the occupied campsites at Poverty Flats

    Jeremy Leads the Way

    Jeremy Leads the Way

    Easy Trekking on Poverty Flats Road to Los Cruzeros

    Easy Trekking on Poverty Flats Road to Los Cruzeros
    1.5 Miles on the Poverty Flat Road to Shafer Corral Trail
    Relatively close to the trail intersection leading to China Hole

    Actually, we would not actually reach Los Cruzeros, as all the campsites had been taken. The Rangers diverting us to a location just slightly North of Los Cruzeros

    Open and Exposed on the Poverty Flats Road

    Open and Exposed on the Poverty Flats Road
    Very Close to the Jackass Trail Intersection

    Last Hints of the Fading Green of Spring

    Last Hints of the Fading Green of Spring
    We did not come across any fellow backpackers hiking on the trails and the few day hikers we came across where long behind us as we were far from the trail head. The only company that we would see on the trail out here were mountain bikers.

    Turning onto Shafer Corral Trail

    Turning onto Shafer Corral Trail

    String of Ants Along the Trail

    String of Ants Along the Trail
    0.4 Miles on the Corral Trail to the Narrows Trail along the Coyote Creek

    View to the South Towards the Los Cruzeros Campsites

    View to the South Towards the Los Cruzeros Campsites

    A Bit Steep and Hard on the Knees

    A Bit Steep and Hard on the Knees
    This was a level spot, but going slow down the hills was a bit hard on the ole knees

    Crossing Coyote Creek

    Crossing Coyote Creek

    Heading Down the Narrows Looking for a Campsite

    Heading Down the Narrows Looking for a Campsite

    Tough Finding a Good Site with Water

    Tough Finding a Good Site with Water
    We walked just a little further than the tree that you see in the distance.
    Not seeing a decent flat spot for pitching out tents that was near water, we turned around. Had we simply gone just a little bit further to round the bend, a whole lush valley opened up that was very grassy, but pretty.

    Setting Up Camp

    Setting Up Camp by the Side of the Trail
    It was not a great site for sure…open and exposed to the sun, but it was a large flat area for us to spread out and there was a rock to sit and hang out on with water close by.

    Jeremy's Mountain Laurel Designs Super Light Bivy with all Mesh Head Net in Wide/Large

    Henry Shires Double Rainbow Tarptent

    Henry Shires Double Rainbow Tarptent
    Borrowed a friend's first generation Double Rainbow to try out with my girlfriend.
    Love that each of us has our own side entrance door and the tent has plenty of headroom. I also appreciate the simplicity of one pole and four stakes to set it up. Six if you are in rainy/windy weather and need to deploy the twin vestibules.
    Definitely going to buy the current version with its improvements over the first generation version. Namely, a better bathtub floor with interior clips to prevent sagging along the middle sections of the bathtub floor. I believe that there are additional guy line tie outs on the exterior of the tent to provide more wind resistance.

    Scott's Big Agnes Copper Spur

    Scott's Big Agnes Copper Spur 2

    Scott's Big Agnes Copper Spur

    Simple Joys and Luxuries on a Short Trip

    Simple Joys and Luxuries on a Short Trip…Beer

    Nadesdye Tries to Find a Comfortable Spot

    Nadesdye Tries to Find a Comfortable Spot
    After setting up out tents and gathering some water for the evening, we kicked back on this bumpy rock for a few hours having a snack and chatting away the afternoon. Despite the lack of cover from the sun, there was an occasional breeze and the sun was not all that hot with temperatures in the low 70's

    Exploring the Narrows

    Exploring the Narrows
    After a few hours of kicking back, we decided to go for a hike to see what lay further beyond where we had previously turned around

    Dry Creek Beds

    Dry Creek Beds…within a week or two, this place would likely be bone dry.

    Making it Around the Bend

    Making it Around the Bend
    I was surprised to see this canyon open up with tall grasses and much more water. It was a bit of an oasis tucked away in the Narrows.

    Hiking Toward Bear Mountain Road & Private Property

    Hiking Toward Bear Mountain Road & Private Property
    As we hiked further into the Narrows, we saw a few people and maybe 4-5 tents spread out along the few flat spots close to the water.

    End of the Line with the Blue Ridge Road to Poverty Flat

    End of the Line with the Blue Ridge Road to Poverty Flat

    Little House on the Hill

    Little House on the Hill
    Off in the Distance there was a lone structure on the hill with what had to be a great view of the surrounding area. According to the map, there was a patch of private property up ahead. The road before us likely lead one way or another to that house.

    Heading Back

    Heading Back

    Pretty Flowers Along the Trail with Nadesdye

    Pretty Flowers Along the Trail with Nadesdye

    Back to Our Rock

    Back to Our Rock
    Returning to camp there was not much to do other than to hang out and relax
    This is an alien concept, this relaxing…what about hiking 15 miles a day from dawn til dusk…the pain, misery, suffering, and aching muscles…isn't backpacking supposed to bring me closer to God through suffering and carrying a heavy pack???

    Using Your Sleeping Pad for Double Duty

    Using Your Sleeping Pad for Double Duty
    I learned this from my friend, Ken T., on a prior trip. The stupid logic of it was staggering. When on rocky or hard ground, use your foam pad for a more comfortable seating arrangement. The down side is that my close cell foam pad is a bit cut up now.
    Less sore butt.

    Note: The 16 oz Squeeze Bag that Comes with the Sawyer Mini Filter is an excellent size for storing Sparkling Wine.

    View from the Rock

    View from the Rock

    Water is Life

    Water is Life
    You notice that most trails are always next to rivers and streams?
    Decided to try out using a Smart Water Bottle with my Sawyer Mini Filter, which I have read is very durable and popular with users of this filter. Being ridged, the Smart Water Bottle can easily be submerged into the water to fill up. Unlike using a soft sided water bottle like a Platypus brand bottle, which can require that you bring a scoop for filling up the soft sided bottle. Anyway, the Smart Water Bottle worked fine. Maybe I would like it better if I hooked up my Blue Nile Hydration system to it to allow me to sip water while hiking vs. stopping to attach my filter to the Smart Water Bottle to get a drink of water.

    Beer is Life, for Jeremy

    Beer is Life, for Jeremy
    Given that this was a short distance, over nighter with tons of time to kill, why not bring your favorite beverage? Jeremy simply was cooling his beer down by soaking it in the water.

    Scott Gets Ready to Make Dinner

    Scott Gets Ready to Make Dinner

    Jeremy Pulls Food Out of his Original URsack

    Jeremy Pulls Food Out of his Original URsack
    Notice the white spots all over Jeremy's Ursack. Teeth marks from having barely survived an all night bear attack. Food was kinda saved from that incident. Crushed food mixed with bear slobber. To be fair, Jeremy did not have the optional metal insert to protect against or limit the amount of crushing done to the food. However, after that incident, Jeremy will only carry a bear canister while in bear country.

    Tony with his 12 year old Sunday Afternoon Hat

    Tony with his 12 year old Sunday Afternoon Hat
    Functional "dorkitude" never looked so stylish on the trail.
    Okay, never going to be stylish, but this hat is awesome on the trail.
    Plenty of protection from the sun for the eyes and the back of the neck.
    Providing some nice protection in the rain too for my glasses.
    Poor hat is faded and beat up, but it does the job and I am fond of it.

    Ramen, it is what is for dinner if you are lazy

    Ramen, it is what is for dinner if you are lazy
    Added frozen corn and frozen won ton dumpling from Costco.
    Things you can bring out on an over nighter.

    The Simple Joys of a Hot Meal, Good Company, and Being Outdoors

    The Simple Joys of a Hot Meal, Good Company, and Being Outdoors with a Beer

    Must Keep Nadesdye Warm at All Cost

    Must Keep Nadesdye Warm at All Cost and Feed Her Brownies
    Nadesdye is a cold sleeper for sure. Even on warm days, she is often wearing a jacket.
    One of the indulgences that I brought was a freshly baked tray of brownies to share with everyone.

    Double Rainbow in the Night

    Double Rainbow in the Night…Tarptent

    Bivy Hiking Pole Support

    Bivy Hiking Pole Support
    Simply using a few rocks to hold the hiking poles upright provides a point tie off the bug netting of the bivy so it does not rest on your face. This also provides a lot more interior space at the head area, which makes the bivy feel a lot less confined.

    Another View of Scott's Big Agnes Copper Spur

    Another View of Scott's Big Agnes Copper Spur

    Breakfast on the Rocks

    Breakfast on the Rocks
    Food in a chain mail Outsak 3.5 OZ 650 CU IN.
    Sawyer Mini Filter attached to Smart Water Bottle.

    Scott Using Platypus Big Zip Hydration with Sawyer Inline Filter as Gravity Filter

    Scott Using Platypus Big Zip Hydration with Sawyer Inline Filter as Gravity Filter

    Remote Canister Stove

    Optimus Remote Canister Stove

    Overlooking the Campsite

    Overlooking the Campsite

    Heading West Through the Narrows to China Hole

    Heading West Through the Narrows to China Hole
    Crossing the Creek that Leads to Eagle Pines Peak
    After a very leisurely morning and breakfast, we packed up our gear and headed out with the hope of having the overcast cloud cover that we had the day before.

    Pushing Up Into the Narrows

    Pushing Up Into the Narrows

    Fuzz Ball of White

    Fuzz Ball of Whiteness

    Point After Passing Mahoney Meadows Road to the Lost Spring

    Point After Passing Mahoney Meadows Road to the Lost Spring

    An Unexpectedly Green and Lush Area

    An Unexpectedly Green and Lush Area 2

    An Unexpectedly Green and Lush Area

    Surprising Amount of Water

    Surprising Amount of Water

    Oasis in the Narrows 1

    Oasis in the Narrows 2

    Oasis in the Narrows 3

    Oasis in the Narrows

    Colors along the Trail

    Colors along the Trail 2

    Colors along the Trail

    Winding Through the Narrows

    Winding Through the Narrows 2

    Winding Through the Narrows

    Catching Up with the Others

    Catching Up with the Others

    Taking a Break for Water and a Snack

    Taking a Break for Water and a Snack
    Nadesdye takes an opportunity to remove her Luxurylie StackPack and Hook Belt

    Close Up of Two of Three Cylinders

    Close up of two of three cylinders that comes with with the Luxurylite Pack.
    The Stackpack comes with two large cylinder and one medium cylinder.
    All three cylinders provides 70L of capacity.
    In this case, Nadesdye has one large cylinder and the medium one on top of it.

    As this was our first time out using this pack, it took a little bit of adjustment to get the cylinders just right. (This would have been easier if I had carefully read the detailed and illustrated instructions included with the pack). Bottom line, you need to make sure that the cylinders are densely packed. Particularly, the bottom one. A tightly packed cylinder holds it shape and prevents the cylinder above it from crushing and deforming it. On the hike in, we had a problem with the top cylinder sliding "behind the lower cylinder….which cased the lower cylinder to get pushed away from the bottom shelf. Simply taking a quilt out of its compression bag did the trick and filled up all the loose space in the cylinder, which also had the benefit of keeping items moving side to side within the cylinder. This provided the stability needed to carry the pack easily and comfortably.

    Note: The Hook Belt is laying on top of the Stackpack. The yellow foam is a welcome cushion for the lumbar/lower back.

    Going to China Hole

    Going to China Hole

    China Hole

    China Hole

    Pushing Up China Hole towards Manzanita Point

    Pushing Up China Hole towards Manzanita Point

    Nadesdye Marches On

    Nadesdye Marches On

    Stackpack Cylinders Riding Right When Loaded Properly

    Stackpack Cylinders Riding Right When Loaded Properly

    View of the Dusty Trail

    View of the Dusty Trail 2

    View of the Dusty Trail

    Snack Break at the Intersection of the Cougar Trail

    Snack Break at the Intersection of the Cougar Trail
    I was starting to bonk out from the march on out…simply ignoring the little hunger pangs in my stomach. I asked the others to stop to break on the trail for a quick snack and drink.

    Rounding the Crest of the Hill into Greener Surroundings

    Rounding the Crest of the Hill into Greener Surroundings

    Passing by the Car Campers at Manzanita Group Camp Site

    Passing by the Car Campers at Manzanita Group Camp Site

    Easy Cruising on the Manzanita Point Road

    Easy Cruising on the Manzanita Point Road
    Walking by a number of car camping sites, we were surprised to see that cars were being allowed out on the road for regular campsites. Typically, vehicles were only allowed on the road for the group sites and only two "support" vehicles per group site. Anyway, this only meant that we had to move to the side of the road as the occasional car drove by.

    Hiking Out the Way We Came In

    Hiking Out the Way We Came In

    How it Always Ends

    Driving to a Nearby Town for a Hot Meal

    How it Always Ends 2

    Scott Enjoys a Cold One

    Nadesdye Digs In

    Nadesdye Digs In

    Jeremy's Carries On the Post Hike Tradition

    Jeremy's Carries On the Post Hike Tradition

    Other Photo Essays by Tony:

    Tony's Journey into Lightweight backpacking

    Trinity Alps: Caribou Lake

    6th Annual 2014 Gathering of Gear Geeks: Henry Coe State Park, CA.

    5th Annual 2013 Gathering of Gear Geeks: Henry Coe State Park, CA.

    BPLers 2012 GGG: Henry Coe State Park, CA.

    Gathering of Gear Geeks 2012: Pointe Reyes National Seashore

    BPLers 2012 GGG: Henry Coe State Park, CA.

    BPLers 3rd Annual 2011 GGG: Henry Coe State Park, CA.

    BPLers 2011 GGG: Henry Coe State Park, CA.

    Special Video Made by EJ Documenting the 2011 GGG
    Backpackers Gone Wild: BPL 3rd Annual SF Bay Area Gathering of Gear Geeks (GGG) Jan 26-27, 2011.

    BPLer's 2010 GGG: Point Reyes, CA. 2nd Annual Trip

    BPLer's GGG: San Francisco Bay Area, CA.; Mt. Diablo

    BPLer's GGG: Yosemite: Hetch Hetchy Resevior to Rancheria Falls

    BPLer's 2009 GGG: Point Reyes, CA

    Emigrant Wilderness

    High Sierra trail to Mt. Whitney

    Lassen Volcanic National Park

    Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park: Deadman Canyon

    Tahoe Rim Trail

    Ventana Wilderness

    Yosemite: Glacier Point to Red Peak Pass to Lake Merced

    Yosemite in Winter: Crocker Point & Dewey Point

    Yosemite: Lake Vernon & Hetch Hetchy Reservoir

    Yosemite: Tenaya Creek

    Photo Essay by Linda Vassallo: Mt Whitney Summit Hike: A photo essay

    Trip Report & Article by Jeremy Pendrey: Hiking The Diablo Trail: A Conservation Success Story

    Photography and Backpacking Article on Hike It. Like It.

    Photo Essays: Telling the Story, Sharing the Adventure

    #2205826
    Daniel Sweeney
    BPL Member

    @siskiyoudaniel

    Locale: SWVA

    Thanks for the awesome report and photos. Looks like a nice area. Probably good you didn't go all the way up to the trinity alps that weekend, the weather was fine but there were at least 50 people camping up at Caribou Lakes.

    Cheers

Viewing 2 posts - 1 through 2 (of 2 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
Forum Posting

A Membership is required to post in the forums. Login or become a member to post in the member forums!

Get the Newsletter

Get our free Handbook and Receive our weekly newsletter to see what's new at Backpacking Light!

Gear Research & Discovery Tools


Loading...