Feb 25, 2013 at 9:20 pm #1299724
I'm planning a solo Henry Coe State Park trip, starting from Park HQ, for 7-9 days in April. Given Coe's ups and downs, I'm probably good for 12-16 miles per day. I've done a few 2-4 day trips there, but nothing this long.
Any suggestions on good long routes?
Any "must see" locations or great camp sites?
Any other advice?
Thanks.Feb 26, 2013 at 6:09 am #1958794
Lisa FrugoliBPL Member
@alfrescoLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
I've been there 5 times now & really love the place. You are correct – it's pretty steep in places! Also, some of the more remote trails aren't really there, even though they show on the map.
I'd head into the Orestimba secton – the more remote section to the east. I just returned from a trek in the south & liked Pacheco Camp & Pacheco Falls. You may be able to get to those places, too.
I've had good luck calling the ranger station at Coe HQ. They are very knowledgeable & love to share their info. They even gave me the phone # of a woman who's been horseback riding in Coe since the 50's!
Have fun & PM me if you wnat more info.Feb 26, 2013 at 7:50 am #1958821
Michael DriscollBPL Member
@hillhikerzLocale: Monterey Bay
With that mileage and time frame you could pretty much circumnavigate the park… I would do a lake loop head south and east… take in the Roostercombe out cropping, on to Red fern trail, to Mt. Sizer and back… if on the way back from Frog lake look for a large patch of giant pacific trillium on one of the hairpins may be blooming then, one of my favorite sites… I have a topo gps track file of most all the trails in Coe somewhere from someone in the Pine ridge association if you have that software I could send it on… it is 15 years old but should still be relevant for planning purposes…
One of my trips to that area… I know you are solo on this so sticking to the trails would be good advice but on the eastside taking the deer trails between lakes one can find shed deer antlers kind of cool… I have always felt a mile in Coe was a mile and a quarter any where else… have a great time…Feb 26, 2013 at 9:47 am #1958872
Bill LawBPL Member
@williamlawLocale: SF Bay Area
You don't say exactly when you plan on going there in April. But be aware of the Backcountry Weekend, which is the last weekend in April this year, I believe. You will have a completely different experience on those days.
Check out Pinto Creek, which is at the eastern edge of the park. I've heard that's an interesting destination (rumors of a nice swimming hole and a stand of some relatively rare trees) and as remote as it gets. That's where I'd head to if I could go out for that length of time.Mar 2, 2013 at 5:04 pm #1960695
Amy LauterbachBPL Member
@drongobirdLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
I am commenting in Amy's place on this thread. We have day hiked or backpacked in Coe over 260 times and have covered every bit of the place at one time or another know the park quite well Given 7-9 days at 12-16 mpd yields a range of 84 to 144 miles, which is a significant variable in planning a trip. One of the really nice things about Coe is the density of walkable old ranch roads and trails. Thus, a person could plan a trip at the extreme end of possible mileage and, if necessary, easily cut off a portion of the trip if daily mileages are not met. Just carry a copy of the excellant park map and you can adjust your plan as you go along. The map includes trail mileages between trail junctions so it is simple to figure out how far it is from one point to the next.
If I had a week available, I might walk a perimeter route around as much of the park as possible, taking in Red Creek and the Orestimba, Mustang and Burra Burra Peaks. Or I would head for the far northeastern portion of the park which is distant from the road based entry points and is seldom visited. Head out Red Creek to Upper San Antonio Valley; walk the Mt. Stakes Trail and Pinto Creek; camp at Paradise Flat for a night; climb Robinson Mountain. Or, if you are willing to do some thrashing, go up rarely visited Snod, Grass, and/or Cone. All of these places are rarely visited and you should be able to expect solitude.
Best of luck,
James YurchencoMar 3, 2013 at 10:35 pm #1961112
Thanks to everyone for your advice.
I day hiked about 11 miles today in Henry Coe starting from Hunting Hollow. Had a great time, and ran into more people than all my previous trips put together – several groups of 15+ backpacking or hiking together.
Talking to people – this is a very dry winter at Henry Coe. One Park volunteer suggested that many water sources could be dried up by April!
Though I am confused. The new RAWS on Cordoza Ridge in the park shows 17.14 inches of rain since October 1.
About 13 inches of that fell between November 27 and December 27, and I could see plenty of evidence for high flows this season in Grizzly Gulch and Coyote Creek.
The USGS Coyote Creek gage 2 miles downstream from Hunting Hollow showed 2nd highest peak flow on record December 23, 2012:
but still … I might have to move my trip up into March.
Will call the Park for advice soon.Mar 12, 2013 at 9:49 pm #1964969
.. and had a nice long chat.
Bottom line: all the lakes and ponds will still have water in April. I might need to carry water if most springs and creeks are dried up. In fact, the gentleman I talked to had backpacked Coe in September from pond to pond without significant problems.
So, I'm still planning on a trip in April, when the weather is nicer. But before Backcountry Weekend.
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