California Mountain Adventures - Cone PeaksteemCreated with Sketch.

in #hiking4 years ago


Welcome to this edition of

California Mountain Adventures!!

In this adventure I joined @alaqrab for a four day backpacking trip to the top of Cone Peak!!


We drove out to the southeastern side of the Santa Lucia mountain range to the Arroyo Seco trailhead. We tossed on our packs and headed up the trail into the Ventana Wilderness. We followed along the beautiful flowing waters of the Arroyo Seco to the trail junction at the 'Forks' camp. From here we left the creek and started climbing up the Rodeo Flats trail. This trail was really steep and had very little shade so it was pretty tough, but the views were awesome!

@alaqrab at the trailhead

Crossing Arroyo Seco

Me and @alaqrab on the Rodeo Flats trail

Views from the Rodeo Flats trail

We paced ourselves and just kept working our way up, stopping along the way to snack on some delicious Toyon Berries that were growing on the side of the trail. Eventually we made it up onto the North Coast Ridge where we got our first views of the Pacific Ocean! From there we dropped down the west side of the ridge to a small meadowy stream where we made our first camp. After getting all setup we had some food and then found a great spot to watch the sunset over the Pacific ocean. It was absolutely spectacular! After sunset we hung out and chatted for awhile before going to bed. This was my first trip ever with @alaqrab so we were still just getting to know each other.

First views of the ocean

Our first camp

Sunset glow at camp

*gif by @alaqrab

The first night was COLD! We woke up with everything frosted and frozen. But once the sun was up we thawed out pretty quickly. We had some breakfast, packed up camp, and hit the trail. We climbed back up onto the North Coast Ridge and then headed south on the ridge. The ridge provided us some amazing views both to the east and west, but also gave us quite a challenge with lots of obstacles like bushwhacking through brush and climbing around downed trees.

Me on North Coast Ridge
*photo by @alaqrab

Obstacles on the trail

@alaqrab enjoying the views from the ridge

We continued along the ridge to the junction with the upper end of the Arroyo Seco trail which we'd be taking on our return trip in two days. Once passed the junction we entered into a pine forest of HUGE Coulter pines and Sugar pines! These two pine varieties make the largest pine cones (Coulter pine cones are the heaviest, and Sugar pine cones are the longest) and we got to see lots of really big ones!

Entering the pine forest

Sugar Pine cone

Coulter Pine cone

Enjoying more views from the ridge

We hiked passed the Carrizo trail to the junction with the Gamboa trail. Here we left the ridge and descended down into the big lush canyon just north of Cone peak to the 'Trail Springs' camp. Trail Springs is a beautiful place and as the name suggests it has some springs near the trail where fresh clean mountain water is pouring straight out of the ground! We setup our camp and then took a little walk around and checked out the area. On our walk we ran into a really cool Banana Slug, but we were actually surprised at how little wildlife we had seen otherwise. Once back at camp we made some dinner and then headed to bed for our second night.

More obstacles on the trail

Trail Springs camp

Trail Springs
*photo by @alaqrab

The Banana Slug

Dusk at Trail Springs

The next morning we got up and made some breakfast. While we were cooking we had another hiker stop by to get some water from the springs. She turned out to be the only person we would encounter on the entire trip. After breakfast we threw a few items in a day pack and headed up the Cone peak trail. The trail climbed up and out of the canyon giving us some great views of the coast. Then we made the final climb up to the summit of Cone Peak! The peak has amazing 360 degree views, which is why they have put a fire lookout tower there. It was a little breezy so the tower gave us a nice windbreak while we hung out and enjoyed the summit.

Starting up the Cone peak trail

Views from the trail

@alaqrab overlooking the California coastline

Climbing Cone peak

Cone peak fire lookout

Views from the peak

Selfie on the peak

@alaqrab on the peak

After soaking up all the awesome views we headed back down the mountain to Trail Springs. We packed up our camp there and then headed back up the Gamboa trail to the junction with the Carrizo trail. Then we took the Carrizo trail a short distance down to the 'Cook Springs' camp. The camp was back into that pine forest area and so we were once again surrounded by the huge trees! And as you might expect with the name there was a mountain spring by the camp providing us fresh water. Although it was not gushing like Trail springs it was flowing plenty enough to serve it's purpose. We made our camp, had some dinner, and then headed into the tents for one last night in the mountains.

@alaqrab climbing on top of some rocks on our way down Cone peak

Carrizo trail junction

Huge pine trees at Cook Springs camp

Cooking dinner and charging electronics with @alaqrab's Biolite camp stove

Sunset from Cook Springs camp

The next morning we woke up pre-dawn and packed up our camp in the dark and the cold. We hit the trail early with a mission... to get up onto the North Coast Ridge for the sunrise! The climb up to the ridge was steep but short, and we found an excellent spot along the ridge with views both to the east and the west. We got there right on time and we made our breakfast while watching the sun come up.

Looking west from the ridge

Making breakfast

@alaqrab watching the sunrise

Sunrise selfie


After breakfast we continued back along the ridge to the junction with the Arroyo Seco trail. The Arroyo Seco trail dropped us down (through a bunch more bushwhacking) off the ridge and back down to Arroyo Seco creek. This area of the canyon was very lush and beautiful and there were several nice places to camp including the 'Madrone' camp where we stopped for a little break and the 'Forks' camp where we rejoined the trail we had originally hiked in on three days earlier. From there it was one final mile down the canyon and back to the trailhead where we began.

Our last ocean view from the North Coast Ridge

Arroyo Seco trail junction

Hiking down the Arroyo Seco trail

Getting some water from the creek at Madrone camp

Wintering ladybugs

Arroyo Seco

@alaqrab crossing the creek

And that's it for this edition of California Mountain Adventures!

Special thanks to @alaqrab for planning this trip and inviting me to come along!!

BigSur thanks.jpg


*all photos by @derekrichardson and @alaqrab

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I used Steeve for the first time today, making a post in it on my tablet. It looks so different on your mobile interface - I'll have to try it on my phone. It worked well, but there was one problem - I was only posting one photo, but I could only get it to post at the end of the blog post. However it was easy to tweak it on Steemit.
Your post shows that there is much more to Steeve than just a reading and posting interface.

Hmmm. I guessing this was a comment for a different post. lol!

Ah... yes! That's what comes from using Steemit late at night :D

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What a beautiful area for a hike, such a cool area, I used to do long hikes like that often back in my younger days, now iI just do casual walks but love seeing hikes like this

It really is a cool area! Cone Peak is the tallest coastal peak in the US. It rises over 5,000 feet in just 3 miles from the coast to the summit.

WOW I didnt know that very interesting

Stunning scenery, must have been a great hike! Lovely seeing the ocean and of course that gorgeous sunrise, love the gif!

Thanks @lizelle. It was a really great hike!

Congratulations @derekrichardson! This post was selected by the @steemitbloggers community as today's Member Boost Post :) It will also receive a complimentary upvote from @Appreciator throughout the course of the day!

You can find the community announcement on Discord :) and it has also been shared on our Steemit Bloggers FB Page and Twitter feed.

Woo hoo!

Beautiful! The lens flare in that gif looks like a firefly on the move. More firish firefly ;)

Ya it does! That's way cool.

I felt like I was there with you! What an awesome post and the scenery is spectacular! Thanks for taking the time to construct this and bringing us with you on your hiking trip!


Thanks @nickyhavey! That's exactly what I love to hear.

It makes me inspired to continue with my Travel Diaries series which I started the first and only entry of a month or so ago 🙈 music life gets in the way sometimes Haha. Hoping to correct that over Xmas 😀

Look forward to your next one

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This post is sponsored by @SteemitBloggers in collaboration with @appreciator. Just keep up the good work.

@derekrichardson such a cool hike!! (: Y'all must have enjoyed it thoroughly.

Haha and the banana slug 😂😂 what wildlife are native in that area?

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I highly enjoyed the trip! There is lots of types of wildlife in the area. Black Bears, Mountain Lions, Tule Elk, Bighorn Sheep, Bobcats, Coyotes, Foxes, Raccoons, Snakes, and a bunch more!

Hahaha good! Wow mountain lions and bears - I wanna see them but not up close 😂

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Well, so many amazing things about this post. The first of which is THE POST. Wow. You always do such a great job at getting me to want to pack up and hike! Oh, I just loved the photos. You really involve us on your trips and I do enjoy that.

Second, banana slugs! We experienced our first one when we visited the Roaring Camp Railroad there in Felton next to the Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park. The conductor carried one on his hat throughout the trip. It was a hoot.

Finally, my brain just about exploded when I saw the banner for the Steem Terminal Discord Server. @thekittygirl, @brittandjosie, and I thank you for joining us on our journey! Thank you sor supporting us.

You are one of my favorite travelers and I am proud to call you Terminal.

Thank you so much Ren!! I appreciate all your kind words.

That's too funny about the conductor and the Banana slug! They are quite an interesting creature.

And I think the Steem Terminal is a great idea. I'm glad to get to be part of the group!

What an awesome hike! It reminded me of so many different experiences I've had on the West Coast. I remember the banana slugs in those trees! They are massive! I remember camping out in the high desert - cold at night, but beautiful during the day. So many good times! Thanks for kindling the memories!

It was an awesome hike! I'm glad I could bring back some good memories for you!!

Looks wonderful and makes me wish I could do that

Thanks @wales! You can't go hiking?

You always come up with the neatest places and great photos, great work Derek.

Thanks @sultnpapper! It's just what I like doing!

Beautiful photos with the autumnal colours - almost spellbinding. I love the banana slug, and I can see how it got its name. It's not very well camouflagued though! And those pine cones and ladybugs are massive compared to the ones we have in Scotland!

Thanks @natubat! I'm not sure how the Banana slug survives being bright yellow like that. You'd think the birds would see it easy and make a snack out of it! lol.

That's so cool! Lady bugs wintering? Not as cute as one would imagine haha. Looks like a fun hike, thanks for sharing!

Thanks @qwoyn! Yep, in the winter the lady bugs seem to all group together in sheltered canyon areas. They were all over the Arroyo Seco. They were covering grasses, plants, logs... just about anything. It's not really cute at all, lol, but it's sure interesting to see.

All of these shots are awesome, but I gotta say the way @alaqrab giffed your sunset was AMAZING!

I noticed that @tattoodjay commented earlier - are you familiar with his #wednesdaywalk weekly posts? I think your hikes would make for excellent fodder for a post or three!



Thank you @traciyork!! I have seen some #wednesdaywalk posts. I wasn't sure the criteria for it, but I just looked it up. It looks like it's supposed to be for shorter walks. But I do those too, so I'll definitely keep it in mind!

You're welcome, @derekrichardson and wicked awesomesauce! I look forward to seeing your strolls!

That GIF of the sunset... very niceeeee
Thank you for taking so many pictures and sharing them with us here
Loved it :D

My pleasure @kaerpediem I'm so glad that you liked the pictures! @alaqrab really killed it with that sunset gif! He got a bunch of great pictures too. He should have his post from the hike written here soon.

Wow wow wow what an adventure! The things you saw from the perspectives you had are amazing even in photos. Really makes me want to strap the gear into the car and do some back country camping again this year.

Awesome post!

Thanks @zekepickleman. It was a great adventure indeed. Go do some camping!!

Yah man! Used to do it all the time and the kids are almost old enough to start heading into the back country again. Until then we get out a few times a year car camping and easier stuff.

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what a wonderful adventure
sunrises and lady bugs so cool.

It really was wonderful. There was so much cool stuff to see along the hike!

What a cool hike @derekrichardson! I love that you guys incorporated the sunsets/sunrises and of course the view of the ocean in your days! So magestic, right?! And I've never seen a pinecone the size of the Sugar Pine before; that's crazy! And I had no idea that ladybugs 'wintered' like that! So cool, thanks for sharing ;)

Edit: oops, I also didn't know about the Biolite stove/power station ... so awesome! I'd like to get one for here in Mexico; always sun and often power outages :)

Thank you @lynncoyle1! @alaqrab had told me about Biolite before but this was my first time using one of their products. And I thought it was way cool! I think I'm gonna get one for myself now. The newer version is supposed to be even better than the one we used.

You're welcome! I actually went to their website after reading your post and they've got a good sale going on now too :)

Wow !!! This is an amazing hike and the views are to die for.
That's how Mother Nature is just simple and beautiful if we take good care of her.

Yep, exactly. Simple and beautiful. I love it!

Sure looks like a great trip.

Hi mom! It was so awesome. We should totally do a hike out there sometime!!

That would be awesome.

Congratulations! This post has been chosen as one of the daily Whistle Stops for The STEEM Engine!

You can see your post's place along the track here: The Daily Whistle Stops, Issue 340 (12/14/18)

Outing, adventure and exploring the mountain peak...what an awesome hiking experience.....and share the moments with some ultimate photography.....

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Yup pretty much. lol. It was so awesome. Thanks @steemflow!

Hiya, @livinguktaiwan here, just swinging by to let you know that this post made the Honorable mentions list in today's Travel Digest #393.

Your post has been manually curated by the @steemitworldmap team, and if you like what we're doing, please drop by to check out all the rest of today's great posts and consider upvoting and supporting us.

Lovely photos!

And one very (un)tasty looking slug!



Thanks @arbitrarykitten! @alaqrab told me a funny story, when he was a kid in summer camp they took him and the other kids out on a hike and told them they were gonna go out and eat Banana Slugs... the kids were all nervous. Then when they got out there they had yellow gummy worms instead. lol!

I don't think there is any part of California I don't love. Arroyo Seco has just a wonder all it's own. Looks like you guys had a great trip.

I totally agree. And yep, you know we did!

Dear @derekrichardson,

Your story attracted our attention and we would like to introduce our tag #archisteem that could provide you with some extra support. For your information, we are currently running the project – 1001 Places to Remember. Your content is a fit for the project and could be qualified for the 10 Steem reward biweekly contest.

It would be great if we can have this story of yours included in the project. If you agree, please reply to us.

Do drop by and take a look :) Hope to see you around soon.

Stay tuned and Steem on!

Sincerely from,

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