Author Archives: Andrew Wojtanik

Merced Grove Trail (Yosemite National Park, CA)

While Mariposa Grove is the most spectacular of the bunch, Yosemite National Park also sports two other small groves of giant sequoias, the world’s largest trees. Tuolumne Grove near Crane Flat receives a steady stream of visitors, but the lesser-visited … Continue reading

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Tuolumne Grove Trail (Yosemite National Park, CA)

Giant sequoias, close cousins of coast redwoods, are the largest trees (by total volume) on earth and grow naturally only in 75 groves on the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada in California. Three such groves can be found in … Continue reading

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Foresta Falls (Yosemite National Park, CA)

It is a testament to the spectacular bounty of waterfalls in California’s Yosemite National Park that terrific Foresta Falls is routinely neglected by visitors in favor of even taller and higher-volume waterfalls nearby. In perhaps any other park, the 60-foot … Continue reading

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Mount Diablo via Macedo Ranch (Mount Diablo State Park, CA)

Rising more than 3,000 feet above the valley floor, Mount Diablo (3,849’) is perhaps the most iconic peak in the East Bay, a behemoth for which the broader Diablo Range—which extends around 200 miles south into central California—is named. Most … Continue reading

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Fern Creek – Dipsea – Sun Trail Loop (Muir Woods National Monument, CA)

Sure the towering California redwoods are lovely, but Muir Woods National Monument on the Marin Peninsula has become almost comically crowded, mobbed by throngs of locals and visitors to the San Francisco Bay Area alike. Visitors must now have advance … Continue reading

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Hetch Hetchy to Wapama Falls and Rancheria Falls (Yosemite National Park, CA)

In early spring, even as much of the Sierra Nevada remains blanketed in snow, the Hetch Hetchy area of Yosemite National Park is often snow-free, making it an attractive spot for early-season hiking and backpacking. One of the more popular … Continue reading

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Kelly Lake, Coit Lake, and Pacheco Falls Loop (Henry W. Coe State Park, CA)

Central California’s Henry W. Coe State Park is a popular destination for Bay Area backpackers seeking to condition during the winter/spring season for trips to the Sierra Nevada later in the year. In fact, the terrain at Henry Coe is … Continue reading

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Madrone Soda Springs – China Hole Loop (Henry W. Coe State Park, CA)

The second-largest state park in California, Henry Coe State Park spans 87,000 acres of rolling hillsides and stream valleys in the central Diablo Range. Most visitors stick to the “Western Zone,” accessed from the Coe Ranch Headquarters and Campground on … Continue reading

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Middle Ridge – Manzanita Point Loop (Henry W. Coe State Park, CA)

At 87,000 acres, Henry Coe State Park is the second largest state park in California and offers a beautiful landscape of rolling hills and woody ridges in the Diablo Range southeast of the Bay Area. Lacking any towering peaks, Henry … Continue reading

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Lafayette Ridge Trail to Russell Peak (Briones Regional Park, CA)

The East Bay’s Briones Regional Park is a hiker’s paradise, with dozens of interlocking trails traversing a scenic stretch of hills between the suburban centers of Lafayette, Orinda, and Pleasant Hill. Lafayette Ridge—a lengthy spine that stretches southeast from the … Continue reading

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