Day 3: Roadwalks, Climbs, Poison Oak, Dogs

Friday May 28, 14.3mi/23.0km

Horse Mountain Creek (23.6mi/22ft) to Jones Beach Campground (37.9/110ft) (CA)

We got going a little earlier from camp today, I think we were all a little excited about food at the general store.

Nice quiet morning
Topshelf and Bard

After only a mile and a half, we were off the beach. This is where some hikers decide to finish, but really the trail is only halfway done at this point.

We had 2 miles/3km of roadwalking to do, and it climbed 1000ft/300m in that short distance.

Steeeep
Almost there

Fortunately it was still early morning and most of the road was covered in shade. We saw a few signs for the general store and we were getting close.

We got to the general store at 10am and hung out for an hour…. buying food, eating food, and getting rid of previously consumed food.

There wasn’t any place to sit or any shade, but we still enjoyed ourselves. My ginger lemonade, whole cucumber, and ice cream bar really hit the spot.

Back on the road, we had another mile to go. The views down to the ocean were a nice distraction.

We turned into a small dirt road.

Our trailhead is only a quarter mile away

When we got to the hidden Valley trailhead we took a nice break in the shade.

For the rest of this hike, most of the trail will be in the woods. It started off quite nice…

Occasional views on the climb up to the ridge

We climbed 800ft up to the top of Chamisal Mountain, I was happy to be in the shade on a hot day like this.

At the top of the climb there is a little viewpoint at the summit.

We took off our packs and had a nice break. It was hilarious seeing all three packs lined up with the princess hand sanitizers.

For the rest of the day we would be descending, which was fortunate because now it was really hot.

Bard leading the way

At the boundary of Sinkyone State park, there was an old dilapidated cabin.

I poked around it for a couple minutes and didn’t find anything interesting. Moving on…

And then all of a sudden the trail started descending really steeply. With poison oak growing on both sides. And out of nowhere two aggressive dogs came running up the trail. Not ideal!!

Very steep down to the beach

We shoo’ed the dogs away, and found some sticks to shove the poison oak out of the way. The trail continued steeply down all the way to a creek. I was happy to have nice cold water to drink, and even happier that the steep downhill was done.

The last mile of the day was on gentle terrain with pretty good views.

These flowers had a hilarious name.

We arrive to the Jones Beach Campground and discovered we had it all to ourselves. Perfect!

And it had a new privy!

We set up our tents, and I took a walk down to the beach. It was a half mile walk, so the other two decided to stay back in camp.

These signs appear when going below 100ft elevation.

It was a very small beach.

Looking to the north:

And looking to the South:

This was not high tide, and the beach was still tiny. I think this is why the trail stays up in the forest for this section! I walked back up to camp, and had dinner with my friends. We enjoyed a nice sunset from our tent area.

I’m excited to see what tomorrow brings!

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