Lake Tahoe – Road Trip from San Jose

Ski Run Marina

Lake Tahoe is all about beaches. Well, mostly! All you need to do is park yourself at one of them and you’re set for the day/afternoon/evening. In summer months, as everyone flocks to the cool waters of the lake, all beaches and Vista points close to water can get pretty crowded and it can become nearly impossible to get an official/decent parking spot. Some folks do manage to park on the side of the highway and walk miles with their entire beach gear (tents, chairs, food) to their spot of choosing. Probably best to visit Lake Tahoe in an off season to steer clear of the crowd.

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Hike 8: Skyline Ridge Open Space Preserve (Ridge Trail – Sunny Jim Trail – Ipiwa Trail – Butano View Trail)

Hike Date: Saturday, September 12, 2015
(Repeat visits: Sunday, June 19, 2016 || Saturday, June 24, 2017)

This is our second most-favorite-hike from 2015, the first one being at Big Basin Redwoods State Park. Even though it was a dull, gloomy, gray day, the panoramic views of the Santa Cruz mountains and the vast expanse of forests that stretched out onto the horizon were spellbinding.

Ipiwa Trail in Skyline Ridge Open Space Preserve

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Hike 7: Big Basin Redwoods State Park (Sunset Trail – Timms Creek Trail – Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail)

Hike Date: Sunday, September 6, 2015
(Repeat visit: Saturday, July 30, 2016)

Woah! This hike was a killer – the longest (both by distance and time), the toughest (elevation gain of 2,287 feet), and yet our best hike of 2015.

Big Basin Redwoods State Park

“ These trees, because of their size and antiquity, were among the natural wonders of the world and should be saved for posterity.” –Andrew P. Hill, 1899 (Source: Big Basin Redwoods State Park official brochure)

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Hike 6: Stevens Creek County Park (Stevens Creek Tony Look Trail – Stevens Canyon Rd)

Hike Date: August 29, 2015

We were quite late to start with the hike – 5:30 P.M.! To add to the delay, we were unable to find a parking spot close to the trailhead; we drove up and down the Stevens Creek Canyon Rd to find a designated parking place. We finally ended up parking on the side of the road just next to the trailhead.

While driving south the first time, we went past the very scenic Stevens Creek Reservoir. We decided to stop here on our second round and enjoy the panoramic views while there was still ample light.

Stevens Creek Reservoir

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We finally made it to Twin Peaks!

Trip Date: 14 February, 2016

We finally made it to the much sought-after Twin Peaks in the most unplanned way. We’ve always been very skeptical about a) driving through the San Francisco city and b) finding a parking spot in the city. So Twin Peaks, which are right in the middle of the city, have always been one of those elusive spots that one can only drive to but seemed inaccessible because of the petty parking problems. After all, the satellite map showed only a handful of legit parking spots between the two peaks.

On top of one of the Twin Peaks

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Coyote Point Recreation Area and Seal Point

Hike Date: Januray 18, 2016

Occasion: MLK National Holiday (Monday)

What better way to celebrate a national holiday than to go for a long walk in the wilderness, not too far from home. After our first year’s experience of living in the Bay Area, we had dismissed the idea of going for a road trip anywhere around because one would invariably be caught up in a traffic load of people trying to do the same. Or of people returning home via road after a long weekend.

Destination: Bay Trail in San Mateo’s “Coyote Point Recreation Area“, just next door to the San Francisco International Airport

Coyote Point Recreation Area

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