Tuesday, June 16, 2009
The Jennifer Griswold Trail aka King Canyon Loop Trail
I never knew Jennifer Griswold, or her hiking group, but we were of the same age vintage, so I feel a certain kinship. The bench dedicated to her has one of the most beautiful settings I have ever seen for a memorial bench.
We've had to defer hiking for a week or so while I did some urgent fence repair, and Susan did some knee healing, but today we were off again. Years ago we had hiked a loop along the San Pablo Reservoir out of the Valle Vista staging area, off Canyon Road near Moraga. My recollection was that it was about three miles, so we took off. The EBMUD trail title is King Canyon Loop. Mostly dirt road walking, but very pleasant, oaks shading you most of the way. We went counter clockwise. About lunch time we spotted a bench, at almost the southern most point of the trail, so we stopped.
I had taken the gps along for entertainment, and at that point checked the trip mileage. 3.5 miles, and not quite half way. I was in a little bit of trouble. I'd said 3 miles so we don't need to bring a lunch. I had stuck in a "hiker sandwich" i.e. emergency PopTart, so we each got half of that.
On the way back, you continue on the dirt road till it goes thru a gate. At that point there is a left onto a trail. This is where you would depart to Las Trampas via the Rocky Ridge Trail, as we did a few weeks later. Followed the King Canyon loop along, working our way thru the oaks, stopped to try and get some photos of a flock of turkeys & chicklets? what are baby turkeys called? Finally hit another dirt road at right angles, going steeply up the hill to our left. View of a half dozen McMansions off to the right. There is an EBMUD trail marker with just an arrow pointing up the road. A ways after that is where we had a slight problem. A newly graded road went of to the right while the original one went straight up the hill. No signs, but the map we had showed a trail cutoff in about that location. Short version is that it dead ended in about a quarter mile, so we had a little backtrack. An aside, we've been getting some unattributed taking of blog content so inserting © 2009 backpack45.com
By the time we got back to the car, the gps said 7.8 miles including our detour. This is a good trail if you like filtered shade, and easy grades. We only saw a couple of other hikers, and startled one horse and rider as we met coming around a corner.
The trip map:
Valle Vista - King Canyon Loop at EveryTrail
Map created by EveryTrail: GPS Community