Sunday, May 23, 2010
Short but beautiful hike to Green Valley Falls
This was a rare opportunity to once more see Green Valley Falls, tucked away in a Vallejo watershed, gated, locked, signed and unavailable unless you can get into one of the seldom let Doris Klein hikes into the area;, through the auspices of Bay Area Ridge Trail. Doris is 84, and amazingly fit and spry, and at the present, the only person allowed to lead hikes in this area. It also requires reservations in advance, exact hiker names required, and when you get there, two signatures required, one on the Vallejo water district sheet and one on the Bay Area Ridge Trail sheet. If you are not on their reservation list, do not come. No one gets added.
All that said, this is a low price opportunity to see two rarely seen Vallejo waterfalls, shrouded in mist, surrounded by ferns, and a wonderful riparian experience. It makes you feel like you are in the rain forest area, a couple of hundred miles north. You meet beyond a normally locked gate and begin trekking up this green path, dodging poison oak and stinging nettles, but mostly just brushing by spice bush. A lot of the time you are walking over the route for a twelve inch water pipe, sometimes covered, but mostly exposed in part, so you can walk on top and balance, or thread your way along the edge. You are following a stream as you go, and several places there are small tributaries, springs really, that have bright orange algae. The water temperature of these orange areas is warmer than the stream, not cold to the touch, but not warm either.
The trail is a Y. Starting from the base, you walk up and see the waterfall at the end of one leg, then walk back and see the other one at the end of the other leg. Both are beautiful - nothing you would associate with Sonoma County.
How do you get there? I think the Bay Area Ridge Trail will have another hike in September, but don't have any details. I think the best way to get a heads up is to setup a Google News Alert for
"green valley falls" vallejo
That should give you an email in time for the next trip.