a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Bay Area Ridge Trail Attack #2

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Bay Area Ridge Trail Attack #2

SUMMARY: Hiking with the dogs for a long-term goal.
The Bay Area Ridge Trail is an attempt to link ridge tops allllll the way around the San Francisco Bay with hikeable trails. Some ridges already had trails, but not all of them. The first section was dedicated in 1989 and the list of trails has kept growing; there are now about 330 miles of the 550 planned miles.

One of my agility friends decided it would be a great goal to hike the whole Ridge Trail, one segment at a time (when not off doing dog agility).

We got our first 6-mile segment in on July 31, without dogs (not legal there). That went across the Golden Gate Bridge, up into the hills along the Marin Gate/Coastal Trai, to the SCA Trai, to the Alta Trai, to the Bobcat Trail, to the Marincello Road, to the Tennessee Valley trailhead. (You can download a map here.)

Another 6-mile section opens here in San Jose in October; that might be our next trip.

Today, we did a section on which dogs are not only allowed, but allowed off-leash. Because we did a loop of 9.1 miles, only about 4.75 of it was Ridge Trail, but that counts! At this rate, yeah, it's a multiyear project, maybe even a multidecade project. Maybe the whole trail will be done by the time we're ready for it.

At the beginning, we're all eager and ready to go (can't see The Other Ellen, who's taking the photo...)--Susan, the ringleader, is indicating "2" for the second segment of the trail.

This is my view of the rest of the group as we pass our first trail sign and the dogs will very shortly get to go off-leash, yeah!

Most people don't see The Back Side of Chabot College Observatory.

Even fewer people see Ellen Taking Pictures Of The Back Side of Chabot College Observatory.

Quite a bit of the trail was among second-growth redwoods (meaning at some time in the past, someone cut the huge old ones down for lumber). Here, you can see that Steven is almost as tall as the redwoods.

Not really.

Heading along a redwoody trail.

Guess who!

Kinetic points out the blue Bay Ridge Trail marker. Kinetic walked the whole 9 miles. Never let it be said that Papillons are wimpy small dogs (besides being amazingly fast and agile in agility).

Me, hiking.

The trail sign says "Monteiro," which looks very different from what's on the actual map:

Me: "Hmm, I guess 'Monteiro' is the same thing as 'Montiero'..."
Tika: "I can't believe you're really thinking of taking that trail that goes straight up..."

Uphill...gasp... I haven't calculated our cumulative elevation gain, but it had to be several hundred feet--at least 300 (1200 to 1500) in the first 2 miles, then down down down to what looks like about 750, then in the space of a mile, back up to 1500. So, yeah, I'd say well over 1000 feet cumulative.

Our route was (thanks EllenC -- and you can download a Redwood Park map here):
Skyline Gate
West Ridge Trail
Golden Spike
Then up up up
back to the West Ridge Trail
back to Skyline Gate

(And thanks to Lisa and EllenC for their photos interspersed with mine.)


  1. Whew! You had me scared there! I thought someone had been ATTACKED on the trail! Glad it was just a bunch of you having a great time instead!

  2. What a great place to hike! Looks like a lot of fun! I too thought someone had been attacked on the trail - glad it wasn't that!! :)

  3. Yes, fortunately it's only the trail being attacked, and not very severely, at that. Sorry that I scared everyone!

  4. That "dogs on leash" symbol cracks me up! A very accurate representation, at least for those of us with dogs like Tika and Walter.

  5. Those show up in some other Bay Area parks, too. Not all of them, though. I posted a photo of one a couple of years back, too: http://dogblog.finchester.org/2009/10/head-for-hills.html

  6. Oh yeah! I got a kick out of it back then, too, I see :)

  7. Mutts--Well at least you're consistent!