Sunday, October 09, 2005

Remington Loop

Another East Bay Casual Hiking hike, and Melinda’s first with the group. A brave choice, given this hike’s description as “tough,” “a great cardio hike,” and “for beginner or novice types, it will seem like the steepest dirt trail you’ve ever experienced.”

This hike is in Danville, starting just off the west end of Sycamore Valley Road; although we lived in Danville for several months, I had no idea this trail was there. There seems to be little on it on the web, either. There might be some information on the interactive map linked from this Danville Parks and Sports Fields page, but I’ve been unable to get it to load.

[Update: Danville’s IS department mailed me. The map is fixed, but doesn’t show the trail—it's an EBRPD trailhead. Nothing on it at their website either.]

The description is a fair one: it’s a steady uphill plug from the starting point at Remington Loop, and a long haul up to the ridge. The views open up fairly quickly, though, so there’s lots to look at when you pause; the ridge is directly across the valley from the west face of Mount Diablo, and when you get high enough the views north up the valley open up and you can see all the way past Shell Ridge to the refineries at Martinez.

At the top, as we walk south along the ridge, it becomes clearer where we are: looking west, the next ridge along is Las Trampas Ridge. Bollinger Canyon Road runs north-south in the valley between us and Las Trampas.

After the climb up, the rest of the hike is easy going: the trail along the ridge rolls gently, and the descent is simple, not actually steep enough to be any trouble. About 2½ hours; I’d guess about 5 miles.

And the after-hike treat: ice-cream at Cold Stone Creamery in the Danville Livery. Verdict: somewhat overpriced, gimmicky, and confusing for first-timers. Choose one or more flavors, one or more mixins, and they mix them on a marble slab for you. Fun, but there's way too much to choose from, leaving me paralyzed with indecision. The ice-cream itself is good though; and the Oatmeal Cookie Dough icecream, highly recommended.

Categories: Hiking, Food