Sunday, February 05, 2006

Shell Ridge Loop

No car yesterday; it’s in the shop until Monday. So, a circular hike from the apartment; a shortened, and reversed, version of a loop hike I did last August.

We start at Howe Homestead Park, on the edge of Shell Ridge Open Space. Climbing up on the Kovar Trail, and higher onto the Summit Ridge Trail, the views back over downtown Walnut Creek soon open up.

Narrow dirt trail through brilliant green grass; city buildings in the background.

The trail dips back down along the rim of a disused quarry. Footing is a bit rough here; but it’s a lot easier doing it downhill on a dry day than uphill on a wet and windy day

Rocky trail, falling away on both sides, above green hills dotted with oaks.

Overgrown rocky outcrop.

Rocky outcrop with oak trees.

Field of boulders.

Once we’re down we turn north, first on the Fossil Hill Trail and then on the Briones–Mt. Diablo Trail, which heads out of the Open Space along a short ridge.

Mountain view with cherry tree in foreground.

Branch of cherry blossom.

Single cherry blossom.

We cross Ygnacio Valley Road and head into Heather Farm; two curious ducks waddle out of the creek to check us out.

Two ducks leaving the water.

Two ducks climbing the creek bank.

Two ducks crossing the trail.

Two ducks facing each other.

Mallard in profile.

Two ducks; one pecks at the ground while the other looks on.

From Heather Farm, it’s a quick nip west on the Contra Costa Canal Trail before the final—and rather dull—stretch home on the Iron Horse Trail.

Categories: Hiking


Thanks for this. Spring is taking it's sweet time here this year; there was snow again yesterday. It's nice to see someone enjoying blossoms and sunshine *and* who's willing to share.
Great pictures, I want to be biking there right now.