For my second Bay Area Ridge Trail hike I wanted to complete the east end of the section through Sierra Azul Open Space Preserve, and I was able to do this two weeks after hiking the west end. Since the full section through Sierra Azul is almost 12 miles, this hike was an out-and-back from the east end, and I planned to turn around at the same place I’d turned around on my previous hike, near the top of El Sombroso.
The east segment starts at a higher elevation, so there was somewhat less climbing. I remembered that there was a power line tower near the turnaround point, and near the beginning of this hike I encountered the continuation of the power lines. Of course the power lines pretty much take a straight-line route from point to point, and as I looked along them I realized that there were 2 valleys between the trailhead and El Sombroso (at the upper left in the photo).
The trail took a different route that involved less elevation change. It served as kind of an amusing example that sometimes the shortest hiking distance between two points actually isn’t a straight line. The two valleys show clearly on the GPS track for this segment.
Also, comparison of the GPS tracks for this segment and the previous one for the west end confirm that I did indeed use the same turnaround point on this hike. For a purist – I like to know that I’m hiking the entire trail – this is satisfying.
The elevation profile illustrates that most of the climbing was after the creek crossing of the Rincon Creek, proceeding up the hill nearly to the top of El Sombroso.
Again there had been some ground fog in the morning, so I started the hike a little later than usual in hopes of having clear views. I was rewarded by views like this of the Diablo Range to the east.
After returning to the start trailhead, I took a small detour: The trailhead for Almaden Quicksilver County Park is just across Mt. Umunhum Rd., so I walked over to check it out in anticipation of a future hike.