Monthly Archives: November 2012

Hiking Diaries: Marin Headlands and Muir Beach

Muir Beach has to be one of my all time favorite Bay Area beach day / hiking areas. When you just don’t feel like driving all the way to Stinson Beach, Muir Beach is great place to stop at instead. Families come to Muir Beach all the time to picnic, swim, have bonfires, and hike around the surrounding trails. And if you worry about parking availability, Marin has a shuttle that takes visitors from Sir Frances Drake Blvd. to the Muir beach and park areas. Awesome!

A view of Muir Beach from the trail above

The hike is great for those who enjoy 1) amazing views of California’s coast, and 2) a fairly decent (not too easy, not strenuous at all) hike. You can do a short loop or a much longer hike (you can even go backpacking and camp at one of the designated sites along the way). After the initial ascent up the mountain, it’s nothing but rolling hills along the coast, up and down all the way.

California coastin’

Make sure to bring long sleeves though. There’s always poison oak lining the trails. It’s not too bad, but it’s always nice to have a bit of a barrier. I HATE POISON OAK. My aunt got it once from her dog after she let her dog go off leash in a park. Her poison oak was so bad, it turned her skin black! Lesson learned: be careful about letting your dog roam off-leash; AND – if you’re a hiker, don’t pet the dogs, they carry all sorts of bush-nastiness.

The gorgeous hike, lined with wildflowers (and poison oak)

About a mile from the top of the trailhead, hikers can descend to a small beach for a quick picnic. It’s dope, I highly recommend it!

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Camping Diaries: GLORY HOLE Recreation Area!

I discovered this campground a couple of years ago when I was looking for a campground near the Bay Area. I can’t help but love the fact that it’s called GLORY HOLE RECREATION AREA. How awesome is that! It’s not as dirty as it sounds (I think that a “glory hole” is technically a mining term).

Glory Hole!

I’ve been here on numerous trips – I can tell you that it definitely has some strong pluses and minuses as a campground and “recreation” area – which I’ll get into more detail below.

Roger brought the Shake-weight on our Glory Hole camping trip

One of my favorite memories of Glory Hole happened during a camping trip with the non-profit youth group that I work for. I took them on a “night hike” and soon found out that they were pretty much scared of everything that moved – or didn’t move. ¬†At one point we were all just running and screaming hysterically down a trail after a few of them spotted some glowing deer eyes in the dark and got freaked the hell out! Good times.

Glory Hole’s Positives:

You Can Float In the Lake ALL DAY LONG

When my friends and I came here, we loved the fact that the weather was usually pretty nice (much warmer than the Bay Area), and that the water’s pretty calm. New Melones Lake is a huge body of water that many use for boating and fishing, but the brochures never mention how great it is to float on the water for entire afternoons. After working my non-profit job day in and day out, there’s nothing more cheap and relaxing than a leisurely float. I think we passed out for 2 hours uninterrupted.

Tranquility

The Boating Is Pretty Fun

If you get 10 friends to throw down $15 each, y’all can have yourself a speed boat for an entire day and drag your friends behind you on a raft. It’s pretty much my childhood dream come true. However, if you’re more like me and a bit more broke, you and a friend can pitch in $15 instead and get a double kayak for a whole day. I highly recommend the latter. There’s some fun little islands on the lake to explore, and you can also paddle from beach area to beach area during the day.

Plus…how can you not appreciate the fact that…

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