Hike: Portola Redwoods State Park, La Honda &
Pescadero Creek County Park San Mateo County

Hike along Upper Coyote Ridge Trail,
Pomponio Trail, and Tarwater Loop
Sunday, July 22, 2012

By Peter Y. Chou

Preface: After four hikes in Portola Redwoods State Park (June 10, June 17, July 1, July 4), we have not ventured on the Coyote Ridge Trail. So today we embarked on the Upper Coyote Ridge Trail entering through Tarwater Trailhead at 1:36 pm. We had come here on July 4, 2011 and again on August 17, 2011 completing the Tarwater Loop. While there were plenty of dead trunks debris on this rugged trail, it was surprising to encounter Hedge Nettle, Clarkia and Pearly Everlasting. When we arrived at the Trail Junction, my friend decided not to complete the Coyote Ridge Trail Loop, since we had to climb uphill returning on the Upper Coyote Ridge Trail. Instead we veered to the Pomponio Trail into Pescadero Creek County Park and to Tarwater Loop. Cay told my friend that she saw Tiger Lilies by some logs in Shingle Mill Creek off Tarwater Trail a few weeks ago. So it was lucky that we found them too at 5:35 pm (1, 2). The most startling sight at Tarwater Loop was the giant multi-armed Redwood with a tree growing inside its goosepen. It took us six hours to finish the 5.5 miles hike at 7:40 pm. There were "popcorn clouds" at the Tarwater Trailhead parking lot and leaving Camp Pomponio Road (1, 2). I caught some sunset photos on the way home on Page Mill Road (1, 2). Below are 156 photos of today's adventure.

View of Deer by Alpine Road

Doe by Alpine Road

Motorbikers near Russian Ridge

Dandelions at Russian Ridge

Mindego Hill on Alpine Road

"Five Fingers" Redwoods, Tarwater Entrance

Tarwater Trailhead Entrance

Portola State Park Sign

Clarkia on Upper Coyote Trail

Thimbleberry (Rubus parviflorus)

Entering Upper Coyote Ridge Trail

Approaching Clarkia on Upper Coyote Trail

Passing Clarkia on Upper Coyote Trail

Clarkia amoena (Farewell to Spring)

Vista of Hills from Upper Coyote Trail

Giant Y-Branch of Douglas Fir

"Swords" on Douglas Fir

Big Y-Branch of Douglas Fir

Bearing Tree Plaque

Twigs Around Redwood

"Elbow Branch" of Tan Oak

"Crocodile" Image on Fallen Trunk

Patch of Hedge Nettles (Stachys)

"Broom Tree" or "Rocket Ship"

Curving Douglas Fir

Curving Douglas Fir (Back)

Top of Curving Douglas Fir

Diagonal Tree to Vista of Hills

Opening Vista of Hills

Panoramic Vista of Hills

V-Valley of Trees & Red Bushes

"Dragon Head" in Fallen Trunk

Coyote Ridge Trail Sign

Pearly Everlasting (Anaphalis)

Madrone (Arbutus menziesii)

Top of Madrone ("Icebox Tree")

Valley of Trees & Bushes

"Daggers" on Douglas Fir

"Daggers" Douglas Fir Top

Curvaceous Tan Oak

Redwood in Y-Tree

Sun Over Redwood & Y-Tree

Redwood & Y-Tree Top

Sunflare Through Redwoods

Upper Coyote Trail Sign

"Samurai" Douglas Fir (1)

"Samurai" Douglas Fir Base

"Samurai" Douglas Fir Middle

"Samurai" Douglas Fir Top

Tree from Fallen Monster Trunk

Giant Horizontal Branch

Tan Oak Leaves on Trail

Dead Trunk Debris on Trail

Bullseye Redwood Trunk Rings

Shelf Mushrooms on Dead Trunk

Giant Fallen Redwood

Head of Giant Fallen Redwood

Pair "Platonic Lambda" Ferns

Big Branch Redwood Top

"Elbow Branch" Redwood

Curving Tan Oak

Redwood to the Sky

Dead Redwood Totem Pole

Towering Redwood

Coyote Ridge Trail Sign

Iverson Trail Stairs

"Elbow Branch" Redwood

Caught in Y-Branch

To Pomponio Trail Sign

Pomponio Trail Mileage Sign

"Lion Head" Image in Trunk

Entering Pescadero Creek County Park

"Lambda" Bark on Redwood

"Lambda" Redwood Top

Redwood to the Sky

Path Through Cutaway Logs

Cutaway Logs on Pomponio Trail

Monster Fallen Trunk on Trail

Horizontal Tree & Redwoods

Giant Monster Fallen Trunk off Trail

Root of Monster Fallen Trunk

Root of Monster Fallen Trunk (1)

Twin Redwoods Top

Redwoods to the Sky

Peter by Monster Root

"Platonic Lambda" Fern

"Face" Image in Redwood Base

Slanting Redwood Bottom

Slanting Redwood Top

Curvaceous Tan Oak

Tarwater Trail Camp Sign

Tiger Lilies at Shingle Mill Creek

Tiger Lilies (Lilium columbianum)

Tarwater Camp Trail

Tiger Lilies, Logs, & Creek (1)

Purple Star Thistle (Centaurea)

Tarwater Loop Trail Sign

Goosepen Redwood in Tarwater Loop

Scattered Logs in Tarwater Loop

Dense Redwoods in Tarwater Loop

Cluster of Ferns and Sorrels

Curving Young Tan Oaks

Tarwater Loop Trail

Cluster of Ferns & Sorrels

Big Tarwater Redwood

Big Redwood Bottom

Big Redwood Top (1)

Clouds Over Treetops

Goosepen in Giant Redwood

Arms of Giant Redwood

Giant Redwood Top

Y-Tree Inside Goosepen (1)

Giant Redwood Bottom

Multi-armed Giant Redwood

Multi-armed Giant Redwood (1)

Clouds Above Redwoods

Clouds Over Redwoods

Clouds Over Four Redwoods

Sunflare Through Redwoods

Bullseye Redwood Rings in Log

Moving Clouds Over Redwoods

Leaning Buckeye Tree at Bend

Horsetail Grass after Trail Bend

"Man Ray's Lips" Cloud (1)

Vista of Undulating Hills

Window to Tree and Sky

Tree in "Heart Window" Foliage

Clouds Over Row of Redwoods (1)

Flowering Buckeye Tree

"Horsetail Lichen" on Tree Top

Clouds Over Redwoods

"Finger Branch" Downward

"Thorns" on Douglas Fir

"Thorns" Douglas Fir Top

Tall Redwood & Blue Sky

Majestic Redwood to Sky

"Samurai" Douglas Fir

"Samurai" Douglas Fir Top (1)

Nine Swords Bent Tan Oak

"Samurai" Douglas Fir Middle

Sunflare on Y-Tan Oak

Tan Oaks to the Sky

Ladder Branches on Redwood

"Ladder" Redwood Top

Swords from Fallen Root

"Samurai" Douglas Fir Bottom

Redwood Foliage Window to Clouds

Map at Tarwater Trailhead

Clouds from Tarwater Parking Lot

Clouds Leaving Tarwater Trailhead

Clouds on Camp Pomponio Road

Clouds on Camp Pomponio Road

Clouds at Monte Bello Parking Lot (1)

Sunset View Page Mill Road (1)

Sunset on Page Mill Road

Valley from Car after Sunset

— Photographs by Peter Y. Chou, July 22, 2012

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email: (7-25-2012)