Cheeseboro Ridge / Cheeseboro Canyon

After a false start and then a wrong turn, this 10 mile hike became 13 miles.  I was lucky the weather was so cool.  The ridge half was pretty tough and the return through the canyon was easy.

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I parked in the lower lot right off the road.  Right after the upper parking lot the trail officially begins.  These restrooms were smelly but a welcome sight.  Photo 4 shows where I went wrong.  For some reason I had it in my head to take this trail to the right that is after this gate.  I wound up wandering around confused, as this was not the main trail and there were no trail signs to put me back on track.  If you follow the same route as I did (Cheeseboro Canyon Trail to Canyon View Trail to Cheeseboro Ridge Trail to Shepard’s Flat Trail to Cheeseboro Canyon Trail) then take heart – these trails are well marked.  If there isn’t some marker in front of the trail then it’s not the trail you want.

4   Following that wrong trail – on the side of the hill is a grid made from shrubs.  I figured they were grapes but it tuned out to be some kind of plant – maybe connected to a landfill?

6     7     8   There were some interesting sites on this wrong trail.

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The trail took me right up to the fence of the processing plant.  I spotted the main trail from above and tried to get to it by making my way down the hill.  I was stopped by a sea of poison oak.  I back tracked, figured out where I went wrong and finally got going in the right direction.  I was right near the parking lot where the trail begins but had already hiked three miles.

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Father and Daughter

The branches of an old oak in the back stretched out right over to where this younger oak stood.  It made me wonder if they are related.  Woodpeckers drill holes in the bark of these trees and stuff acorns inside to be eaten later.

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The beginning of Cheeseboro Ridge Trail.

16     18     21   Trail running near the top pf the ridge across the way.  Photo 3 – Coyote below the trail

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Angry Sky

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Photo 1 – Ladyface Mountain  Photo 2 – Simi Peak

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26   I went up the hill and past the water tank.  I enjoyed all the grassy, rolling hills this area is known for.

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29   Photo 1I think this is the backside of the Baleen Wall, a site noted on all of my maps.  I probably should have looked up the word Baleen before I left so I would know what I was looking for.  Photos 2 and 3 – Views from the top of the ridge.

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Panoramic view from the top

32   Here is the turn off for Shepherd’s Flat Trail.  It’s the only trail I took (after the first one) that didn’t have a trail name posted in front of it.  I rested here on a rock and ate lunch.  I met two woman on bikes who volunteer their time riding through the trails and offering assistance to hikers, mountain bikers, etc.  They confirmed this was the trail I wanted.

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34   Photo 3 – Arriving at Shepard’s Flat.

35   The canyon trail was a bit rocky but don’t let the signs spook you.  They’re more for mountain bikers.  Hikers won’t have any problems.

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I think this may be the Baleen Wall.  There is supposed to be a turn-off to get to it but I must have missed it.

37     38   I passed Sulphur Springs, which was dry and did not smell like sulphur.  I zipped through the rest of the canyon and had an enjoyable day.

 

 

 

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