Friday, February 9, 2007

Julia Pfeiffer - November 2006

November 2006
Ewoldsen Trail, Julia Pfeiffer State Park, Big Sur
4.5 miles, 1,500 foot elevation gain
Josephine, Julie

The Ewoldsen Trail has always been one of my favorite Big Sur hikes. Josephine and I decided to go the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Not recommended. I have never seen the parking lot so crowded and this is a popular spot. We had to park outside the entrance and walk in. Most people are parking and doing the short walk under the highway to McWay Falls – the trails themselves are usually not crowded. Not so on that day. LOTS of hikers on the trail.

Ewoldsen is a loop trail. First you hike along the creek past some lovely picnic sties which are rarely used. Then the climb begins. After hiking for awhile you reach the fork of the loop. Unfortunately someone had taken the signpost down and we ended up doing the loop backward. I like to go through the forest and then come out to the panorama of ocean views.

I was surprised that even here the trail was overgrown. I decided for all Big Sur hikes I will bring clippers. (I should have learned my lesson from the last hike, but Julia Pfeiffer is usually well maintained). When we finally reached the overlook – which seemed to take forever in this direction – there were at least six groups of people in space that would ideally have room for two. We retreated to a different vantage point, not as panoramic but more private.

We decided to go back the way we came – since I like the ocean views. It wasn’t worth completing the loop. On the way home we stopped at Rocky Point Restaurant for appetizers and celebratory drinks. We were racing to catch the sunset from the restaurant with has magnificent views – but just missed it.

Lesson Learned: Don’t hike at Julia Pfeiffer on the Thanksgiving Weekend.

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