Saturday, April 27, 2013

Coastal ten miler

View south from Cape Falcon

A few weeks ago (it's May 13 as I write this, but I've back-dated the post to reflect the date I ran) I was at the coast for the weekend, so I did the spectacular Cape Falcon trail and continued north until I hit the very top of the hill, then turned around for about 10 miles out and back.
An inaccessible black beach

While the trail to Cape Falcon is gorgeous, north past the cape the trail gets even better. There are fewer people and more stunning views of tiny, empty crescent beaches, distant headlands and dense, craggy forests.
More craggy coastline

The trail is soft and narrow, passing over creeks and climbing up and down some good hills. With a high point of about 1,000 ft, I say the elevation gain of this route is somewhere around 1,500 ft.
Striking red rock and black sea arches

At one point I caught sight of the most massive tree I have ever seen outside of the Redwoods in northern California. It was so shockingly huge that I crashed through undergrowth and fallen branches to get up close, so I could feel with my own arms just how big the trunk was.
North to Arch Cape

This photo doesn't do it justice, but it was at least 12 ft in diameter. I was in awe. Visiting such an ancient tree is reason enough to go run the coast.
The biggest non-giant redwood tree I have ever seen

See this great Oswald West park map for more details and trail inspiration.

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