Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Hiking Pine Canyon In The Rain On The Castle Rock Trail

Today's hike was a wet one but a good one... I decided to hike the Diablo Foothills area on the Castle Rock trail that goes along the Pine Canyon Nature Walk trail as well... This trail head is inside of the Castle Rock Regional Park area and the walk from the parking lot heading into the park just to get to the trail is a beautiful hike as well ...

Full of great views of the seasonal Pine Creek which is flowing in full today but is dry much of the year... As well as some  far off views of  Castle Rock along the way...
When you near the trail head a  big green to the right of the path is the Castle Rock Recreation area Baseball Diamond...
Just a few yards past that on the left is one of the coolest trees in all these hills... It's branches are so huge that years ago they had propped them up with steel poles to hold them up ... They have been  there for so long now that the tree has claimed them as part of itself..
.At  the start of the  Castle Rock trail  I can hear the sounds of the stream flowing over the rocks as I enter the moss covered Pine Canyon...
The views of a winters Pine Creek in the rain were spectacular this morning ...
The trail winds around up and over a  moss covered cement spillway that  looks very old...
At this point the terrain along the right of the trail starts to become a rocky cliff that eventually begins to steepen into a massive solid  rock formation..
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From this angle it looks like the inspiration for Grizzly Mountain in Disneys California Adventure park ...
On the end of the large rock formation right along side the trail was a small wind cave that was pretty cool...
I was actually able to climb in and get a view from  looking out the cave for you...
Turning toward the rocks the Castle Rock trail gives you your first of many spectacular views of these beautiful rocks that stick out from the foothills nearly a thousand feet above the trail..


The cliffs high above are filled with holes and various caves that are most likely shelter to many different animals on a rainy night like this one...
The wildlife that lives here is all around you on the trail...  I saw Blacktailed Deer on their trail across  the other side of  Pine Creek ...
As well as a set of Cougar prints down by the water ,
and some Bobcat tracks up on the trail....
There was even a beautiful Diablo Red Tailed as well who was perched proudly atop of a big oak tree in the rain ...
Hiking in the rain in this environment at this time of the year was very cool... I even enjoyed a bit of off trail time in the Buckeye Canyon which was really pretty in the heavy rain that began to fall as I climbed into it..
The Morning Glory off the trail in the canyons and the fern covered ravines were so lush green and full of life today...

Hiking out of the Buckeye Canyon back onto the Castle Rock trail the view of the rock above was again very cool... Heading back to the trail head the rain started to come down pretty good ...
As I headed back I noticed a family of Mallard Ducks enjoying the very seasonal Winter waters of Pine Creek in what could easily be described as Duck weather...

I really enjoyed myself hiking the Castle Rock trail in the rain today and I plan to explore more of the Diablo Foothills Regional Park real soon ...The Castle Rock Trail is definitely one of my favorite local trails...

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