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2018 First Day Hikes Park List

This New Year’s Day 2018, California State Parks will participate in the 7th Annual First Day Hikes at parks across the state. This national-led effort encourages people to experience the beautiful natural and cultural resources found in the outdoors with a seasoned guide so that they may be inspired to take advantage of these treasures throughout the year.

Dedicated docents, volunteers and staff will show visitors the wonders of California’s state parks. Distance and rigor will vary per hike/activity, so visitors are encouraged to check out details of start times and description of hikes. For a complete list and detailed information on the California State Park’s First Day Hikes, please visit the First Day Hikes webpage.

Visitors are encouraged to share their experiences on social media using the hashtags: #HikeInto2018, #FirstDayHike and #CAStateParks.

California State Parks First Day Hikes List (pdf)

In alphabetical order by County
(Updated December 14, 2017)

Calaveras County

Calaveras Big Trees State Park

North Grove Wet Meadow Trail: We will be walking around the North Grove Campground exploring the history and the ecology of the wet meadow at Big Trees. We will also discuss some of the history of the campground as it relates the Civilian Conservation Core and their influence on Calaveras Big Trees State Park. This is an easy ADA accessible 1-mile hike. Meet at Jack Night Hall at 11 a.m. Open to all ages. Bring water and snacks and dress in layered clothing, waterproof shoes/boots; be prepared for inclement weather and the need for snow oriented clothing. Prepare for snow conditions and have chains for your vehicle. Weather conditions change rapidly in the Sierras and you should be prepared for rain and or snow. Pets are not allowed. This is an all-weather hike. For information call (209) 795-2334.

Columbia State Historic Park: 

Susan Bakerville-Smith Trail: The trail elevation is about 2,000’ above sea level and winds through the oak woodland of the Sierra Foothills. Likely things to see would be deer, birds, animal tracks, lichen and fungi. This is an easy to moderate 1-mile hike that starts at 10 a.m. and meets at the Schoolhouse Parking Lot. Bring water and snack and wear boots or shoes with good traction in case of mud. The trail is not stroller friendly. No pets allowed please. Rain will cancel. For more information about the hike or cancellation information call (209) 599-3910.

El Dorado County

Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park:

Monroe Ridge Trail: The Monroe Ridge Trail offers the chance to view the Lotus community in the valley below, at the first rest stop, and at the second stop you look down to where gold was discovered by James W. Marshall on January 24, 1848.  That discovery prompted people worldwide to race to the tiny town of Coloma, resulting in the largest voluntary migration of people in North America.  The elevation changes from at around 700 feet above sea level at the Museum to 1276 feet above sea level at the highest point on the trail. Meet at the park museum at 10 a.m. or 1 p.m. A strenuous trail to begin the, then moderate.   Children should be age 9 or older. No pets or strollers please. Boots are recommended. Bring a water bottle and wear layered clothes. Heavy rain will cancel. For cancellation information, call (530) 622-3470.

Monument Trail: The Monument Trail offers an easy way to access the James Marshall Monument, the burial site of the discoverer of gold.   Views of the valley below and Mount Murphy culminate in an easy hike down the road past a historic cemetery, St. John’s Catholic Church, the Thomas House, and the Coloma Jail.  At that point, you are a field away from the Museum. Hikes offered at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Children should be age 5 or older. No pets or strollers please. Boots are recommended. Bring a water bottle and wear layered clothes. Heavy rain will cancel. For cancellation information, call (530) 622-3470.

Humboldt County

Humboldt Lagoons State Park:

Paddle Stone Lagoon: Enjoy a trip paddle with your kayak, stand-up-paddleboard or canoe and gear. Meet at the Stone Lagoon Visitor Center/Kayak Zaks at 115336 Highway 101, Trinidad at 10 a.m. You also have the option of renting a sit-on-top kayak from Kayak Zak’s for this event. . Please call in advance for rental reservations. All participants must wear a properly fitted life jacket. Be prepared for chilly temperatures. Bring snacks and water. No pets please. Join this easy ranger-guided paddle trip or enjoy Stone Lagoon on your own.  This paddle is approximately 4-miles round-trip. Wear clothing and shoes that can get wet.  All ages are encouraged. Windy conditions or inclement weather can cancel. Call (707) 845-6171 for cancellation information.

Imperial County

Ocotillo Wells State Vehicle Recreation Area:

All Park Trails: Explore the park’s hundreds of trails and take part in a number of activities scheduled to welcome the New Year.  More details to come. 

Salton Sea State Recreation Area:

Iron Wood Nature Trail: Meet at the Visitor Center at 8:30 a.m. for the first Bird Walk of 2017.  Learn about the birds in and around the Salton Sea. The 2-mile hike will take approximately one and a half hours and be sure to wear comfortable shoes, a brimmed hat, and bring binoculars and water.  The Salton Sea Visitor Center is located at 100-225 State Park Rd, Mecca, CA 92254.  There is a $5 day use fee per vehicle to enter the park, and seniors age 62 and older are $4. Call (760) 393-3810 for cancellation information.

Kern County

Red Rock Canyon State Park:

Nightmare Gulch Trail: Nightmare Gulch Trail: Take an all-day 9-mile moderate to strenuous hike into Nightmare Gulch with a side trip into the well hidden “Secret Silent City”; participants will be back by approximately 4:00 pm.  The strenuous route option begins with a scramble over three ridges to enjoy the fabulous views, with an elevation gain/loss of approximately 3000 feet. The hike  is not for beginners. Please bring LOTS of water, sun protection; snack and lunch, comfortable hiking shoes, layered clothing. Young children are not recommended. No dogs are allowed. Meet at 9 a.m.at dirt lot on east side of Highway 14, 3/4 mile north of Abbot Road in Red Rock Canyon State Park.   Heavy rain will cancel. For cancellation information we will post on our Facebook page www.Facebook.com/RedRockCanyonStatePark.

Lake County

Anderson Marsh State Historic Park:

Cache Creek, Marsh and Ridge Trail Loop: This is an easy, mostly flat 3½ mile loop passing through various habitats, including grasslands, Oak woodlands, willow and cottonwood riparian habitats and by a large vernal pool.  Participants may encounter a variety of migrating and resident birds and other wildlife.  The hike should take between 2 and 2½ hrs. Participants are welcome to walk part way and make an early return at their own pace. Meet at the park headquarters at 12 p.m. at Highway 53, between Low Lake and Clear Lake.  Children of all ages welcome.  No pets please. This is an easy 3.5-mile hike.  Participants should wear sturdy shoes and a hat, bring water & snacks, and bring binoculars if they have them. Steady rain will cancel. To confirm or check for cancellation information, call 707.995.2658, email info@andersonmarsh.org or visit our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/AMIA.org

Clear Lake State Park:

Indian Nature Trail: From Blue Oaks to the soap plant visitors will enjoy a volunteer lead hike explaining Native American (Pomo) uses for plants that can be found along the trail. Meet at the kiosk parking lot at 9 a.m. for this moderate half-mile hike. For children 6 and older.  No pets please.  Bring water, and wear sturdy shoes and a jacket.  Rain can cancel. For cancellation information call (707) 279-4293.

Los Angeles County

Saddleback Butte State Park

Saddleback Butte Trail: This is a 5-mile, moderate to strenuous hike with 1,000 feet of altitude gain that will offer incredible views across Mojave Desert. Layered clothing highly recommended; it can be very windy at the top, We will meet at Saddleback Butte State Park Day-Use Area, 17102 East Avenue J, Lancaster (corner of 170th St E and East Avenue J, 19 miles east of Hwy 14, near Lake Los Angeles) at 9:00 a.m.  Please bring water, sun protection, comfortable hiking shoes, layered clothing, snack, and optional lunch to enjoy in the park’s picnic area after returning from the hikes. No pets allowed. For cancellation Information check www.Facebook.com/SaddlebackButte.

Hike Across the Park: This 4.3 mile, 1 3/4 hour easy to moderate hike on the Little Butte Trail to the Equestrian Trail will offer beautiful high desert views over the Antelope Valley.  This is a great winter’s hike.  We will meet at Saddleback Butte State Park Day-Use Area, 17102 East Avenue J, Lancaster (corner of 170th St E and East Avenue J, 19 miles east of Hwy 14, near Lake Los Angeles) at 10:00 a.m.  Please bring water, sun protection, comfortable hiking shoes, layered clothing, snack, and optional lunch to enjoy in the park’s picnic area after returning from the hikes. No pets are allowed. For cancellation Information check www.Facebook.com/SaddlebackButte.

Dowen Nature Trail: This ½ mile, ranger-lead interpretive tour along the nature trail, is an easy hike and will offer a chance to learn about the unique natural and cultural history of the local area.  We will meet at Saddleback Butte State Park Day-Use Area, 17102 East Avenue J, Lancaster (corner of 170th St E and East Avenue J, 19 miles east of Highway 14, near Lake Los Angeles) at 11:00 a.m.  Please bring: water, sun protection, comfortable hiking shoes, layered clothing, snack, and optional lunch to enjoy in the park’s Picnic Area after returning from the hikes. No pets are allowed.  The tour is paved for wheel chair/stroller accessible. For cancellation Information please check www.Facebook.com/SaddlebackButte.

Santa Susana Pass State Historic Park:

Welcome Walk (Miranda Loop): On this moderate hike you can see soaring sandstone formations that are affectionately referred to as stone cathedrals. The park’s otherworldly terrain has been compared to the planet Mars. The SSPSHP hike meets at the park’s Andora Trailhead entrance at 9955 Andora Street just south of Lassen Street at 11:00 a.m. California State Parks Volunteers will lead a moderate 2-mile hike. Allow 2-3 hours. Bring water, sunscreen, and wear a hat, good shoes and long pants (flip flops and shorts not a good idea in this terrain.) Well-behaved dogs with owners on leash are welcome.Rain cancels the hike. For information email santasusanafriends@gmail,com, call (818) 784-4849 or check the park Facebook page.

Marin County

Angel Island State Park:

Fire Road: Hike the path less traveled and learn about Angel Island State Park’s natural and cultural history.  Great views of San Francisco and the Golden Gate weather permitting. The hike is four miles on hiking trails and dirt roads, including trail stairs (not stroller friendly).  Minimum age for children is age 8. No pets please. Meet at the Ayala Cove ferry dock on the island. For ferry schedules & ticket information visitwww.angelislandferry.com(Tiburon) orwww.blueandgoldfleet.com(San Francisco). Bring water bottle, lunch, rain gear if needed (hike will happen rain or shine), dress in layers. The hike is rain or shine. For more information call (415) 435-5390 or check the park Facebook Page.

Mount Tamalpais State Park:

Rock Spring Trail to East Peak: This is a moderate to strenuous hike with three different routes to choose. This is a eight-mile roundtrip. Meet at the Rock Springs parking lot 15-20 minutes prior to the 9:15 a.m. start time to be organized into groups. Wear hiking boots and bring water and a light lunch.  There will be some refreshments at the top. This hike is for children age 14 and older. No pets please.  This hike is scheduled rain or shine. This hike is made possible through a collaboration with Friends of Mount Tam which provides knowledgeable hike leaders.

Mendocino County

Mendocino Headlands State Park:

Headlands Trail: Meet the docent at the Ford House Visitor Center in Mendocino at 1:00 p.m. Walk out to the Mendocino Headlands to look for gray whales. Learn about the annual migration of gray whales. There will be a discussion on the history of Mendocino as we walk along the trail. This is an easy 1-mileChildren of all ages welcome. Dogs permitted on leash. Rain will cancel this event. Wear layered clothing. Bring binoculars, water and a camera. For more information call (707) 937-5397.

Monterey County

Asilomar State Beach and Conference Ground:

Dune Boardwal and Beach: Hikers will explore the panoramic 25-acre Natural Dunes Preserve Boardwalk Trail, and learn about the restoration and preservation of this unique habitat. Finish with a visit to the Native Plant Nursery. Walk follows gently sloping boardwalks for an approximate half-mile loop with amazing scenic views, bracing salt air, and dunes flora and fauna.. Meet at the flag pole near Pheobe Hearst Social Hall on the conference grounds at 1:30 p.m. Children must accompanied by an adult.  Terrain varies for this 2-mile hike. Bring water and binoculars (optional) and wear layered clothing and comfortable shoes. Dogs allowed on a six-foot leash. Rain could cancel. For cancellation information call (831) 646-6440 or visit the park website.

Nevada County

Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park:

Rim Trail: This 3.29-mile trail runs along the upper rim of the Diggins; affording visitors views of the spectacular pit and canyon walls excavated by hydraulic mining in the late 1800’s. The landscape continues to heal, with natural re-vegetation softening the dramatic effects of the gold mining activities. Meet at the park museum at 1 p.m. Children age 8 and up are welcome.  No dogs please. Bring water, snacks, camera and binoculars. Dress in layers as we plan to hike in sun, rain, or snow. Check http://malakoffdigginsstatepark.org/ for hike updates. This hike is sponsored by the Friends of North Bloomfield & Malakoff Diggins.

Orange County

Crystal Cove State Park

Loop Trail: This 3-mile moderate hike is suitable for adults and children, but the trail is steep in some places and may be challenging for little legs. Meet at Berns Amphitheater (School-State Park entrance, follow signs to the campground) at 9:00 a.m.  Dogs are not permitted on trails (Not even in a purse.)There is a $15 day use fee. Please bring water, sun protection, hat, comfortable hiking shoes, layered clothing and snack. Rain will cancel. Park closed the day after rain so if in doubt call (949) 494-3539 or checkwww.crystalcovestatepark.org.

Placer County

Auburn State Recreation Area

Confluence Loop: More than just a hike, see beautiful vistas, hear stories about the canyon and area history on this popular ranger led 3.5 mile hike.  The hike will take approx. 3 to 4 hours.  We will stop many times along the hike for breaks.  A moderate hike with one steep downhill and one steep climb. Meet at the Range Office at 501 El Dorado Street Auburn at 9:30 a.m. Easy access off I 80 to the station, approx. 2 ½ miles via Hwy 49 South. Children are welcome. Dogs are allowed on a leash. Dress for the weather; rain gear and layers.  Bring snacks & water in a daypack or camelback type pack. Hiking boots or shoes are recommended and trekking or hiking poles come in handy.  Bring your camera.  Heavy rain will cancel. For more information check the parks Facebook page.

Riverside County

Chino Hills State Park:

There will two hikes, one moderate and oneeasy hike through the Chino Hills. This is a partnership with the City of Chino Hills and its Healthy Hills program to promote healthy living for its residents. The first 100 hikers will receive a free backpack sponsored by the city.  The event is limited to 200 participants.  Hike leaders will organize groups of 30-35 hikers. . Pre-registration is available and encouraged at https://www.chinohills.org/DocumentCenter/View/14012Th3.  The hikes begin at 9:15 a.m. with registration at 9 a.mThe hike is recommended for children 7 or older. Jogging style or or-road strollers may be accommodated on the easy hike. Pets are not permitted. The easy hike will be 1.5 miles and the moderate hike 2-4 miles long. Bring water, sun screen, a hat and snacks. Wear hiking shoes or boots for moderate hike. Tennis shoes are OK for the easy hike. For cancellation information call the park at (951) 780-6222.

Lake Perris State Recreation Area:

Russell Peak Trail: Hike to the highest peak at Lake Perris.  At the top enjoy the scenic views of the lake and the surrounding mountains and valleys. This approximately 4.5-mile strenuous hike starts simple with rolling fire road, goes into rocky trail with some steep elevation gain, little to no shade. Expect to see small animals and possible deer or coyote. Red tailed hawk is also around the area. On top the peak seek a glorious scenic view of Lake Perris.  Meet at the Hunter’s Lot located at the east end of the park near the group camp at 10 a.m. for this 2 ½ hour hike. Bring water, closed toed shoes, jacket, hat and sunscreen and your walking stick.  This hike is recommend for children 8 years and older.  No pets please. If you have any questions please call (951) 940-5647 or check the park Facebook page.

Grassland Trail: Breathe the fresh air and catch glimpses of local birds on this guided nature walk. Enjoy views of the lake and possibility spot migratory birds. This is an easy 1-2 mile walk with children of all ages welcome. The trail is not suitable for strollers however it is family friendly with no age limit. Dogs are not allowed.Meet at the Hunter’s parking lot near the Group Camp Area at 10 a.m. Bring a jacket, and water and wear closed-toed shoes. For cancellation information call the park museum at (951) 940-5657 or check the park Facebook page.

Mount San Jacinto State Park:

Desert View Trail: This 1.5-mile hike will allow visitors to enjoy the high mountain environment in winter, with five different spectacular view points of the desert floor and Coachella Valley. Hikers must take the Lam Springs Aerial Tramway to the location. For information about taking the tram click here.  (Wait times can be up to five hours so please arrive early. This hike is easy to moderate in difficulty and takes place at altitudes over 8,500 feet. Snow may be present so be prepared with snowshoes or crampons or micro spikes. Bringwater, food, warm and extra clothing, eye protection, gloves, and hat as temperatures can be in the single digits. Wear warm cold weather clothing and bring water, and snacks. This hike is recommend for children 5 years and older  who may need to know how to snowshoe.  It is not stroller or wheel chair accessible.  Hikers will meet at the Long Valley Ranger Station located near the top of the Palm Springs Ariel Tramway at 11:00 a.m.  If you have any questions please call (760) 327-0222. For cancellation information check the park Facebook page.

Salton Sea State Recreation Area:

Iron Wood Nature Trail: Meet at the Visitor Center at 8:30 a.m. for the first Bird Walk of 2018.  Learn about the birds in and around the Salton Sea. The 2-mile hike will take approximately one and a half hours and be sure to wear comfortable shoes, a brimmed hat, and bring binoculars and water.  The Salton Sea Visitor Center is located at 100-225 State Park Rd, Mecca, CA 92254.  There is a $7 day use fee per vehicle to enter the park, and seniors age 62 and older are $5. Call (760) 393-3810 for cancellation information.

Wildwood Canyon Park Property:

Oak Tree Loop and McCullough Loop Trails: Enjoy the natural surroundings of old oak groves, views of Yucaipa from the historic Hi Up House and be prepared to catch glimpses of wildlife. This is an easy to moderate hike of two miles.  Play our new augmented reality game on your mobile device. Visitors will play the game as they hike. All visitors who complete the game will earn a special prize! Requirement: Download the application "Agents of Discovery" and the "Wildwood Canyon State Park Mission" at home, PRIOR to the event. You can download the game at the "App Store" or at "Google Play." No data or Wifi will be needed to play the game as it uses GPS information. Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mstar.aod&hl=en

App Store: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/agents-of-discovery/id986188357?mt=8

Family friendly with no age limit. Strollers are not recommended. Meet at the concrete area near the parking lot at 2 p.m. Bring a jacket and water and wear closed-toed shoes. For cancellation information call the Lake Perris museum at (951) 940-5657 o check the park Facebook page

San Benito County

Hollister Hills State Vehicular Recreation Area 

Pepper Tree Loop:  Explore the wonders of local wildlife through Grass land surrounded by nearby oak woodland and gentle rolling hillsides. The family friendly hike will allow kids to become wildlife detectives and discover interesting animal clues along the way that help their story. Meet at the Mudstone Ranch Entrance parking area at 10 a.m. for this easy 1.2-mile hike. No strollers please. Dogs are allowed on leash. Bring water, snack, layered clothing and wear hiking shoes. For cancellation information call (831) 637-3874.

San Diego County

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park:

Alcoholic Pass Trail: Experience and discover the prehistory, history, and present-day journey of those who have used this trail for food, water, work, and fun on this two-mile hike. This is a strenuous hike over steep, rocky terrain. Meet at 9 a.m. at the north end of Di Giorgio Road Children welcome but must be able to hike for four hours minimum. Bring water, snacks, hiking boots, sun protection; hiking stick (optional.) Cal the vvisitor center at 760-767-4205 for cancellation information.

(More hikes being planned for Anza Borrego Desert State Park. Check back for details.)

Cuyamaca Rancho State Park:

Stonewell Peak Trail: This moderate to hard hike will be five miles and take hikers up the back trail to get to Stonewall Peak.  This is a little used route that accesses one of Cuyamaca’s most visited areas in the park. Please bring plenty of water and snacks plus dress in layers because of our changeable mountain weather. The hike begins at 9 a.m.  Meet at the Paos Ricacho day use area. Minimum age is 16.  No pets please. Rain cancels the hike. For cancellation information…

Ocotillo Wells State Vehicle Recreation Area:

Southern Park Trails: Take a tour to seldom seen sights in the southern section of Ocotillo Wells SVRA where you will see evidence of an ancient ocean, WWII training, and much more. This is an easy 40-mile ride through the entire southern portion of the park. You’ll need a high clearance 4-wheel drive vehicle or a vehicle designed for off-highway use (i.e. ATV, Motorcycle, buggy etc.)Mett at the Ocotillo Wells SVRA Discovery Center at 9 a.m. Children are welcome along with pets. Call (760) 825-9358 to check if weather cancels.

Northern Park Ride, Truckhaven to Coral Wash Trails: Take a tour of Ocotillo Wells’ Truckhaven Treasures! Experience Truckhaven like you never have before as we tour this off-highway gem. This is a moderate ride of about 35 miles. You will need a high clearance 4-wheel drive vehicle or a vehicle designed for off-highway use (i.e. ATV, Motorcycle, buggy etc.)  Mett at 9 a.m. at Holly Road. and S-22.  Children are welcome along with pets. Call (760) 825-9358 to check if weather cancels.

South Carlsbad State Beach:

South Ponto Beach Sandy Beach and Bluff Overlook Trail: Join California State Parks for the annual “Land and See” First Day Hike. Gather at 9 a.m. at the South Ponto Day Use Lot Restrooms for this 1-mile hike. Hikers will stroll along the shore to learn about the animals that live and feed on our sandy beach. Then climb to the top of the bluff overlook to look for dolphins, sea lions and hone your skills for the upcoming whale season. This is an easy hike of about a mile.  Children are welcome.  Bring comfortable walking shoes, binoculars, and sun protection. Pets are not allowed. Hike goes on rain or shine. Call (760) 579-8914 for information.

Tijuana Estuary Natural Preserve:

King Tide Hike (Jan. 2): Join Education Coordinator Anne Marie Tipton during one of the mornings of the January King Tide, the highest tides of the winter. Find out about how the Research Reserve continuously measures water depth and is a sentinel site keeping track of trends with a changing climate. Learn about our award winning planning to adapt to the impacts from riverine flooding and sea level rise. The walk starts at the Visitor Center at 9:30 a.m. and will make its way over to almost the south end of Seacoast Drive and then back, approximately 2 miles round trip. Children need to be able to walk or are carried in backpacks.No pets please. Wear study footwear and layer clothing. Bring water. Stormy weather could cancel. Call (619) 575-3613 for information. More Information.

San Joaquin County

Caswell Memorial State Park:

River Bend Trail Loop: An easy to moderate 1.5-mile hike depending on how wet it is. The trail is flat, but muddy. Enjoy the lots of migratory birds that will be in the area, and sounds of the nature including river crickets, frogs etc. Hopefully a fish or two will be jumping. Meet at the Lower parking lot at 1 p.m. Children of all ages welcome, but trail is not for strollers. No dogs please.  Brings waters and snacks and weather appropriate clothing. Rain can cancel. Check with the kiosk at (209) 599-3810 for information.

San Luis Obispo County

Hearst San Simeon State Park:

ADA trail and San Simeon Loop trail: Part 1: Join a park interpreter to explore five distinct environments that support a diverse community of plants and animals, nurturing human habitation for over five thousand years (1.5 miles).  Part 2: The hike will continue on the San Simeon Loop trail and where visitors will discover the complexities of our native Monterey Pines Forest.  (4.5 miles.) Meet at 2 p.m. at the Washburn Day Use area.  There is no minimum age for children.  No pets please. Bring water, snacks, bug spray, sunscreen, layered clothing, sturdy shoes, and more water. Rain will cancel. For information call the kiosk at (805) 927-2035.

Morro Bay State Park:

Morro Strand South: Take a 1-mile stroll along the beach to learn about geology, see life and shore animals. This an easy hike for all ages though children must be accompanied by an adult. Wear a jacket, and shoes that can get wet and water. No pets are allowed.  Meet at the Morro Rock parking lot at 3 p.m. Rain will cancel. For more information call the Morro Bay Natural History Museum at (805) 772-2694.

White Point Vista Trail: The leader will take you up a short staircase to White Point for a fine view of Morro Bay, discussing bay ecology, history and prehistory of human habitation here, and other topics.  The walk will take 45 min. to an hour.  The first portion is ADA accessible, but not the climb up the stairs. Meet at the Morro Bay Museum of Natural History at 11 a.m. No pets are allowed. . Rain will cancel. For more information call the Museum at (805) 772-2694.

Oceano Dunes State Vehicle Recreation Area:

Geology of the Dunes Trail: Hike one of California’s last unaltered dune complexes.  Learn the geology of the dunes as well as dune vegetation and sea birds and possibly sea mammals on this 2.5 mile hike.  Meet at the Ocean Dunes visitor center, 555 Pier Avenue, Oceano Calif. at 10:30 a.m. Children must be age 9 or older.  Wear sturdy shoes for walking on sand dunes, dress in layers and check temperatures in advance.  This is an easy hike on sand and dunes half of the way. No pets please. Rain or strong winds cancels. For information call (805) 773-7187.

San Mateo County

Año Nuevo State Park:

Guided Elephant Seal Walks: Año Nuevo means “new year.” What better way to start 2018 than with a moderate 3-mile hike.  Tours are from 8:45 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. Purchasingreservations in advance are strongly recommended at Reserve America (800) 444-4445 or anonuevo.reserveamerica.com. Cost is $7 per person. Visit large colony of Northern elephant seals and watch the bulls defend their territory, while pregnant females ready to birth their pups.  Please meet at the Marine Education Center.  Layers, sturdy shoes, and rain gear is strongly advised, no pets, no umbrellas or strollers. The walk will happen, rain or shine—hopefully rain! The hike is recommended for all ages children must be accompanied by parent. For more information, please call (650) 879-2025 or see the parks website at www.parks.ca.gov/anosealwalks.

Equal Access Seal Tours: Año Nuevo means “new year.” What better way to start 2017 than with an easy 1.5-mile (wheelchair-accessible boardwalk) hike.  Tours begin at 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Purchasing reservations in advance is strongly recommended at Reserve America (800) 444-4445 or anonuevo.reserveamerica.com. Cost is $7 per person. Visit large colony of Northern elephant seals and watch the bulls defend their territory, while pregnant females ready to birth their pups.  Please meet at the Marine Education Center.  Layers, sturdy shoes, and rain gear is strongly advised, no pets (Service dogs admitted with previous notice). Due to limited space, each person with mobility needs can bring up to two guests/assistants,) no umbrellas or strollers. The walk will happen, rain or shine—hopefully not rain. The hike is recommended for all ages children must be accompanied by parent. For more information, please call (650) 879-2025 or email Ano.EqualAccess@parks.ca.gov.

Santa Barbara County

Carpinteria State Park:

Beach and Bluff Walk to the Rincon: Join us for an approximately 6-mile round trip moderate hike along the bluffs and beach from Carpinteria State Beach to Rincon Point.  Although mostly flat, one section of trail is from the bluff down to the beach, and on the way back a hill climb from beach to bluff.  Hikers will make a stop at the seal rookery, tar pits, and see other interesting points along the way. We will meet at Carpinteria State Beach Kiosk (Entrance Station) at 1:30 p.m.   Please bring water, sturdy shoes, also sun protection and a camera if desired.  Children must be able to walk for up to three hours.  There are three restrooms along the way. Dogs on leash permitted. There will be free parking that day for hikers. For cancellation information call (805) 684-2811, ext. 0. 

Gaviota State Beach:  

Multi-Trail Loop: Enjoy this strenuous hike into the parks backcountry making a loop o the La Cruces, Yucca, Hollister, Woodland Overlook and Ortega trails.  This 3.5 mile hike begins at 7 a.m. at the Las Cruces Adobe parking area.  Bring:  Plenty of water, appropriate snacks, hiking boots and hiking clothing, local plant or bird manuals, weather dependent clothing. Small children are not recommended. No pets or firearms please. Significant Rain in week before or on day of hike will make trails unpassable. Call Refugio Ranger station at (805) 968-3852 for cancellation information.

Santa Cruz County

Big Basin Redwoods State Park(Park headquarters is located at 21600 Big Basin Way, Boulder Creek, CA, 95006.For cancellation information on all Big Basin Parks, call (831) 338-8861.)

Sempervirens Falls Trail:  This beautiful hike takes you by Sempervirens Falls, old-growth redwoods, Ohlone grinding rocks, the birthplace of Big Basin and more. Join Docent Tom Batley on this 4-mile, 3-hour hike. Bring water and snacks. This moderate hike is suitable for adults, and youth 8 years old and older accompanied by parent. Meet at Park Headquarters at 9 a.m. 

Redwood Grove Loop Walk: How do these grand redwoods grow to be so old? So tall? How are they important to humans? Join us for this fun and informative easy guided half-mile stroll through a magnificent old-growth redwood forest. Meet the famous Mother Tree, the Father of the Forest and the incredible Chimney Tree on this 90-minute walk. Stroller and wheelchair accessible. This easy hike is suitable for all ages. Bring walking shoes and water.  Meet at park headquarters at 1:00 p.m. Heavy rain cancels. 

Meteor Trail Join Docent Hal Anjo on one of our most diverse hikes—by mountain streams, oak woodlands, chaparral and redwoods. You’ll discuss forests, flowers and fires on a six-mile, 3.5-hour hike. This somewhat strenuous ascent is rewarded with ocean views on a clear day. Bring water, lunch and good hiking shoes. Meet at Park Headquarters. At 10:30 a.m. 

Discover Big Basin Redwoods Hike!:  Explore the park’s less travelled backcountry with Docent Barry Grimm. This moderately paced hike is individually tailored to your group. Based on group size, experience level and weather conditions, we'll choose from the many trails that explore our most scenic areas. Meet at Park Headquarters at 12 p.m.

Coffee Talk and Crafts: Come to the Sempervirens Room next to Park Headquarters for free coffee or hot chocolate from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. This is a great way to start your day in Big Basin. Docent Norm Beeson will be happy to answer your questions about the park and help get you going on the right trail. And bring the kids for a fun craft activity.

Sonoma County

Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve:

Pioneer Nature, Discovery and Armstrong NatureTrails: Ring in the New Year outside. This easy 1.4-mile hike is brought to you by Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods and California State Parks. Majestic coast redwood and Douglas fir trees, banana slugs, deer, sword ferns and other redwood understory plants This family-friendly hike will meet at 10:00 a.m. at the visitor's center and go until 12:00 p.m. Meet at the Welcome Center picnic tables. Guests will be treated to a fun and easy walk under the magnificent old growth redwood trees with stops to view the rushing waters of Fife Creek. The hike will be led by experienced docents from Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods. Participants are encouraged to dress for the weather, wear sturdy shoes, bring a water bottle, snacks and walking sticks. All ages welcome. The event is free but there is a parking fee. No pets please.  Trails may be muddy or flodded. Heavy rain cancels. For more information, please contact the Stewards office, at 707-869-9177 or stewards@stewardscr.org or check the Stewards’ Facebook page.

Fort Ross State Historic Park:

Surf to Redwoods Trail: This approximately four-mile**, three+ hour moderate loop hike will take us first to our ocean bluff to experience the morning high King Tide and pinnipeds on the rocky islets nearby.  Then we’ll cross Highway One (at mile marker 34) then gradually ascend into the towering redwood and fir forest mostly along an old logging road, visiting en route both the Call Family and Stanley Spyra Memorial redwood groves.  Enjoying our bag lunch picnic along the way, we’ll cross the San Andreas Fault line plus have the option of visiting our historic Fort Ross orchard nearby before we descend paved Fort Ross Road back to the FRSHP Visitor Center, our starting point. Meet at 10:30 a.m. at the Visitor Center.  Bring water, bag lunch, binoculars, cameras, layered clothing, hiking boots (be prepared for some possible moisture) and optional hiking sticks. Not recommended for kids under eight. No dogs permitted.  Optional 3:00pm after-hike interpretive Fort Ross history talk in the Fort Compound. For more information please call 707-847-3437 or email hankb@fortross.org.  (Rain cancellation: Please email hankb@fortross.org or call (707) 847-3437 between 9-9:30 a.m. Monday.)