2.21 — Snively's Ridge
We rose early Sunday morning and after stopping at mid-valley for some coffee parked at the Carmel Valley road pull-out for Garland Ranch.
Despite having tweaked my knee yesterday rolling up into my foot doing a boulder problem with Al, I woke up with the sun and felt compelled take advantage of this beautiful day to do the hardest hike in Garland, Snively’s Ridge.
After grabbing a map at the Visitor’s Center, we elected to access Snively's by way of the Lupine loop, Waterfall trail and Oakview loop.
The loop we did was gorgeous. It was about 60–65 degrees and blue skies. The panoramic views once reaching the top of the ridge were awesome. You could see Laureles Grade, Mt. Toro, Pebble Beach, the Salinas Valley and all the way over to Santa Cruz!
I was a bit apprehensive about doing this hike with my knee feeling less than 100% and it was amazing. Which is why I feel compelled to say that, if you are in decent shape,
It is steep and sustained but is not overly strenuous. If you are motivated to reach the top, you will.
We are not in exceptional aerobic shape by any means and this hike is totally accessible. Don’t be scared off by reviews touting this trail as “extremely strenuous”. I highly recommend!
We only saw a handful of people on the trail and it was really refreshing to have the trail to ourselves.
Our loop was ~6 miles
Snively’s ridge and the preceding trails were very well maintained. However, the last part of our hike was a bit more adventurous. After walking along the ridge, we decided to continue on past the Sky Trail marker and figured we would descend on the Palisades Trail. It all worked out in the end but, if I were to do it again I’d favor descending on the Sky Trail.
Do yourself a favor, take the Sky Trail down
While it was awesome getting extra time on the ridge while making our way north toward the Palisades trail, once we got to Palisades it was pretty overgrown with weeds and poison oak. Furthermore, while there was a sign at the Palisades trail junction that read,
Footbridge is out, 1 mile ahead
Given that the only option at that point would have been to walk about a mile back to the Sky Trail junction, we decided to just descend anyway and figured that if the trail was truly impassible it would have been more explicitly marked.
When we arrived at the Carmel River, there was indeed no footbridge. This would not have been an issue if the opposite bank was not completely overgrown with absolutely no sign of a trail on which to continue. We would have, albeit somewhat begrudgingly, crossed the knee-high river in an effort to stay on-trail. However, there was no indication that once we crossed there would be any sort of trail at all.
We lucked out
Happily, there as a private property that was about 100 yards east of the river crossing and the owner was nice enough to let us slip through his gate and exit his property onto Carmel Valley road.
After running along the road for about 10 minutes, we arrive back at our car.
The hike was awesome, it just would have been nice if the signage had been a bit more clear at the Visitor’s center map, at the junction of Sky Trail and Snively’s ridge or at the Palisades trailhead.
We were pretty hungry so we grabbed some delicious sandwiches, soup, chips and sweet potato zucchini bread at the Earthbound Farm Stand.
It was amazing. They had an aromatherapy labyrinth that Julianne and I meandered through; it was really nice to take in the sounds, smells and scenery while focusing on being completely in the moment.
Earthbound Farm’s grounds are so beautiful! Their farming practices are on display as much as the actual crop itself.
They have tons of benches and picnic tables and it was really relaxing to just walk around the grounds.
We later came across an apiary that seemed to bee thriving!
It was a great day. We felt so fortunate to be able to enjoy an amazing hike in the morning, eat fresh, healthy food for lunch and wander around the farm for a while.
It is a gift to be healthy
Not sure what we’ll be doing tomorrow for our exercise (probably climbing) but today will definitely be hard to beat.
(we also drove down the Pacific Coast Highway for a while after this just to top it all off!)