24.3 miles
4711 feet

mountain biking

no dogs

Friday, July 12, 2013

Hiked this trail as a 13.5-mile loop (Look Prairie - Peavine Ridge - Thornton) with +/- 2600 feet of elevation change beginning and ending at Albee Creek Campground (on Mattole Road). Mid-June 2013, sunny, fairly hot.

Strongly recommend leaving early to beat the heat on the strenuous uphill. Bring plenty of water, sunscreen and insect repellant. Occasional patches of poison oak on the sides but the trail itself was mostly clear of overgrowth and obstacles. This route takes place entirely on multi-use trails (horses allowed) so watch your step.

We began on Homestead Trail heading East, turned North at Look Prairie Road, West at Peavine Ridge Road, then South at Thornton Road back to Albee Creek. This was an absolutely stunning hike through numerous groves of old growth (meaning 1000+ years old) coastal redwoods throughout Homestead Trail, surrounding Look Prairie, and on the southern part of Thornton Road. Thornton Road also featured a rare surprise--old growth Tanoaks, of which few remain in California.

Just past (to the North of) Look Prairie we had a close encounter with a Black Bear, who after glancing and sniffing in our direction turned and walked up the hillside away from us. The adrenaline that came with this sighting sure helped our pace for the next couple of miles up to the ridge!

Other wildlife sightings included Gray Fox, Deer, Raven, Red-Shouldered Hawk, Varied Thrush (heard not seen). Humans encountered on trail: Zero.