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The route we chose evolved over the course of the afternoon, extending longer than we had planned because we were both enjoying the visit and wanted a bit more. We hiked or jogged most of the Briones Crest Trail (BCT), a dirt road running in a large arcing route that follows along the outside of the main Bear Creek drainage that makes up the central portion of the park. From the TH we hiked past the archery range on the Crescent Ridge Trail, taking this to the main crest. At the junction we turned north and followed the BCT around towards the summit of Briones Peak.
The BCT bypasses a short distance below the summit, but one of several unmarked use trails can be utilized to access the summit. A small benchmark and a nice bench can be found at the top. It had been 54F when we started, breezy and chilly all the way to the summit, despite it being July. It was windier at the top, keeping us from relaxing there for too long. Shortly after leaving the summit the fog began to burn off and though it was still quite windy along the road the rest of the afternoon, the sun made things downright pleasant. There is a decent view north from the summit to Martinez and Suisun Bay. We could easily see the mothballed navy fleet anchored off shore as well as the Martinez Bridge where Interstate 680 crosses north over the Sacramento River.
Ryan was game for his first taste of trail running and did admirably at it. Dad was handicapped with the pack to keep things about even. We made a short side trip to Mott Peak, little more than a patch of grass atop the high point of the west side of the park, a barbed-wire fence running over the top (as on Briones Peak). We went back to the BCT and followed it around for another couple miles before dropping down off the crest and back to the parking lot. In all we spent just under three hours covering six or seven miles. We both agreed that it was a much better hike than the recent outing to Black Point near Mt. Diablo.
For more information see these SummitPost pages: Briones Peak - Mott Peak
This page last updated: Thu Jul 15 11:24:06 2010
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