Manzanita Point

Mon, May 15, 2017
Story Photos / Slideshow Map GPX Profile
previously climbed Fri, Jan 23, 2015

This was more or less a bust as far as plans went. I was hoping to visit the newest Lakeview Addition at Henry Coe State Park in the Diablo Range, tagging a handful of LoJ summits along the way. The area had been shown on park maps for a few years as "Closed" and "No Access", but I had noticed on the latest version a trail is shown going up from Madrone Soda Springs, marked as "obscure". My problems started when I noticed the GPSr had failed to load the route information as I had expected in the morning before I left San Jose, and didn't notice until I had reached the park, an hour's drive away. I figured I knew where to find the trails I was looking for and headed off on the Corral Trail, towards Manzanita Point. The start of the hike was in the clouds and a bit chilly, dew on the tall grasses lining the trail half-soaking my pants along the way. I passed by the small pond found near the campsites at Manzanita Point, then descended the Madrone Soda Springs Trail about 800ft to the creek in the narrow canyon below where things started to go awry. Not exactly sure which way to turn to find the trail up to Cardoza Ridge in the Lakeview Addition, I turned left and followed the trail towards China Hole for about 2/3mi until I was fairly certain it was not to be found in that direction. The poison oak is thick in this canyon and along the trail and one needs to watch carefully to keep from brushing up against the stuff. Back at Madrone Soda Springs, I examined various use trail around the campsites found there, but could not find any sort of continuation along the road/trail depicted on the topo and park maps. Every fork seemed to dissolve into thick brush, usually heavy with poison oak. Had anyone even used this relatively new "trail", I wondered? I was not about to bushwhack my way up, so I decided to punt early and either get better information or find another way. On my way back up out of the canyon the skies began to clear some, providing some nice lighting for the flowers, hillsides and surrounding ridges. I stopped off at the summit of Manzanita Point to salvage some sort of minor victory for the nine miles of hiking. Despite the disappointment, it was still way better than sitting at home. Time well spent, I figured...

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