Thursday, August 14, 2014

Trail: Toyon, Redwood Regional

By: Maggie

Heading south on West Ridge
I've been slacking on my running lately. Working full-time over the summer had kept me busy, and I have officially confirmed that I am a morning runner, NOT an evening runner. If it doesn't happen before noon, chances are that it won't happen at all. Anyway, I've been full of excuses and need to get my butt in gear.

Looking back up Toyon
I'm getting ramped up for fall's (hopefully) cooler weather and nice morning trainings. In that spirit, I've been thinking about my favorite trails. One of my top picks is the Toyon Trail in Redwood Regional Park. It's an offshoot from the West Ridge trail and is relatively short. But it's never busy, it's really rutted out, and it's got beautiful views.

There are so many options for out-and-backs, loops, or lollipop routes in Redwood. For a 9-ish mile loop, head from Skyline gate to the right onto West Ridge. You'll start out running West, but eventually you will be running south along the park's west ridge (hence the name). Stay on that trail past Chabot Space center, through the Redwood bowl (you went the wrong way if you hit Roberts Rec Area). Eventually you'll pop out of the Eucalyptus trees onto a wide sunny trail. Several trails split off- to the left down to Stream trail and to the right, which eventually link back up with West Ridge. Toyon is the third trail that splits to the right. It hits Golden Spike, which loops back north up Stream Trail and to Skyline gate.

The loop is a nice variety of shady/sunny and wet redwoods/dry scrub. It's also got about 1300' of climbing. If you want to add on more, Big Bear trail splits from Golden Spike across from Redwood Road, which is a relatively busy and paved road. Take Golden Bear to MacDonald (your only option, I think). That will climb over the next low ridge and then decend into Chabot.

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