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Recommendations? - East Bay Training Trails for Weighted

Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 9:28 am
by davidsheridan
Dear HST Community,

I am trying to help a group prepare for hiking/climbing mountains with a pack on, Half Dome and Shasta and Mount Baker in WA.

I am looking for some ideas for locations to train with a weighted pack that has some of these characteristics:

Close to either Concord, Walnut Creek, Fairfield, Moraga, Oakland, or Hayward (these are the cities where our team members live)
Could be your favorite trail that is good for few hour hike
Could be a great set of steps where you could do intensive 1 hour up and downs
Could be a steep trail that gain elevation quickly, that could be done after work and not require half of a day commitment
Any other suggestions are welcome too.

Thanks HST Community!

Re: Recommendations? - East Bay Training Trails for Weighted

Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 11:22 am
by rlown
Mount Saint Helena could be a nice choice. ... a-trail--2

Re: Recommendations? - East Bay Training Trails for Weighted

Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 7:58 pm
by maverick
Mission Peak and Mt. Diablo.

Re: Recommendations? - East Bay Training Trails for Weighted

Posted: Sun Jan 06, 2019 1:23 pm
by giantbrookie
I would second Maverick's recommendations. Mt Diablo works well for your group, given the location and the fact that you can put together a hike with >3000' of gain. You can choose trail combinations that start really low so you can max out the elevation gain. An example is the Mitchell Canyon kickoff point on the north but there are south flank trails that can pile up a lot of gain, too. I hope to soon begin hiking around there myself, mainly for the purposes of geologic mapping but with the secondary purpose of training. Mission Peak is a perfect training hike, a steep 2100' of gain or so in 3.3 miles (one way) from the Stanford Ave kickoff point in Fremont. In the days I lived in Hayward I would load up a big rucksack with extra water (sometimes up to 6L just to add weight) then hike it as fast as I could. Sunol-Ohlone Regional Wilderness is really good too. You can go out of the Little Yosemite trailhead and up onto the Cerro Este Ridge and then to the highest point in the park (at 2200', last bit short walk in grass off trail). The net gain is 1800' for that one but there are a few little ups and downs that push that one to close to 2000' of gain. If you get the free permit to hike eastward into Ohlone Wilderness (from Sunol RW) you can put together some very long hikes indeed (combinations getting into the 20 mile range round trip with thousands of feet of gain!). You can also do Ohlone Wilderness from Del Valle Reservoir but that entry is probably not as convenient for your group as going in from the main Sunol Regional Wilderness kickoff points (accessible from Calaveras Rd and 680). Outside of Henry Coe Park, which is a bit too far south to be convenient for your group, Sunol-Ohlone offers the best prospects for super long training hikes.

If you get an EBMUD hiking permit you can hike on the EBMUD watershed lands such as all of the area out of Moraga and south (Upper San Leandro Reservoir-Rocky Ridge etc.). I don't know how this works today, but back a decade ago I recall the permit was good for multiple years (3?) and cost something like $10. You can enter this big patch of EBMUD land from multiple entries including from Redwood Rd. north of Castro Valley to Moraga. Having that permit also allows some long combo hikes that chain together trails with the EBRPD lands and the EBMUD land. For example, I'm thinking of getting another permit because I could then walk out of my Castro Valley home and walk north into watershed land on various trails (out of the Cull Canyon area). As I was rehabbing from surgery the past few weeks I investigated one of the kickoff points: from where I live I would put in 2 miles and 600' gain just to get to the kickoff point (walking on pleasant suburban sidewalks with great Bay views) and then the real hiking would start.

The bottom line is that for East Bay folks where you live you have a lot of options and you can't go wrong with Mt Diablo, Mission Peak, and Sunol-Ohlone Wilderness. Happy training. Maybe I'll see you folks out there.

Re: Recommendations? - East Bay Training Trails for Weighted

Posted: Sun Jan 06, 2019 10:34 pm
by Wandering Daisy
Not as close as you may want, but my go-to kick your butt, get in shape area is Henry Coe State Park. You can either do an insane day-hike or up to a 5-day backpack. No one elevation gain is more than about 1,500 feet but the terrain is like an upside down egg carton; multiple ups and downs, few switchbacks, very steep. Good place to go if you want to add overnight for an equipment shake-down. You MUST get a trail map specific to the park. You can get one off the internet, or they sell a very nice one at the visitor center (where you get your permit). I have several trip reports in the non-Sierra sub-forum.

As far as day hike only, I agree Mt Diablo is good.

Re: Recommendations? - East Bay Training Trails for Weighted

Posted: Mon Jan 07, 2019 12:29 am
by bobby49
We used to go for Stump Your Toe In Henry Coe every year.

Re: Recommendations? - East Bay Training Trails for Weighted

Posted: Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:59 am
by frozenintime
it's possible to combine various trails in briones to add up to 2-3k of gain in 7-10 miles. the lafayette ridge trail (southern end of the park) is especially hilly. briones is beautiful in the spring and pretty central to all of you.

Re: East Bay Training Trails-Diablo on Jan 10

Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:39 pm
by giantbrookie
Hi folks. I thought I'd just drop a line to say that I was hiking up on Mt Diablo yesterday (Thurs. Jan 10) taking advantage of a break in the weather. OK, most folks can't just get up there on a Thursday because they're working, but I am an academic still on my winter break, so I could do this without taking a day off. I was hiking from about 1030 or 11 am or so until sundown at sometime after 520 pm. I was doing geologic mapping, so I did quite a bit of off trail stuff (plenty of up and down to reach rocks above and below trails in addition to outright off trail routes) and probably put in somewhere in the 6-7 mi, 1500+' of gain range and I was carrying something like 15 lbs in my daypack (geologic gear as well as 2L of water and some snacks and some warmer clothing). If I had simply been hiking instead of doing geology, this would have been done much more quickly, given that a lot of time is taken in mapping to record data on the map, take outcrop photos, etc. My hike launched off where a trail (forget its name) leaves the Northgate Road somewhere below the main road junction. I ended up on the main ridge but then descended off trail well before getting to Juniper Camp (again, I was looking at geology rather than following a set route or heading toward a specific objective). The possibilities are endless at Mt Diablo for good hikes, regardless of one's purpose. It was a beautiful day to be out there with nice cool but pleasant weather. For me, this marked a "coming off of the DL" following prostate cancer surgery that took place 3 weeks before this hike. It felt like a normal hike for me with decent leg drive, endurance, etc., except for some irritation on one of my incision areas from my waistband rubbing it. I will adjust the way I carry some stuff for my next time out to minimize or eliminate this irritation. Like many geologists, I carry various things on my belt and this forces one to tighten up the belt so it won't slip down (and pull the pants down with it). Tightening up the belt doesn't sit well with my incisions right now, so next time I'll try a different set up where I wear my fishing vest and put the things I normally carry on my belt and in pants pockets in my fishing vest. One way or another this was really enjoyable physical therapy!

Re: Recommendations? - East Bay Training Trails for Weighted

Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2019 12:55 pm
by wildhiker
If someone in Hayward wants a quick "after work" hike, try Garin-Dry Creek Pioneer Regional Park. Easy to access, some longer loops with climbing available, good views over the bay.

Re: Recommendations? - East Bay Training Trails for Weighted

Posted: Fri Jan 18, 2019 7:18 am
by davidsheridan
Thanks everyone. Keep the suggestions coming. @giantbrookie - thanks for sharing your Mt. Diablo "therapy" story, I am glad you are feeling good for an all day hike. We all know nature can help heel and uplift. Best of luck in your full recovery.