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Pescadero Creek County Park Deathmarch - California, United States

by sammydee  
with a GPSMAP 62st
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Deathmarch.  In local geocaching circles, it means a hike of at least 12 miles, with at least 1500 feet of vertical gain.  This hike, my friends, is a deathmarch.  

But...everyone made it back in one piece, and we enjoyed the forest - so how bad can it be?  :)

We drove to the trailhead on China Grade, on the north edge of Big Basin ... and then headed to Pescadero Creek County Park. A trail crossing private property through a public easement connects the two parks.  We made a wrong turn at one point and strayed from the easement ... don't make the same mistake we did!  

Once in the County Park, we followed the Butano Ridge Trail along the top of, uh, Butano Ridge.  The entire route was in deep forest cover, with only a few spots with good views.  At the end of the ridge was one such spot, where we could see the ocean in the distance.  

We then descended steeply to the Old Haul Road, which follows along a valley 1200+ feet below the ridgeline.  Then ... sigh ... we climbed all the way back up, to the ridge, the easement and our cars.

The steep descent from the ridge was painful for some in our group, and the steep ascent back up was painful for others.  Hiking poles help take the pounding out of the downhill portion ... pacing yourself and not overdoing it help with the uphill. 

I did pretty well both ways, I thought, until the last quarter mile.  The last bit is really a fairly steep climb, and my heart and my legs both had decided that enough was enough.  I had to slow WAY down on the last little bit, but soon enough the cars popped into view.

Drink plenty of water.  I carried almost 5 liters of water and Gatorade, but drank less than half.  When I got home I weighed 4 pounds less than when I left in the morning ... I guess I lost 1/2 GALLON of water (given that "a pint's a pound the world 'round").  

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Trip Info
August 15, 2010
Trip Location: Pescadero, California, United States
Length: 17.7 miles
Duration: 8 hours
Activity: Geocaching
Trip viewed 2,718 times
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