pahavit (pahavit) wrote,

Sunol Regional Wilderness: Eagle's View

Sunol Regional Wilderness: Eagle's View

Last weekend D. and I returned to our new favorite place, Sunol Regional Wilderness Area. This time we walked around in the northern part of the park, starting on the Eagle's View Trail. Little did we know we would see an actual eagle later on.

First up, my pics, then D.'s.

As we head up Eagle's View Trail, the hillside across Welch Creek Rd. comes into view.

As we round the bend, a fabulous view greets us.  It is an almost fairy tale-like scene (except for the dark layer of smog in the atmosphere).


Another bend in the trail brings Maguire Peaks into view.

Approaching the junction of the Vista Grande Road trail, with Mission Peak in the background.

It's not a block of ice -- it's a salt lick, which appears to have been much enjoyed by the range cattle that have grazing rights in the park.

The trail descends into a ravine to follow Indian Joe Creek for a ways.

Shade-loving plants, including bittercress and ferns, flourish along the creekbank.

The trail breaks away from the creek to cross a large meadow called Valley of the Giants.  It is tenanted by several enormous valley oaks.

We pass by the barn at High Valley Camp, on the High Valley Road trail.

Cattle grazing in High Valley.

Oak trees make stark silhouettes against a hazy late afternoon sky.

Rising up from High Valley, we turn onto the Vista Grande Road trail to head back to the car, and what do we behold but a golden eagle!

The oaks are awash in late afternoon's hazy golden light.

❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧

And here are D.'s pics.

Here's where we began, at the north end of the Eagle's View trail.

As we round the bend, a fabulous view greets us.

Looking down into High Valley.

Indian Joe Creek.

In the Valley of the Giants.

Another view of High Valley before descending to the Cave Rock Road trail.

On the Cave Rock Road trail, a bobcat checks out the mid-afternoon scene.

A couple of old bathtubs serve as livestock troughs on the Indian Joe Creek Trail, near Cave Rocks.

Cattle grazing in High Valley.

A strange log in High Valley, misshapen by masses of warty knobules.

From the Eagle's View Trail, this strange 3-rayed structure is visible below us in High Valley.

Once we get to that section of the park and get a close look, we see it's part of a lizard observation project.  Although we don't understand why it has to be 3-rayed -- the lizards can just run around the boards to the other side anyway. 

A ground squirrel peeks at us from a burrow entrance by a fallen log.  High Valley was literally crawling with these critters.

The golden eagle in flight.

Vista Grande.

Picturesque oak.

Maguire Peaks are barely visible as evening haze thickens before sundown.

Tags: bobcat, cow, fern, field trip, golden eagle, ground squirrel, maguire peaks, sunol
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