Sunol Regional Wilderness, California

08/13/16 Saturday

The kids are with my parents for the last 2 weeks of summer before school starts, so Anthony and I decided to go for a hike. It was a pretty hot day today, so we decided to go in the evening around 5:30pm. 

After we got off the 680 freeway, we had to drive about 5 miles or so to reach the entrance. On the way, we saw some deers and cows. After paying a parking fee of $5, we went to the visitor center. Unfortunately, the center was already closed when we went, but we were able to get a printed map.



We started at the end of the road on Geary Street, past the picnic area. We parked our car there and walked across a long bridge. 




We kept walking uphill and finally after more than 1 mile, we reached Little Yosemite. It's basically a small waterfall and there is a creek. To get down to the water, we had to climb over the rocks to descend and it was a little challenging. We have to be careful not to trip between the rocks and fall.








After taking some pictures at the creek, we climb up and went for the Canyon View Trail hike. On the way there, we saw many cows roaming around.






We decided to stop there and go back. The hike back to the parking lot was a breeze as it was mainly downhill and the weather was cooling down as well. As you can see from the picture, California is in drought and our hills are so brown now. Hopefully, it will rain more this winter.






After the hike, we decided to reward ourselves with all you can eat Korean BBQ. 










We were so full after the dinner and had to go to Target to walk more since it was already dark. If not, we would have went back to Sunol and do another hike.

Day 3 - McArthur Burney Falls, California

08/08/2016 Monday

Today, we head back home from Oregon. My plan was to stop by McArthur Burney falls on the way home. It's a little detour and adds an extra hour to our drive but I felt it will be a good detour as I have seen pictures of the waterfalls and wanted to check it out. President Roosevelt has once described the falls as the eighth wonder of the world. While halfway into our drive, our friends called us and told us that they went to the wrong destination and probably won't be able to join us as they are almost 1 hour behind us now. They enter the address in their GPS, however they forgot to change the state to California and kept it as Oregon since that's our last destination we entered. The GPS took them to a forest and that's when they realized that they were going to the wrong place. 

After driving for more than 2 hours, we finally reached Burney Falls. The drive there wasn't hard at all. First, we paid our $8 entrance fee, then I stopped by the visitor center while the kids put on their sunblock and insect repellent.




The park ranger told me that by crossing the parking lot, there is a falls overlook 150 feet away. Then we can walk downwards to the base of the falls for about 0.3 mile. If we feel up to it, there is an easy falls loop hike about 1.2 mile roundtrip that we could do.



At the falls overlook, we could see the falls but it wasn't a very good view as the trees were covering some of our views.










So, we decided to head down to see the falls. It was a fairly easy walk to the base of the falls. On the way, we saw different views of the falls.









There were some people swimming and we tried to touch the water, it was freezing cold. We decided to continue and do the falls loop hike. 









On the way, we passed by the creek and the signs showing that there are rainbow trout in the water. Each person is only allowed 2 trouts per day. 




Then we had to cross a wooden bridge to continue the hike.









On the way, we saw a lizard and a squirrel.




Finally, we reached the end of the falls loop hike and could see the waterfalls closer. Then, we turned and made our way back to the base of the waterfalls.






Day 2 -- Santa Barbara, CA

07/03/2017 Monday Itinerary: Santa Barbara - Mission Church and downtown Dinosaur Caves Park Piedras Blanca Seals Rookery (was on our p...