Notes for Potential Hikers
We provide general information about Coe in our overview post. Based on this trip, here are a few additional notes.
We started our hike on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, and met three parties on bicycles and just two hikers on our first day. We didn’t see anybody on our next three days. Spring is the popular hiking season, and in the winter it is common to meet no other trail users on weekdays. In our area, weather forecasts are quite reliable and it is easy to find multi-day periods with perfect hiking conditions, even in the winter.
While California does not have the brilliant autumn colors found in eastern deciduous forests, there was still a wonderful autumnal feeling, with recently dropped leaves on the forest trails and the Black Oaks painting the woodlands with vast swaths of orange.
While the maximum altitudes in the park are low, the mountains are fairly steep, and daily altitude gain can easily be 4000-5000 feet. On this trip, our route included long stretches along ridge tops or valley floors, and that tempered the total gain. Our total gain was 11,200 feet, and our altitude ranged from 1100′ to 3000′.
We camped as high as was practicable each night; valley temperatures reported by a local weather station were in the mid 20’s at night. The ridge tops were about 10 degrees warmer. The two weather stations in the park are at Orestimba Creek and Cordoza Ridge.
Wild pig populations are growing again as park eradication projects have slowed down. We saw three on this walk, the first in the last several years of park visits.