|View from Rocky Ridge|
The main trailhead is under a row of cypress trees which appear to have been planted along an old rough cut wooden fence adjacent to the highway as though to provide a windbreak, suggesting some agricultural history. I began by hiking up Soberanes Canyon Trail.
|Redwoods along Soberanes Creek|
The scrubby, open, hillsides along the lower section of the canyon trail host a diverse mixture of chaparral type vegetation which includes some non-native species. Especially conspicuous is the Prickly Pear cactus which catches your eye as it thrives and dominates some of the open slopes. This species is known to have been introduced by the early Spaniard settlers; ostensibly for its esthetic value, as the plant has no known practical uses. The trail continues winding along the creek with only mild elevation changes, and soon you can spot a very definite forest “edge”. An area where there is an abrupt change into or out of a wooded area. As you go deeper into the canyon, you discover a very nice riparian habitat with a contiguous grove of tall trees lining the course of the creek, with a shady canopy overhead. Redwood and other conifers are among the mix. Soon the grades begin to get steeper, and in some places there are washed out earthen steps, and badly eroded trail sections, which require cautious footing. After climbing higher, the trail begins to leave the cover of this beautiful wooded creek.
Click here to see my photoset