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Hiking Stats as of 11/21/2018
Total Trips:
Total Distance:
Total Elevation Gain:
 325
 3,891.68 miles
 1,060,050 feet

Oct 22, 2015 - Sierra Hill

 

Partners: (None)

Distance: 5.15 miles

Elevation Gain: 1,337 feet

Trip Time: 1:52

Maps and Stats:
I was in Monterey for a conference, and with the session getting out at 5 PM I had a couple of hours of daylight available to hike. Using Lists of John and Peakbagger, I came up with Sierra Hill (more correctly Cerra Hill, at some point the name was incorrectly changed on the maps and stands as such today). The peak is accessed via newly public lands, with the former Brazil Ranch being acquired for public use. There is nothing advertising the existence of this trail, only my research informed me of this little gem.

I parked just off Highway 1 and went through the signed public TH. The trail follows a paved road for maybe 1/5 of a mile before a turnoff sent me on a nice trail which switched back and forth a few times before heading very steeply up the ridgeline. From the start the views of the setting sun and the Pacific Ocean were fantastic, giving me something to watch as I made my way up. I soon came across a gate, although there were no signs indicating that I should not continue. I was racing against the clock, with the sun getting low in the sky as I hit the main ridge. At that point I had probably covered slightly more than half the distance but virtually all of the necessary gain, as the top of the ridge was very gentle.

Along the way I made an easy side trip to Heath Benchmark, marked on my topo but by no means a peak, as I descended a few feet to find it. From there I got my best sunset shot, and thinking that I might lose the light before getting to Sierra Hill, took some pictures of the ocean and Point Sur. I got back on the trail, passing through another gate before arriving at the very broad summit area of Sierra Hill. I marched around on top, finding the highest grass and got some not-so-great pictures while up there. About 20 minutes later I needed to pull out my headlamp, as darkness set in. I could see the circulating beacon at Point Sur, but soon I would have to focus on where I was going with darkness fully around me. It was an easy retracing of my steps back to my car, and an uneventful 30 minute drive back to Monterey.

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