I decided to check this trail out since I was in the mood for a short hike and this one was on my wishlist. I also liked the idea of a hike at the beach because it was so different from what I have been doing. My son Brandon and I started out for this hike a little later than normal because I knew the parking lot didn’t open until 9. Traffic was pretty good which is amazing because spending 26 miles on the 91 freeway can be hit or miss when it comes to good traffic conditions. Ten points for us!
When you get to the parking lot you pull a ticket that allows you entrance to parking. The ticket is stamped with your time of arrival and you pay when you leave. The first thirty minutes is free and the rates go up to twelve dollars depending on how long you stay. I can’t imagine only ever spending thirty minutes here. If you are running maybe but who wants to run past all the gorgeous scenery and risk injury on the rocks? Mostly I just don’t condone running unless I am being chased by a wild animal or something…but moving on.
I was fully prepared to spend all day here taking in the views and waiting around for the lowest possible tide so that I could try to capture the sea creatures that live in the tide pools here. Unfortunately, we found that the area for the tide pools is closed even in low tide due to a rock slide area. Now I am sure we could have stuck around for low tide and been like one of the many dog owners who ignored the signs about no dogs on the beach, but I have the tendency to be a bad luck magnet. After picturing a rock falling and smacking me in the head like some cartoon at the exact moment of my decision to risk it and check out the pools. Shaking my head from this terrible image we decided to head back to the car.
The way back was very up hill but didn’t suck too terribly much. Advice for fellow hikers about hilly trails. If you find yourself on a trail only wide enough for one person remember that the person going downhill should be the one to stop and step to the side. Going uphill requires momentum and it is a lot harder to get it back when you have to stop. This was advice that one of the teachers gave during my hike with my son’s hiking club. It stuck with me because I though it was such good practice. Unfortunately not many people seem to have this in mind so I thought I would share it in hopes that it would spread to even one other person.
This “hike” was not short enough to make the free parking limit and not long enough for me to feel good about paying six dollars. I am not saying that you shouldn’t check this place out. I just would have done things a bit differently had I known what I do now. For example, there is a longer trail pretty much next door to this one. Paintbrush Trail to Portugese Bend is a 5.9 mile trail right next to this one. Had I been prepared for a longer hike I would have started with that one and ended at the Cove. Unfortunately, I was feeling pretty lethargic and just simply couldn’t hang for more mileage so I opted to leave and eat unhealthy snacks the entire car ride home instead. Priorities.
At some point I will make it back to check out the Paintbrush Trail. The moral of this story is the views are great here and worth checking out but it is more of an outing than a hike.
Until next time…happy trails!