Next in our series on Santa Clara County Parks is Ed Levin County Park, which is about a 20 minute drive east from our house in the Diablo Mountains. Ed Levin is also where there are a hang gliding and paragliding schools.
The main hiking trail in the area goes to the top of Monument Peak, which is also the upper launch zone for the gliders. As this is a training location, there are multiple launching areas at various heights up the mountain.
The photos I’m sharing were taken over two different attempts at making the peak. The first was me alone on a Thursday, and the second was Scott and I on the following Saturday. Unfortunately, we didn’t quite make it to the top, but we made it closer than we have in our prior trips. Our round-trip hike as 5 miles and involved more than 1200 ft of elevation gain. Unfortunately I don’t have detailed numbers as both of my tracking devices failed me!
As I reached the top of the first part of trail, I turned back to look at the lake.
Later in the year, all the grasses in this park will dry out. It is pretty green still, despite two weeks of dry warm weather.
The trail then comes to a gated section. The gates are to keep the cows in, when ranchers are using the parkland to paster their cows.
At the first launching area, a couple of paragliders check out the wind conditions.
At this time of year, the various wild flowers start blooming.
As I climbed higher, the view of the bay opened up.
At one point during my hike I was surprised by some cows.
Same location, different day!
Of course, one must take some requisite photos of paragliders.
After the cows, we turn upwards on the trail, 1.6 miles to the top. And way in the distance, you can see monument peak!
The view from our high point for the day – about 1 miles from the top.
Our requisite selfie – see how much closer Monument Peak is!
In this selfie, you can see the trail below us. Whenever we got to a treed section the trail went straight up – which meant that the most difficult parts of the climb where in the shade!
We took a different route down the lower part of the trail, that brought us through some rather pretty treed areas.
At one point we saw moma and a calf, who decided to follow us along the trail.
And some video clips of the hanggliders.