Canyon Climbing


Last Sunday’s hike was a wake-up call. It was strenuous, but I wilted much too quickly all things considered. Disappointing.

Helaine and I have been on two long walks since. Today I went with Cousin Melissa to hike Bommer Canyon.

Taxing! I held up a little better, but still needed to stop a bunch of times.

Bommer Canyon was used for cattle ranching for over a century. It was acquired by the City of Irvine in 1981. The whole Bommer Canyon Park is 16,000 acres.

I made a Central Park comparison a few days ago. Here’s another. Bommer Canyon is twenty times the size of Central Park, or a little larger than ALL of Manhattan! Bommer is just one of many publicly owned large wilderness areas in the region.

Because the canyon area is so precious and fragile it’s mostly off limits to pepole. The third Saturday of each month the park and its trails are open. Even then it’s just for a few hours.

bommer-canyon-hikeMelissa and I set out from the Bommer Canyon Cattle Camp site and took the Ridge Route climbing around 600 feet in 1.7 miles. The path is well maintained and easy to follow. There is little shade. Even on this January day the sun was strong.

We passed families, other individual hikers and a lot of mountain bikers. Everyone was friendly and shared the trail. No dogs allowed, which is common in wilderness areas.

On the way down we took the East Fork. This 1.3 mile trail drops very steeply in the first 3/4 mile then levels out. I’m not sure I would have been able to reverse the route, climbing East Fork first. We took a lucky guess and won.

Because of my exhaustion the last time, I left “Clicky” home. The camera was cumbersome and added to my difficulties. All these shots were taken with my cellphone’s camera.

There’s a lot more to explore.

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