Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Hiking in Toro Park Part I

I'm still working through the photos that I took while hiking in Toro Park last Friday. In spite of having my camera on the wrong setting which resulted in a number of rather washed out photos, there are still too many for one post. Thus, I'm going to do 2 posts, one concentrating on general scenery and the other on wild flowers. Today's post is about the general scenery since I'm still identifying some of the wild flowers.

Part way up the East Ridge trail looking towards the Salinas Valley. The fog which had the entire area socked in until mid morning is now confined to the valley in the shot above.

There's a lot of Manzanita on the East Ridge Trail. This one is putting on a fair display of its red somewhat contorted branches.

A rather weathered specimen of Manzanita hanging off the side of the trail.

Higher up in the park on the Toyon Ridge Trail.

Looking towards the Monterey Peninsula. Highway 68, the main route between Salinas and Monterey can be seen. The peninsula is still shrouded by fog.

This part of the park is rather well fertilized. Fortunately, the locals don't find the wild flowers to be tasty.

This hillside sports a lovely sprinkling of Shooting Stars and Johnny Jump Ups.

Johnny Jump Ups putting on a nice show.

Near our goal, looking back down the trail. The Salinas Valley is on the other side of the peak.

We made it! Eagle Peak, elevation 1,607 feet. That was 1,400 feet of climbing.

Looking toward the Santa Lucia Range. A bit of Carmel Valley Village can be seen on one of the slopes.

Looking a little more to the west, Pinyon Peak and the top of Garland Ranch Regional Park (where I usually hike) are the next to last ridge visible.

Back in the other direction is a view of Spreckles and Salinas. The haze is the residual fog that hasn't burned off yet.

Down the Toyon Ridge Trail. The fog on the coast stayed for the entire day.


  1. What a beautiful park. The views are incredible.

  2. Very pretty! Love that manzanita!

  3. Stunning scenery on a perfect spring day! Thanks for showing us the pictures. I'm looking forward to the wildflower photos too.

  4. Love the CA coast fog, its ways are so mysterious unless you live there and know what to expect. Love your hike pics, can't wait to see more of the wildflowers!

  5. i am doing research on wild flowers/plants in toro park for a camp held in the park and wondering how you know those are douglas's violets. i cannot recall what we identified them as last week but it was not that.

  6. Wondering how you identified the yellow flowers as Douglas's Violets. I didn't think they grew this far north.

  7. Donka, I should have updated this post ages ago. These violas are more likely Viola pedunculata. Viola douglasii does grow this far north (according to Calflora), but it is found at elevations between 3500 and 7000 feet and has an affinity to serpentine soils. Viola pedunculata grows at elevations up to 3280 feet. From just looking at photos, the flowers look nearly identical, right down to the maroon splotches on the back.


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