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Sierra Club Gaviota Cave Bushwhack
updated: Jan 27, 2014, 2:14 PM

By Robert Bernstein

This past Saturday our Sierra Club hike went to the Gaviota Caves... but not in the usual way! Half of this hike involved rock scrambling and bushwhacking!

There was a fire ten years ago at Gaviota that opened up this route. But the vegetation is growing back pretty thick, making for some serious bushwhacking! And although the hike is not long in miles, it is quite steep in places, with plenty of rock hopping.

The rock scrambling allowed us to visit some of the less-known wind caves on the way up. Then we went cross country through sometimes thick brush to get to the main trail. Then we returned via the better-known caves on that main trail.

Here are my photos!

Young Raphael enjoyed the freedom to run ahead and do his own exploring!

And new arrival Erik did his own exploring high above where most of the rest of us ventured!

We had a diverse group of fifteen people and we took a moderate pace to accommodate everyone. One person even opted to go up and back on the trail rather than doing our crazy bushwhack! We aim to provide an experience that is enjoyable and comfortable for all!

On the walk back on the service road we encountered a small garter snake on the pavement. I gently picked it up and relocated it to the side to keep it safe.

By the way, this is usually the start of tick season. But the dry weather has reduced the threat for now. Still, it is always a good idea to check yourself for ticks any time you are in brush like this!


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