Ryn Arnold's Photography Blog

Big Sur

Summer Is For Hiking: Tanbark Trail, Big Sur area, Ventana Wilderness on June 16, 2012

Mounds of Clover

Mounds of Clover, lower section of Tanbark Trail, Big Sur Area/ Ventana Wilderness on June 16 2012, kathryn arnold

Summer Is For Hiking

On June 16 2012, after stopping at the ranger’s station near Big Sur to inquire which trails were closed and after discovering Edwoldsen was still closed, and since Tanbark trail was recommended we got a late start (11:30 AM) up the trail.

The trailhead is on the land side of highway 1 across from Partington Cove. http://www.hikinginbigsur.com/hikemap.html

We first encountered a choice – to either hike on the right side of the creek or the left side. We selected the right side first but after scrambling through 2 rock slides and heavy brush determined to try out the left side of the creek.

Don't go this way (south side of creek)

Don’t go this way (south side of creek)

Below is an image of one of the rock slides.

Rockslide on south side of Partington Creek

Rockslide on south side of Partington Creek, blocks the trail

Instead select the trail to the left side of the creek.

The way to go

The way to go – Tanbark trail

This comes along with a clear sign designating the way.

Tanbark Trail Sign

Tanbark Trail Sign

Beautiful redwoods, clover, ferns dot the path along the creek transcending the hillsides. Little did we know that it would not remain as cool at the top as it was at the base – had we known we would have begun much earlier in the day with more water.

Hillside at Beginning of trail

Hillside at beginning of trail

Above and below are sample images of the surrounding landscape.

Creek and Clover

Partington Creek with clover mounds at beginning of Tanbark trail

Looking up there is indication of the 3.2 climb of 1400 feet which is attained through a variety of switchbacks through redwood forests and then later groves of what must be Tanbark Oaks. From what I have read, the tanbark oak is more like an evergreen beech tree.

Steep Hillside

Steep Hillside on Tanbark trail

The trail meanders upward through alternating full sun and shaded areas.

Along the way

Along the way on Tanbark Trail

There are wildflowers at everyturn as we hit the full sun sections of the trail which are filled with nonaggressive bees. Many times the flowers spread into the trail. The variety of flowers is quite extensive.

Flowers in open sun

Flowers in open sun, Tanbark trail

Columbines also fill the hillsides. Here is one that was close to the trail.

columbine growing everywhere

columbine growing everywhere

Continuing upwards for awhile now. The trail back down will also be somewhat steep.

Headed up

Headed up, June 16 2012, Tanbark trail

Along the upward journey, views of the ocean begin to appear.

climbing - with view of ocean

climbing – with view of ocean to remind of ‘why’

With each view we felt we must be almost there…but not!

view of pacific on the way up

view of pacific on the way up

Below is a photo of what may be the Tanbark oaks. The bark has peeled off many of them.

Tanbark Oaks

Possibly Tanbark Oaks, kathryn arnold

At the top the view is outstanding – one can see forever, it seems.

View from the top, south

how to see forever, view towards south, pacific coastline from top of Tanbark Trail, kathryn arnold

We may have missed the actual Tin House. Some fellow hikers were up there as well and they also did not know where it was. We did locate a large pile of rusted tin on the ground and assumed this was it. Since returning – I looked online and see actual images of a house.

View from the top, north view of coastline

View from the top, north view of coastline, kathryn arnold

The coastline is breathtaking.

Coastline, Pacific Ocean

Coastline (to the South) , Pacific Ocean from top of Tanbark Trail

The ranger had spoken to us about this Connector trail – it leads to an overlook of Edwoldsen Canyon and then if you wish, you could hike down. He warned of downed trees.

View from Connector Trail

View from Connector Trail, June 16, 2012, kathryn arnold

So this image displays a grand view of the Connector trail. There is a sign that directs you to traverse to the left to journey on.

Connector Trail to Edwoldsen Overlook

Connector Trail to Edwoldsen Overlook by kathryn arnold

Up at the top one has multiple decisions to make. One can head down using the road and then walk a mile back to the Partington turnout. We opted not as walking on Highway 1 felt precarious and journeyed back down the way we came up.

Heading back down with view of creek

Heading back down with view of creek by kathryn arnold

The sun had shifted and we arrived at the base by 5 PM.

Redwoods and Clover

Redwoods and Clover, June 16 2012, Tanbark Trail by kathryn arnold

The lighting took on a mesmerizing quality and as we entered the redwoods once again, it is as if someone had turned on the AC.

mound of clover, tanbark trail

mound of clover, tanbark trail, june 16, 2012, kathryn arnold

These are some photographs taken in the late afternoon.

Trip back down Tanbark Trail

Trip back down Tanbark Trail, natural AC by kathryn arnold

And here are some more.

Forest Floor

Forest Floor by Kathryn Arnold

And here is another.

Redwoods on Forest Floor

Redwoods on Forest Floor, Tanbark trail