GLEN EDEN TRAIL April 29, 2001
With my car having problems, I rode with my buddy Rex, happy and pleased to do a drive for Cow Mountain (3,975'), just west of Ukiah, CA. We motored past Clear Lake, with prominent Mt. Konocti (4,299') rising on the middle of the south shore. We had done this peak a couple times (seen here in the photo left, above Clear Lake, in the afternoon on our way home), too. The view is one of the best, with Clear Lake sprawling out below.
Driving a few miles west past the town of Upper Lake, CA along Highway 20, we turned left (south) on signed Scotts Valley Road. This winding, paved road leads in about three miles to the signed, gravel parking for this Glen Eden Trail. This is part of the Cow Mountain Recreation Area.
Starting at 9:49 a.m., we took the good, wide trail through oak forest, then chapparal, to a good dirt road. With no signs there, we figured it best to head (left) northwest along this road, the rough direction of the range highpoint. I had no good maps, since this trail appears new, and I was unable to contact the BLM with the short notice for this trip.
Coming to gates and signed private property, we were able to continue on the signed Glen Eden trail to more roads and some views of the mountain. While ridges seemed to lead directly to the peak, apparently access is not allowable this way. Seeking to get a good work-out, we followed the Glen Eden Trail, with beautiful oak trees and stands of flowers here and there. The trail descended some 800 feet to a creek, with picnic tables. As we rested, a large wild pig appeared, with a piglet. It sniffed about, and I shot several telephotos. It spotted us, then shortly trotted off.
Following a faint section of trail, we came to hop across another small creek, and then the trail grew more distinct. It climbed steadily, as a wide track, up to another long ridge named the Mayacmas Mountains, and crosses an excellent dirt road, reached at about 2:10 p.m. This junction is signed, with trail mileages. Up some 1,100 feet from the low point at the picnic tables, we topped a bump, about 3,100' elevation, then gained some views of Ukiah to the west. The relief is small, so it wasn't real spectacular.
A sign stated 7 miles to this point. An equestrian stated that it was some three miles more to the peak. Too much for us. We could return someday using the excellent dirt road, and then do the top. I wasn't impressed by this summit, but our hike was good conditioning. We had food and/or water, and began down at 2:40 p.m.
Back to the picnic tables, I picked off the third and fourth ticks we had seen today, while gathering up some litter. Lyme disease is confirmed prevalent here, so we had our socks over our pants cuffs, making a seal of sorts. Wear light colored clothing to more easily spot the pests.
The cool breeze helped the 800 foot climb back over the first ridge. We regained this view (left) of Cow Mountain, and then we followed the road a bit, before taking the trail back down to the car. Back at 6:19 p.m., we motored again along the shores of Clear Lake before a quick meal at Williams, CA.
Our stats were some 14 miles round trip, with some 3,500' gain.
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