Hiking California – Ho Chi Minh Trail
Ho Chi Minh trail is my favorite fun hike so far. I love the long treks to the top of some gorgeous view, like Mount Woodson, but this one was not just a hike. It’s more like scrambling up and down, in and out of crazy cool rock formations. These are smooth sandstone surfaces that we easily slipped on, but that created half the fun. There are a few trails side by side to choose from. Some seems fairly easy, more of a topside view. We chose to go into a deep narrow passage just to have little more to explore. It was tough in some places but absolutely worth it.
You might think you’re in the wrong place when you come into the neighborhood of gorgeous multi-million dollar homes. There is parking on the street and incredible homes to ooh and ahh over as you walk to the trail head. You walk down beside a fence and turn to the left before you’ll realize you are in the right place. That’s your first really cool view as you start making your way to the good part.
We came to a fork in the path. You could choose to jump across and go up to see the ocean from the top of the cliff or stay left to go through the sandstone to the beach. It was a beach day for us! This meant we had to cross a narrow plank to begin our decent. Both the husband and I had to jump a bit at the end for almost losing our balance.
Things get cool pretty fast after that. We passed some brush and had path until it opened up and we chose the narrow way. There was a bit of sliding and using our whole body to help shimmy between the two sides of sandstone. It’s gorgeous and smooth so be sure to stop and take it all in as you go. When we got to the end of the passage there was a really steep drop. We chose to not try it and went up instead. That took some effort too. I had the help of hubby getting up over the ledge where my legs hung into a crack on the opposite side. Then the kids each climbed up and I helped pull them over and they slide their way up to get to where the crack met. <—-This was awesome (also I love the family/team building aspect)
When we got almost to the beach there was a long, slick drop. Places that are a little muddy are super slick so watch out…this is one of them. There was a rope tied at the top and bottom that we could use to lower ourselves. The kids thought this was really cool and they did a great job getting down by themselves while I took pictures of them.
The beach was not busy at all and the waves were great. A perfect cool down after this short hike (less than half mile). This is the stuff that makes me adore California. The kids played in the water while the hang gliders soared over us. Beautiful beaches with some black sand and enormous cliffs as a backdrop. What’s not to love! If you walk north there is Black beach which is clothing optional. Fair warning to my parents. We walked south to check out the abandoned “mushroom house” It’s a pretty neat little house that has some sort of tram system that must have taken people from top of the cliff to the house. It’s private property but you can look around the outside.
We decided to take the road back up. It’s really steep and winding but there are restrooms on the road if you need them. There really wasn’t anything special on the way back up aside from getting a close view of the palace (I named it so you probably can’t google that). Otherwise taking the Ho Chi Minh trail back would be the more fun way back to the car.
All in all it was paradise. I can’t wait to pack a lunch and spend the day at this little hidden beach next time.