Chalk Mountain Loop
ElevationAscent: 2,767' 844 m
Descent: -2,767' -843 m
High: 1,569' 478 m
Low: 18' 5 m
GradeAvg Grade: 6% (4°)
Max Grade: 54% (28°)
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“Good loop for training uphills and downhills.”— Forthright
About 40/60 shade versus no shade, so bring plenty of water -- especially if you do it on a warm day.
There are some sections that have enough steepness going down that you really do have to watch your speed and footing. But almost all of those sections don't have big drops or gnarly rocks and roots. There is enough grade (in steepness and length) that it can be worth bringing light poles to help you move faster uphill.
The first crossing of West Waddell Creek (if you're doing it clockwise) does not have a bridge, but is BEAUTIFUL. Depending on the time of year, it could be a mandatory to get your feet wet crossing. I did it on 7/12/2019 (18/19 was a big winter) and I was able to just barely make it across a shallow section dry with the help of poles. Maybe if you explored more upstream or down, or you were less allergic to poison oak, you could avoid this.
Great for a multisport day since the parking/start is in the same area as Waddell Creek Beach which is an awesome surfing and kiteboarding location depending on the part of the year.
Caltopo said my GPX file was roughly 16.5 miles, but it said 17.1 miles here when I submitted it, and now it's 16.9...
Drier foothill-like scrub to lush coastal redwood rainforest.
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Land Manager: California State Parks - Año Nuevo State Park