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Arnold Trail Association Announces Guided Hike Schedules 2019

Written by Charlie Pankey

Explore and Enjoy this Ebbetts Pass Scenic Trail With Local Trail Experts

The Arnold Trail located off Hwy 4 just west of the Calaveras Big Tree State Park, is great location to explore the Western Sierra Region and experience a full moon sunset hike. The Arnold Trail Association leads several guided experiences each year and recently released a schedule of guided dates. Space is typically limited, but even if these dates are booked, the trail is worth exploring on your next visit to Arnold California or Ebbetts Pass Scenic Byway.

The Arnold Rim Trail is a non-motorized trail system designed for hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians. ART connects the many wonders of public lands along the Ebbetts Pass National Scenic Byway stretch of Hwy 4 to its communities, creating a high level of access for its residents and visitors. Trail Head Locations

Guided Nature Walks on Saturdays April 6th & 20th and May 4th & 11th

Join retired National Park Service Rangers Mary Anne Carlton and Nancy Muleady-Mecham as they share their extensive knowledge of the ecology and history of the Arnold Rim Trail and its environs. These gentlly paced walks meet at the Sierra Nevada Logging Museum in White Pines at 9 am, follow the paved ADA trail, and are about 2 miles round trip. Walks proceed rain or shine!

Mary Anne and Nancy are knowledgable, engaging, humerous, and love to teach!

“Get to Know Your Conifers” this delightful tree identifier walk with Mary Anne is on Saturday April 6th and Saturday May 4th. Learn everything you need to know about identifying trees in the Arnold area. 

“Arnold Rim Trail Natural History” join Nancy on Saturday April 20th and Saturday May 11th. Nancy has a wealth of knowledge about the natural history of the flora and fauna of our forest community. 

2019 Guided Sunset Hikes to Cougar Rock, scheduled near or on the date of full moon: May 18, June 15, July 14, Aug 11, Sept 13, Oct 12 Watch the sunset from the top of Cougar Rock on this intermediate hike led by members of the Arnold Rim Trail Association. Distance is about 4 miles total, with 900 feet of elevation gain. If you haven’t done one of these hikes, you owe it to yourself to join the fun. They are scheduled to be near the day of the full moon each month, and they are special!

1) This is an intermediate level hike with 900 feet of elevation gain, the equivalent of a ninety story building. We take plenty of time with frequent stops. That said, it is not a hike for beginners. Please assess your level of conditioning. If you would struggle with a ninety story building, even with stops, please take a few weeks of regular training to make yourself ready. It’ll be worth the investment! 

2) If this is your first time driving to the parking area, please do not approach on Valley View Drive from Avery Sheep Ranch Road. Instead approach by starting in Arnold and turning off Highway 4 onto Lakemont Drive, followed by a quick left turn onto Valley View Drive. More travel instructions are below.

3) Bring a headlamp or flashlight, bug repellent, a snack, water, and layers.

No sign-up needed, hike proceeds even if cloudy, but rain cancels. (And if the weather has been wet, please see caution below about road condition on the half mile dirt portion of Valley View Drive.) Bring layers, snack, water, bug repellant and flashlight as return hike is in the dark. If you sometimes use walking sticks, please bring them because about a quarter of a mile of the return downhill hike is rutted. 

Please arrive at the parking lot at least fifteen minutes before departure time for introductions (this hike attracts wonderful folks) and a brief orientation by the hike leader, as departure times are prompt:
May 18th, Saturday, arrive by 6:15pm, depart promptly at 6:30pm
June 15th, Saturday, arrive by 6:30pm, hike departs promptly at 6:45pm
July 14th, Sunday, arrive by 6:30, hike departs promptly at 6:45pm
Aug 11th, Sunday, arrive by 6:00pm, hike departs promptly at 6:15pm
Sept 13th, Friday, arrive by 5:15pm, hike departs promptly at 5:30pm
Oct 12th, Saturday, arrive by 4:30pm, hike departs promptly at 4:45pm
(Return to vehicles about three hours after departing.)

The parking area is at the intersection of Valley View Drive and 5N95Y. Drive 1.50 miles on Valley View Drive from the intersection of Lakemont Drive and Valley View Drive in Arnold. The first mile of Valley View Drive is paved, and the last 0.45 miles is dirt. Pay close attention to stay on the paved section of Valley View Drive and not get off on one of the side streets, because Valley View Drive curves around quite a bit during that first mile while it is paved. Please note there is no sign announcing that you have arrived at the parking area at the intersection of Valley View Drive with 5N95Y, but you will see the dirt road 5N95Y coming in from the right and also the parking area with picnic tables at that location.

Caution in wet weather: The last half mile of Valley View Drive is dirt and can be very slippery and muddy when wet, due to the clay nature of the soil. In fact, when slick and wet, it can be difficult for two-wheel-drive vehicles to climb back up the hill from the trailhead to the paved section of Valley View Drive after the hike, a hill that presents no difficulty whatsoever in dry weather.

Here’s a link to Google Maps that shows the drive from the intersection of Lakemont Drive and Valley View Drive in Arnold to the intersection of Valley View Drive and Forest Rte 5N95Y.

The GPS coordinates of the parking area:
North 38 degrees 13.171, West 120 degrees 22.707

Questions? Email Pictures of the sunset hikes are often posted to the ARTA facebook page. Navigate to “Arnold Rim Trail Association” in your Facebook search field.

Established in 2007, the Arnold Rim Trail Association (ARTA) is a group of community volunteers who work collaboratively with the Forest Service at the Hathaway Pines District Office to construct and maintain the Arnold Rim Trail as a one-of-a-kind Central Sierra Nevada recreational and educational resource. Working together, ARTA and Forest Service engage with local agencies, homeowners, and business associations. ARTA is under the umbrella of a local non-profit organization named Foothill Collaborative for Sustainability and can receive tax-deductible donations.

About the author

Charlie Pankey

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