cold canyon

It’s been a pretty rainy week. Today there was a break in the rainy weather, so after Sunday service I decided to try to go and do something outdoors. I ended up just going to Cold Canyon to hike on my own. I’ve been there numerous times but for some reason I don’t have a blog post about any of my hikes out there, so I guess I’ll write one.

Cold Canyon is the closest legitimate hike that I can think of. It’s a little over half an hour away, just west of Winters. The trailhead is right below Monticello Dam, the dam that holds back Lake Berryessa.

Surprisingly there was a lot of cars at the trailhead parking lot. I guess I wasn’t the only one who wanted to get outdoors after being cooped up because of the rain.

The Cold Canyon hike is a nice loop up to the top of a ridge. From the top of the ridge there are nice views of Lake Berryessa.

The trail gains a decent amount of altitude pretty quickly. Despite it being pretty cold out, I was sweating profusely.

It’s a good time of year to go hiking. The trees still have some colored leaves left in them. In a few more weeks they’ll all be gone and the trees will be all barren and sad.

I was hoping to get a sunset shot from the top of the ridge. But by the time I got high enough to see the sun, the clouds had rolled in and the skies were all gray.

The trail at the top of the ridge is pretty fun, there’s some rocks that you need to scramble over. From here you can often see eagles. I brought my heavy telephoto lens to try and get some pictures of eagles in flight, but there were none out today. So I ended up carrying all that heavy glass for nothing…

First view of the lake from the top of the ridge. This is a nice place to take a rest and grab a snack. I should’ve brought some wine like Mr Chieh used to do on these short day hikes…

Playing around with my camera. I can spend all day hiking alone as long as I have my camera with me…

I love my lens, it’s really an awesome lens for hiking. It’s wide enough for that stupid feet + view shot that’s way overdone.

But zooms in relatively close too, and with the constant 2.8 aperture it’s useful in a ton of situations. And the weather sealing comes in really handy when hiking.

A view of the trail going up to the last ridge.

The view from that last ridge is my favorite. The lake’s a lot closer from here, and there’s a nice view of highway 128 that snakes its way near the lake. One of these days I’ll get a sunset shot from here. Too much cloud cover, so unfortunately today wasn’t the day.


It looked like the rain running off the hill had flattened all the grass. Thankfully the trail hadn’t washed out too badly.

It was pretty muddy and slippery on the way down. At this point I packed away my camera and grabbed my trekking poles from my pack along with my headlamp. I got back to my car just a bit after dark. The sun goes down really early nowadays– it wasn’t even five yet, but it was pretty dark.

Things I’m thankful for:

  • Gore tex hiking shoes– I’ve had these for a while, but lately I haven’t been using them much, I’ve been mostly using minimalist trail running shoes lately. I’ve forgotten how much better good hiking shoes are, especially in crappy trail conditions.
  • A decent hike right in our backyard. The land is actually owned by UC Davis– so I guess technically it’s on campus?

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