Even though I have a pretty good sense of direction, I tend to get lost easily when the trails aren’t marked clearly. So, I’ve been avoiding this hike because of the tangle of trails. But I saw the bunker icons and felt compelled to find them before my dad’s next visit. I think he’d love seeing them since he did his Army basic training here at Fort Ord.
This is right at the trail head. There are actually two paths parallel to each other. I suggest the one on the right, not the one we took because it was previously paved and is now breaking up. (Right about here, all three girls said they had to pee. I tried to assist them with peeing in the bushes, but not one of them did.)
Open and Free! This was where the trails split and I couldn’t match them to the map. The trails are mostly unmarked also.
So much poison oak!!
I did really like how open and sunny it is out there. The weather has been so dreary and cloudy and chilly, I’ll keep this place in mind (along with Carmel Valley) for some vitamin D. Too bad about the hideous power lines though. (Right about here, Eliza said she had to pee. Despite me spending several minutes helping her… not a drop.)
A grove of Live Oak…
There were some pretty wild flowers to be seen, and lots of these little critter burrows…
Lots of poison oak! Remember: “If it’s hairy, it’s a berry.” Also, poison oak has leaves of three and is shiny.
A great place to run! (This was right before yet another failed attempt at peeing in the bushes. And also one of them saying they needed to go #2! Which thankfully I was able to talk them out of. At this point, I had had enough and we turned around.)
I was disappointed to turn around before finding the bunkers because I was so determined to find them. But on the other hand, I was completely lost as to where we were on the map and figured it would be best to come back by myself and plan on spending several hours hunting for it. When I got home and looked at the map and discovered we hadn’t even gotten close, I was so glad we turned around when we did! (The blue is where we hiked, the pink is where I think the bunkers are.)
This is a picture on our way out, but I want to warn you that you will first drive through the CSUMB campus (for about a mile) and go through 6 stop signs and drive over 11(!) of these speed bumps.
My final note about this hike is: Good trails for running, skipping, and biking. We mostly saw mountain bikers, but I spotted two wild turkeys near the entrance! Maybe it’s a better activity to do with kids rather than hiking. But there’s still the issue of bathrooms. So, proceed with caution and an abundance of patience if you are going with little girls.
This is hike #54 from my Monterey Hikes list.
Hiking distance: 1-8 miles round trip
Configuration: interconnecting trails
Elevation gain: 100 to 400 feet
Difficulty: easy to moderate
Exposure: mostly exposed rolling hills
Hiking buddies: the girls
Would you do it again? Yes, but not with little girls.
Best for… people who know how to pee in the bushes