Orestimba Wilderness
(climbing the Rooster's Comb)

15-19 Apr 2003 - by Jack bowers and micheal Cadigan

After filing our 1040's & 540's ,we rendezvoused at Steve Campbell's house in San Jose. Micheal's truck took us up to the Ranger Station of Henry Coe S.P. The rangers wished us well and charged only $16 for our hiking & parking permit. We hiked down to China Hole and through The Narrows to camp further up Coyote Creek.

On Wednesday, we passed the last house trailer and began our first big climb up the fire-road over Bear Mtn. At County-Line road, we headed north thru the private property. We were fortuate to only encounter the friendly land-owners. They told us they had come from Montana and drove in from Patterson. They were so friendly that they ran after us to make sure we took the right trail. Rain began falling very lightly as we finished lunch and headed down Robinson Creek. The light rain didn't get us too wet but the wet grass saturated my boots. We had a fine dinner with corned beef and Tortellonni. Then, we rested peacefully as the rain pattered on our tents.

Day three dawned with a little sun as I wrang out my sox. We even put on sunglasses as we moved closer to the Rooster's Comb side-trail. Two or three showers pestered us as we worked our way along the over-grown trail to the top of the hill. We enjoyed the view and the solitude as we noticed that it would be easier to carry our packs over R.C., but we had to go back and carry them around. At the peak, we found the only open Globe& Mariposa Lilies of our whole trip. After many more miles, we spent the night at Orestimba Corral. The coyotes seemed very close as they serenaded us.

On Friday,we hiked over two small hills and enjoyed lunch at Pacheco Camp. The Pacheco Trail was a riot of wildflowers until we made the big climb over Willow Ridge. As we approached Los Cruzeros campsite,we noticed the only campers we'd seen since leaving there 3 days before. After dark, a couple of cars went by way up on the hill. Their weekend had begun.

We spent about an hour drying our tents after another frosty night. Then we went back thru The Narrows and back to Park Headquarters. If we run this trip again, it will have a lay-over day at Robinson Creek.


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