As the name of this hike would imply, there's first a lot of downhill, then a long uphill, then back down that uphill, and up the first long downhill.....so what I'm saying is, you are either going down or up on this one.
You can see the summit above Brian's head.
Below, we are now heading up North Peak, looking back at the summit. If you follow the ridge line down the left from the summit, you'll see Devil's Elbow rock sticking out.
We live straight out from that quarry down there...you can see our house, and all 3 of our schools in that shot.
Ok, so Sophie was in street flats w/no tread, and Emma's ankle (she sprained it a few months back and was on crutches for 3 weeks) was hurting. You can see how close we are to the towers in the below pic, they are just at the top of that rock...but as soon as the trail bends behind those rocks, it's nearly straight up, like hands and knees going up and butt sliding back down...which none of us really wanted to do. (Brian and I have both done it before, but the kids looked at it and all said "No Way!", and we have some pretty adventurous kids). So we turned around up by that second power pole.
If you are curious...the trail that goes back up to the Summit kind of angles across the peak you're looking at, from bottom right, to upper left. Devil's Elbow is that rock sticking up a few hundred feet down from the summit, on the left of the peak. The trail goes to it, then around the front of the mountain, and up to the summit. You can't access the summit from the side you are looking at, all trails accessing it are on the other side of the mountain (which we call the front side, so you're looking at the back side).
Brian wanted to check out this little trail.
They talk nonstop on hikes, it's a great time to learn more about what they think about/what's going on in their lives. Myles especially has no off button and will talk your ear off. Brian is probably learning why the mountain isn't a good habitat for sloths....which he talks non stop about.
Those two crack me up. Myles has suddenly gotten really into throwing the football w/Papa....Papa isn't into sports at all, and doesn't love throwing a football (mama does love it), but he loves that his boy wants to play catch all of a sudden, so he does his best.
They are each so cool, in their own individual way! I love these kids!
Random back-lit bush. It was prettier in real life.
We've looped back around to the front side of the mountain, which faces San Fran. It's usually too foggy to see the San Fran Bay, but not on this day.
Sophie leading us down the home stretch. This is a tough hike if you haven't been hiking and are out of shape (me). It's not long, only about 4 miles, but it's got a lot of climbing/downhill. It is totally worth it, though. On a clear day, you can't beat the views! You can't get lost, it's just Summit Trail to North Peak Trail, go till it (or you) stops, and turn around and go back.