Hike Day With Friends – Shady Glen Trail
It’s a gorgeous day today and the rain has filled up one of our favorite places to hike as a family. Today Poppy and I met up with our friends Melinda and Jojo, packed our carriers, snacks, and water and headed out to the Shady Glen trail. We usually hike up to Little Yosemite, but we wanted to have a change of scenery–it’s so easy to get lost exploring here, and since both babes were in tow, I decided to take a less strenuous route this time.
While we got to catch up and check on our well-beings as mommies the last couple of months, Jojo and Poppy walked the first half hour as they kept themselves busy picking up sticks among other things. We parked in the back of the park, nearest the bridge that is the start of the hike up to Little Yosemite and trekked our way back toward the front and the entrance. The streams were flowing and the sun was so warm. Jojo and Poppy were holding hands reminding me how cute it is to be that little and so sweet at the same time–and Valentines Day is also coming up this weekend. This moment just made my Valentine’s Day with these two!
After collecting and throwing rocks over the bridge (a favorite habit we picked up every time we come here) we headed left after crossing toward the first trail post for Shady Glen. This trail is steep at first then mellows out with a ton of zig-zagging and narrowing parts that run into a little zen-like bridge and the infamous stairway to heaven. It literally looks like what I imagine a stairway to heaven to look like. Thank you amazing sunshine placement and photo-bombing Gus. By now the kids were exchanging snacks, my water bladder was now the community water supply, and we probably heard the phrase “want down now” more than a few times. But we hiked on and used landmarks ie: “Wait until we get past the bridge and then we can get out” or I can give you another snack at the big tree ahead”) as a way to extend the patience factor. It worked.
We continued up and over the stairway that led to an open valley and the second trail post to Middlefield Road, another trail that leads to the big green barn barn. Yea, this place has everything.
We ended up heading back the way we came, but on another secluded trail that runs along the streams we saw in the beginning. It was pretty overgrown with poison oak, and didn’t look frequented that much. There was a point where the trail ended right into the water (this section of the trail was underwater recently), so that meant we either had to go back where we began, or Moses our way to cross it.
Soaked shoes and pants, a wet dog, and 2.5 miles later we are back at the parking lot and Jojo and Poppy are visibly ready for their naps after a day of adventure. It’s always fun hiking with friends–even more fun when the kids can partner up and explore together. Can’t wait for next time!
What’s your favorite part about hiking with friends? Do you find any challenges when hiking with your kids in tow? Share them with us in the comments below.
For a more detailed description of the Shady Glen trail, check out the Sunol Regional Wilderness map on the trail page and don’t forget to log those miles if you’re participating in the trails challenge.