East Molera Trail to Post Summit

It was a perfect day for hiking - sunny, incredibly clear, and just warm enough to hit the trail in shorts. Here's the route we took. The trail starts on Highway 1 and crosses the east side of Andrew Molera State Park and then the turn-around point is just across the park boundary atop 3,455 foot Post Summit. Round trip is 9 miles and involves over 4100 feet of climbing with an average grade of about 14%, although that last mile is about a 19% grade. The views at the top are worth the effort, so let's go!

Here's Dave at the trail head. Parking is easy, there's usually a spot available in the turnout where the trail starts or in other turnouts nearby.

The trail starts off with a gentle climb through some oaks and then breaks out into open grassy or scrubby areas for the rest of the hike. Dave is way out in front as usual, he's fast out of the gate and I need some time to get warmed up before I find some zip. You can see the diagonal slash of the trail climbing the hill ahead.

Looking back after climbing just a few hundred feet from the highway (520 feet here) the view of the ocean is starting to expand.

Another 40 feet of climbing and the view expands even more. Highway 1 is visible just to the right of center and the unpaved Old Coast Road can be seen winding up and over the hill to the right of the highway.

Once you start climbing the trail up the first good hill it starts to get a bit brushy but is clear enough to continue hiking in shorts.

Ah, I think that our destination is finally coming into view. And there's Dave, a tiny speck of orange on the trail ahead on the left side of the photo (you may have to click on the photo for a larger view to see him).