61-Week Hiking Challenge (Week 19) – Irish Hills (Froom Creek and Poppy Trails)
This week Arleena and I wanted to revisit the trails of Irish Hills. This mountain range has several different routes to hike that it will take a few more trips to explore the entire area. Back in week 15 we ventured through Mariposa and King trails. This week we traveled along Poppy to Froom Creek.
We entered from the same location as before off of Madonna Road (we will try one of the other entrances next time) and started heading up like before on the Mariposa trail then followed the arrows to Poppy then Froom Creek.
On the map at the beginning of the trails, it appears we would be doing more climbing and traveling at the top of the mountain ridge. Instead we quickly went up and over into the creek / canyon between the mountain ranges traveling in the low-lying riverbed.
This hiking route we took was not so strenuous as our past conquests, but just as enjoyable. We saw several wildflowers, got to run a bit more then usual and had a pleasant conversation without huffing and puffing on our inclines.
This is a nice hiking route for beginners and children; however the one this I should note is the sign we saw after our return. The “beware of mountain lions” sign stating recent sightings. I think it’s time to invest in pepper spray or something else to ward off random wildlife that may come our way. The only animal we saw this time was this furocious black lizard.
The only wild animals I’ve ever come across in my hikes were rattlesnakes and coyotes (and that was in LA). What have you seen on your adventures?
Difficulty: 4 (out of 10)
Beauty: 7 (out of 10)
Distance: 5.12 Miles
Elevation Gain: 484’
Worth It? YES
Rating: 3 Stars (out of 5)
To get to the trailhead:From Nipomo, take the 101 North and exit at Los Osos Valley Road. Turn left and drive past Costco. At Madonna Road go left and take it a few blocks until it dead-ends. There’s easy parking at the park and make your way to the trailhead. There’s a map there to help you guide you.