Hiking Panoramic Hill

by Kelli H. on January 6, 2014

How was your weekend?
Mine was wonderful!

It started out with yoga (first class in over a year!) on Friday night with David and our friend Jeff. After yoga David and I were starving so we hit up Sushiko right by our gym. We had miso soup, both ordered our own rolls, and another to share. It was SO delicious and felt so good to have sushi. It had been since July! Way too long in my opinion. Once we got home we opened a bottle of 2000 Geyser Peak Cabernet that I’d snatched from my parents collection. They have a lot of wine just sitting that is getting way too old. We first opened up a bottle of 2003 Kendall Jackson Pinot Nior Reserve that was totally rancid. I had a feeling it would be since pinot’s don’t usually age well. The color was so off, the aroma was so sweet, and the taste was so bitter. After dumping that bottle down the drain we moved onto the cab which worked out well. It had to open up a bit but once it did it was enjoyable. We drank a couple glasses while watching Season 2 of American Horror Story, which I am completely obsessed with. Seriously, the show is so good!

David and I had been planning on doing the Panoramic Hill hike that Sarah had posted a couple months ago. When she posted it I was so set on doing it. We’ve never hiked in the East Bay and we don’t travel that way much, so it was quite the adventure! I mapped it out and it only took about an hour to get to the trail head. We started the morning off with a pot of banana oatmeal and homemade latte’s for the drive. We stopped at Safeway to pick up sandwiches, made a stop at the gas station and we were on our way around 9:45. Unfortunately, I shouldn’t have drank the latte because I ended up having to pee the entire hike! There were no bathrooms and it was way too crowded to pop a squat.

We were pretty lucky with parking and had no problem finding a free spot near the trail head. David and I were surprised how many people were on this hike. Not only that there were so many people but that they were hiking in jeans and sandals. I realize it’s the beginning of the year, it was a beautiful day in the low 70’s but this hike is pretty intense. Right away it’s a vertical climb. Pretty much immediately you have great views of the bay. It also gets your heart racing and we both had to shed our sweaters.

Ryder was pretty winded too though nothing slows down that kid. We were also surprised that no one leashed their dogs on the hike. We were literally the only people with their dog on a leash. We did end up taking Ryder off the leash for a while once we got about 2 miles deep into the hike and less people were around.

The hike to be honest was pretty difficult in the beginning. There were a lot of uphill climbs that were very very steep. So steep in fact that sometimes I thought I’d slide backwards, and David even did once when one mans dog tried playing with Ryder on the trail and almost knocked him down. It was kind of scary! We also felt the need to keep Ryder on the leash because we were worried he’d run down the sides which were practically vertical drops.

We were amazed by the views of this hike. I used to think hiking Mt Hood in Kenwood or St. Helena had great views, but they don’t really compare to these views. The one thing that saved us on this hike worth mentioning was that we downloaded a GPS map from Everytrail.com with our route. We ended up going off route twice but we quickly realized and got back on track.

Our favorite parts of the hike were the views and that we could bring Ryder. It was also really nice to try out some new hikes outside of Sonoma County. Our least favorite part was that when we made it over by Grizzly Peak near Tilden Regional Park the trail started following the road which was really loud and had broken glass everywhere. It was pretty sad how much glass there was. We think people must throw their bottles down below them where the trail is from high up on the road. Not only did it make it dangerous for Ryder but it ruined the scenery. That was the worst part of the hike. Another complaint was that we didn’t see any signs on this hike! Without our handy GPS on our phones we totally wouldn’t have had a clue as how to make this hike the 6.7 miles it claims to be.

Since we waited a little too long to eat our sandwiches we couldn’t find a good place to stop. We decided to just eat them while we hiked. They were so satisfying at this point since we were starving! I finished mine right before we got to our final climb back up to the busy area. The end of the hike had us go a totally weird way that seemed completely off trail, down a really steep hill, and through dense trees, but it was kind of fun!

We were happy to get back down to the bottom and see the sign at the entrance. I believe our total mileage was about 6.12 and it took us about 2 1/2 hours. We were pretty beat after that. We drove back over the Richmond Bridge and made a stop at David’s new office. He starts his internship today but we wanted to scope it out and see where he needed to go.

Once we made it home it was shower time! It was well deserved. Ryder was passed out exhausted! I always love when I know he had so much fun that he’s pooped. I made an extremely long grocery list and made my favorite new dinner, which I’ll be sharing on the blog this Friday. We finished the night by watching the last episode of American Horror Story.

Sunday was household chores, blogging, and making a new appetizer recipe for the Niners WIN against the Packers! Wooohooo!! All in all I’d say it was a completely successful weekend. I’m completely sore from yoga and the hike (& my 4 days of running last week), but I’m excited for a new week ahead!

Have a great week!

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Kristine @ Vine to Wind January 6, 2014 at 6:39 pm

It was SO beautiful this past weekend, I couldn’t get enough! Now for some snow in Tahoe 🙂 I’m going to my first yoga class of 2014 today – can’t wait!


Meghan January 7, 2014 at 12:15 am

That sounds like a lovely hike, and I LOVED that season of American Horror Story, though the first is still my favorite!


Made in Sonoma January 7, 2014 at 9:40 pm

So far I’ve like season 2 the most, then 1, and now 3…we’ll see how it goes!


Nicole @ Foodie Loves Fitness January 7, 2014 at 4:29 am

Pretty photos! The views look great. I’ll have to see how far this hike is from me in South Bay. Hiking and yoga sounds like my typical weekend workout regimen! 🙂


Made in Sonoma January 7, 2014 at 9:39 pm

It’s definitely a good hike!


Jenna Griffin January 7, 2014 at 4:43 pm

Beautiful photos! Sounds like your year is getting off to a great, healthy start! I need to follow your lead! 😉


Made in Sonoma January 7, 2014 at 9:39 pm



Sarah Cook January 8, 2014 at 11:32 pm

Wow, I guess I’m kind of glad we didn’t end up doing the entire hike! The broken glass sounds like a real bummer, especially with Ryder. Sorry about that!

We did go over the steep parts which was a little crazy but it made for a great workout. Definitely not a good place for pup to play though. And you had to pee the whole time! Ugh.

Your weekend looked perfect!


themexigarian January 27, 2014 at 6:32 pm

The hike sounds intense, but fun. I really want to get Lando out on the trails with me. Unfortunately, the park I run in doesn’t allow dogs so I have to find other trails. Looks like a good hike though 🙂


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