Garin regional park hike

Garin Park Sunrise Hike

Date: 14 June 2014

Duration: 4 hrs

Distance: ~5.0 miles roundtrip

Difficulty: Easy

Trail: Parking Lot -> Arroyo Flats -> Peak Loop Trail -> Arroyo Flats -> Parking Lot

Photos: here

Thanks to Shyam, Rajath, Vikas & Lakshmi for the surprise birthday cake! I will never forget this birthday.

This short sunrise hike will be one the most memorable hikes of all for me. It not only turned out be a very nice stroll in the wilderness but also my birthday party at the top of the mountain. A beautiful cake with my name on it was as big a surprise as that I gave when I stood at the front porch of my home in India without informing my parents last year.

Friday evening, I confirmed my fun scuba dive with Tropical Adventures for Saturday. I had no idea of the hidden agenda of the hike. When I told this to Shyam and Lakshmi they were taken aback and pretty furious. Having been absent for both my birthday and the weekend following that (Half Dome), they wanted to go on a hike. I was quite surprised by the determination for a hike. I thought of doing a short one & in the process thought of catching sunrise. Since Vikas was joining us, I was trying to find an easier all day hike but wasn’t able to. So sunrise hike at Garin meant, people had to leave by 4:15am. We had to reach the parking lot by 5am to be able to hike 2 miles in 45mins or so to catch sunrise at 5:45am. When none of them were home Friday night till 11pm, I was very skeptical about this hike. But at 4am when I woke everyone up, all of them were prompt and getting ready and heading out. Shyam drove us to Lakshmi’s place and from there Lakshmi drove us to the park. Garin Regional park sits high above the neighborhood of Hayward. The road to the entrance to this regional park is nestled with some artistic mansions. Some of them even have a separate guesthouse. We started the hike at 5:40am due to not finding parking spots near the entrance. Note that if you come earlier than gate open time (8:00am), you will have to park somewhere down the road (~0.5miles) in the residential area to avoid parking citations.

We took the Peak loop trail after some initial wandering to find the trail (arroyo flats). By 6am we were at the top. On the way to the top, Lakshmi was hinting that she had got baked leftover chocolate brownies for all of us. I was totally void to the plan that was already in motion with me being part of it without any knowledge. We stopped and found a nice place under the tree to gulp down all the brownies. I was flabbergasted and just gaped at the birthday cake with my name on it. It was soo awesome! One of the best surprises ever! Thanks Shyam, Rajath, Vikas and Lakshmi for this wonderful gift :-)

After finishing all the cake, we started our hike back to the car. It was wonderful to see the sunlight illuminate the city of Hayward below us. We were back by 8am completing the wonderful, memorable birthday celebration surprise sunrise hike :-)