Last year a couple friends and I drove up from the South Bay (California), across the Golden Gate Bridge, and found ourselves at Stinson Beach for a nice hike. The hike was absolutely amazing and included a bunch of almost dried up streams. I knew I wanted to go back when there was more water. It's been pretty rainy here the past couple weeks and knowing that I was actually home this weekend I decided this would be the *perfect* time to repeat the Stinson Beach hike.
For this hike we did a 7.1 mile round trip climb (1,600ft elevation gain) from Stinson Beach, up the Matt Davis Trail to Pantoll Campground, and then down the Steep Ravine Trail to the Dipsea Trail and finally back to the car. The trail starts in a wooded forest of greenery, continues along numerous rivers and streams, juts out into the open California coastline with Pacific Ocean views, and then enters back in the jungle with ferns, Redwood Trees and lots of water. The trail was pretty muddy thanks to all the rain. To me, this trail was like a California version of Hawaii: lush, green, lots of vegetation, ferns, water, and just beautiful hiking.
When we arrived it was foggy and cloudy and we were a bit disappointed we wouldn't see blue sky. On the other hand, I knew this would make photography much easier. However, as we started hiking the fog burnt off and by the time we got to the waterfalls the sun was out and the light was harsh. I stopped at a number of waterfalls and tried taking pictures but each time harsh light killed the photo. I finally found this little guy just above a much larger waterfall (still pretty small in terms of waterfalls, but it was about the biggest on the hike). It was pretty shaded and the sun wasn't too harsh for the photo, aside from the giant glare off the rock. I used a polarizer to cut even more of the glare but some of it was just too harsh. Still, came out pretty nice, doncha think?!
Nikon D700 w/Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED AF-S:
48mm, f/13, 1.0 sec, ISO 400
B+W Circular Polarizer