LaHonda Creek Open Space with the caveat “designated trails only” was suddenly on the webpage for Dogs! Lower LaHonda had not interested me as it was described as farmland and meadow, inhabited by cows so the fact that Tucker wasn’t allowed didn’t bother me. Stretching from ocean to foothills, near Pescadero it is rolling hills and flatland. But Upper LaHonda, where the "designated trails only" are, is in my heart’s neighborhood—right off Skyline Blvd in the redwood forest. I applied for a permit (first time I’ve had to do that for hike anywhere; it feels quite official), received my parking pass and Tucker and I were set for our weekend hike.
The trailhead wasn’t directly off Skyline Blvd. My trusty steed had to negotiate some bumpy and steep terrain on narrow dirt roads to find the entrance. Along the way, there were mansions, these massive abodes looking like they had been carried by a tornado from their Beverly Hills location and set down neatly in a small clearing in the forest. There was no traffic. There didn’t even seem to be any people in the houses.
The final road in the directions ended abruptly with a gate. I needed to unlock the gate, get in, then lock ourselves in and continue to the parking area. However, had we just hiked here, we could have just walked through the pedestrian gate unhindered... or just walked around both gates.