SUBSCRIBE | NEWSLETTERS | MAPS | VIDEOS | BLOGS | MARKETPLACE | CONTESTS
TRY BACKPACKER FREE!
SUBSCRIBE NOW and get
2 Free Issues and 3 Free Gifts!
Full Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
City:
State:
Zip Code:
Email: (required)
If I like it and decide to continue, I'll pay just $12.00, and receive a full one-year subscription (9 issues in all), a 73% savings off the newsstand price! If for any reason I decide not to continue, I'll write "cancel" on the invoice and owe nothing.
Your subscription includes 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Or click here to pay now and get 2 extra issues
Offer valid in US only.

Backpacker Magazine – April 2000

Treasure In San Francisco's Backyard

More than 200 preserves, parks, and other protected wildlands lie within 40 miles of San Francisco, exceeding Yosemite National Park in size, biodiversity, and visitation.

by: Galen Rowell


The public, driving on this scenic highway past pristine forests and meadows with their windows rolled up, tends to think that parks and trails just happen. First, some sort of democratic majority votes them in; then come the impersonal signs that say "Park Entrance" or "Trail Crossing."

We know different because we discovered the individuals who made a difference to our own personal experience. We came across their names on trails and monuments. We read their stories from books we brought with us on the trail, and from displays in places like Muir Woods. We sensed how their adventures in rugged wildlands created a strong bond with the natural world, one that led them toward stewardship. They, too, must have emerged from the deep coastal forest soaking wet and muddy, only to get strange looks in the restaurants of nearby Stinson Beach.

As we drove back through the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in heavy rain, I wondered aloud how long it would take the people of the Bay Area to care enough to build the dozens of uncompleted links needed to create the Ridge Trail. Would it be a year, 10, or never? Neither Thom nor Jerry answered. Their eyes and hearts were still outside of our warm vehicle, following the misty ridges and valleys where we had so recently moved under our own power, generating our own warmth and world view.

I thought about how a landscape, once you've walked through it, is never the same again. When the Ridge Trail is completed, I hope I'm still able to shoulder a pack and experience the whole 400 miles.

Galen Rowell is an adventure photographer and writer. His 1977 book, Bay Area Wild, expands on his conservationist views. Signed copies are available from his Web site, www.mountainlight.com.




Subscribe to Backpacker magazine
Sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter
Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
City:
State:
Zip:
Email (req):

Reader Rating: -

ADD A COMMENT

Your rating:
Your Name:

Comment:

My Profile Join Now

Most recent threads

The Political Arena
PTB time is upon us, agree?
Posted On: Aug 30, 2014
Submitted By: Bass
Trailhead Register
Arctic grayling won’t receive federal protection
Posted On: Aug 30, 2014
Submitted By: TravisNWood
Go
View all Gear
Find a retailer

Special sections - Expert handbooks for key trails, techniques and gear

Check out Montana in Warren Miller's Ticket to Ride
Warren Miller athletes charge hard and reflect on Big Sky country, their love for this space and the immense energy allotted to the people who reside in Montana.

Boost Your Apps
Add powerful tools and exclusive maps to your BACKPACKER apps through our partnership with Trimble Outdoors.

Carry the Best Maps
With BACKPACKER PRO Maps, get life-list destinations and local trips on adventure-ready waterproof myTopo paper.

FREE Rocky Mountain Trip Planner
Sign up for a free Rocky Mountain National Park trip planning kit from our sister site MyRockyMountainPark.com.

Follow BackpackerMag on Twitter Follow Backpacker on Facebook
Get 2 FREE Trial Issues and 3 FREE GIFTS
Survival Skills 101 • Eat Better
The Best Trails in America
YES! Please send me my FREE trial issues of Backpacker
and my 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Full Name:
City:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
State:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions