We accessed the Section 16 trailhead by heading west on hwy 24, left on 21st, and then right on Gold Camp Road. There were a group of trail maintenance volunteers working so the parking area was full and we had to park a bit further down the road. Thanks to trail maintenance volunteers!!!
This was a never ending climb up the side of the mountain. We had to stop and catch a breather several times. My husband is on a heart medication that doesn't allow his heart to speed up and he was having quite a bit of difficulty with that. The trail is a very pretty hike through the forested mountain though. Some parts of the trail are quite rocky. It was on this trail that we realized that a mountain trail rated moderate by some guy on the internet could be difficult. Not only was the "internet guy's" rating subject to his personal traits (24-year-old seasoned hiker vs 50 plus in so-so shape), but that lengthy mountain hikes require a certain amount of physical conditioning even for an easy hike. Moderate hikes are moderate because there are other mountain hikes can be exceedingly difficult.
The walk down the mountain was exhilarating because we had earned it! Read that our endorphins definitely kicked in!!
Felt good at the finish. We are starting to realize that most of the trails here start with a climb up a mountain and end with great satisfaction. (-; At the bottom the trail split -- we went right where it joined a dirt road that ran along side a small bubbling creek bed. There were some nice flowers and butterflies along side the road.
The dirt road brought us back to Gold Camp Road where we hiked up the hill to our car. We enjoyed the hike and are becoming addicted to the joy of hiking. We will return when our butts are in better shape and they surely will be if we keep this up.