Google Earth is a free application that provides a remarkable aerial view. You can pan and zoom from campsite to water source, peak to valley. Features such as park and wildfire boundaries, roads, cloud cover and current snow pack totals can be displayed.
With a little computer savvy, users can calculate elevation gain and loss, display elevation profiles, see which campsite will receive the first morning sun or what stars will be overhead for an exact time and place.
The MODIS Fire Detections KML layer shows fires. Visit the main page here. This is satellite data that updates automatically. MODIS is 1 km resolution, so 1 km2 forms a cell. When a cell is ‘turned on’ (showing heat), there is a 50% chance there is fire within that cell. In other words, it’s also not very accurate.
The GeoMAC active fire perimeter KML shows large incidents, and their actual heat perimeter. This data is generally gathered by airplanes flying over the fires. Updates might not happen every day. While the GeoMAC layer is detailed, it might not be up to date. Nor does it show all fires. Generally, only the large, longer burning fires get airplane overflights and end up being shown in the GeoMAC layer.
Every day, the Terra satellite’s MODIS instrument takes a color picture of Earth. You can see it on our daily satellite image page or on NASA Worldview. If you click the camera icon in Worldview, you can export that day’s satellite image into a KML file and load it into Google Earth. So neat!
The Protected Areas Database shows land management boundaries, including USFS, NPS, BLM, reservation lands, private parcels and others. They are large files and will bog down your computer. Keep the layer off, zoom in, then open the layer. The previously linked .KMZ files incorporate the data from the official PAD database.
* Don’t trust your life to the information you gather from Google Earth.
Stockton Record’s Alex Breitler serves up this humbling trail testimonial. It goes beyond saying that dozens and dozens of individuals and agencies contributed to laying down trail and helping visitors travel safely on it.
Delivering a 1988-2016 retrospective is the next task. We are sifting through literally hundreds of historical documents, maps and images going back to 1988. Stay tuned!
Even more trail goodness! This time Mount Diablo State in the East Bay – Contra Costa County segment.
In June – September 2015, Mount Diablo State Park officials, Mount Diablo Interpretive Association, town of Clayton, and the trail council worked together scouting potential alignments & attaching trail signs on posts. We are grateful to Mark Sinclair of State Parks, John Mercurio, and MDIA’s Mike and Ruth Ann Woodring for completing the state park signing.
The result: newly open trail entering the park from the southwest via the Briones-Mt Diablo Regional Trail (managed by East Bay Regional Park District) and from the northeast via the town of Clayton (home to MCCT trail-co founder George Cardinet Jr.)
Hooray!! The MCCT is now continuous between Martinez (and Berkeley) to Antioch’s Big Break Regional Shoreline, the gateway to the Delta. This announcement marks the 2nd completed MCCT segment, with three segments to go (another completed segment is planned to come online in 2018.)
U.S. Forest Service partners completed this tiny 1.1 mile-long section last fall, days before the Butte Fire turned us upside down here in Calaveras County. Naturally our energies pivoted to our community. I am happy to report MCCT board members returned to their homes, although the community has forever changed.
Now almost a year has passed; time to rally around this tiny but very strategic connector trail between Mosquito Lake and Pacific Valley – a huge milestone for two big reasons!
The snow melted and the MCCT east of Lake Alpine to Ebbetts Pass is now open (note: not all trail signs are posted yet)
Hikers and equestrians can travel between Ebbetts Pass to Lake Alpine on the non-motorized trail with sections nearer Hwy 4, rather than the longer partially motorized trail set in the back country
Trail posts are installed at both ends of the new section, as seen in the following images:
Trail friends at Heiser Lake Trail junction
1.1 miles later after an up and over the ridge hike down in to Pacific Valley
Please note bicycling is limited where trail enters Carson-Iceberg Wilderness between Lake Alpine and Ebbetts Pass. See map. Search or zoom in on the orange line in the high country to see Pacific Valley
Free ArcGIS public accounts for laptops at argis.com
Explorer for ArcGIS by ESRI is free too, in Google Play and iTunes. No account is required to view maps. Your location will appear on the map. Quality is dependent on your browser and device.
Public safety advice: a device is not the only tool needed to safely travel on the MCCT. We recommend a paper map (pick up online or at a Stanislaus National Forest Ranger station), and/or a compass too.
We appreciate all you do, EBMUD (East Bay Municipal Utility District)!
John Bull Trail is now open in MCCT’s Camanche-Pardee segment near Valley Springs in the Sierra Foothills. EBMUD’s announcement:
In our continuing efforts to support our trail users, we added a new loop trail located one and a half miles east of the Campo Seco Staging Area. This new segment of trail branches off the Mokelumne Coast to Crest Trail (MCCT) to the northwest at Lawry Flat, winding through beautiful rolling hills above Pardee Reservoir. Pardee View vista point (open now) and the spur trail to the top of John Bull Peak (elevation 1053 feet) which will open later this year, offer spectacular vistas of the surrounding watershed landscape.