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On-trail cache on the scenic, popular, but steep, Joice Trail at Santa Teresa County Park
The Joice Trail starts from behind the Bernal-Gulnac-Joice Ranch at Santa Teresa County Park. For a short distance, it's a steep butt-kicker of a trail as it goes straight up the hill. Then after it turns right, it levels off a little and begins to double back along the next hill. After 0.4 miles of hiking along the wide trail, you reach a corner and get a real "Wow!" view. The purpose of this cache is to mark that key point on the Joice Trail and lead you up here. Stop here and admire the view. On most days, you can see San Jose and the South Bay. On very clear days, you can see all the way to the North Bay. Below, you can see the BGJ Ranch and Santa Teresa Spring, both of which have caches (GCK3TK and GCHD34). On the way up, you pass Once in a Blue Moon (GCK4QK). The views keep getting better as you go up the hill. In the springtime, the spectacular Bernal Hill wildflower show begins here. You should see poppies and creamcups below the trail, and all kinds of wildflowers above the trail. Farther up Bernal Hill are the Rocky Bench (GCK4QN), and Nicely Stacked (GCK3TM) caches. The wildflower show reaches its peak right below Nicely Stacked. The trails lead up to the upper parts of Bernal Hill, which has even more caches.
The cache is a camo'd plastic container. It is hidden right next to the trail. You don't have to leave the trail to reach it. Don't climb up the hill. It's a sensitive habitat. The federally-protected Santa Clara Valley dudleya, which is an endangered species, grows on the rocks and looks like a cactus. Don't step on it. As always, watch out for rattlesnakes. This is a popular trail, so beware of muggles, especially bikes hurtling down the hill. Not only can you see all over the valley, but the whole valley can see you too. Be discrete. If you don't mind the steep hike, you should be able to do this at lunch. If you have a bike, the trip back is really quick.
Update 2/20/10: The original cache was decon container, but it got muggled. The replacement is a plastic container about the size of a small medicine bottle and moved a few dozen yards farther up the trail. It has room for very small items. Bring your own pen. Make sure you cover it up so muggles won't see it.
Update 4/7/14: I thought the cache might have been muggled, so I replaced it nearby, still close to the trail. The old one might still be there. If the log has no signatures before 4/7/14, it must be the replacement.
Haqre ebpx gung ybbxf yvxr n fnqqyront be n ohgg.
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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum