This trail has beautiful views along the steady climb. Lots of scrambling over rocks. Coming down at 2:30pm I encountered a rattlesnake whose rattle warning sent me yelping back up the hill in surprise. He must have been sunning himself on the trail. Otherwise, not much wildlife- just tiny lizards and a bird here and there.
It's a very easy lovely hike. Lightly traveled and easy to get to. Though would recommend long pants and gators to not get tore up by grasses and what not. I went off trail and setup my hammock over looking the valley for a nice afternoon nap. When I went (2 weeks ago) there was no fresh running water. Make sure to bring plenty.
For an 8 miles out and back you get your workout bang for the miles buck; almost all of it in the first three miles with about a 2,000 feet elevation gain.
The elevation gain is not all of it. While the first 1.5 miles or so are easy enough to navigate, the trails becomes noticeable more rocky and a bit tougher to manage for the top half of the ascent: a bit of washout here and there, narrower trail with encroaching bushes, tight and steep switchbacks.
But the huffing and puffing is worth the effort as sweeping views await when you reach the ridge. As a previous reviewer has noted, a short scrambling detour to the unnamed peak to the north (when you reach the ridge) offers very nice views overlooking Cache Creek and the parking area you started from.
The .75 miles to Fiske Peak itself are easy enough to negotiate; don't forget to sign the register at the top (if you are so inclined) and to stop and enjoy the 360 degrees panorama, including Sutter Buttes in the distance to the East-North-East.. Another time, I may continue to Lowery Peak (another 3 miles to the south - 6 round trip) to get above 3000 feet.
A short-ish trail on the demanding side of "average", especially for older legs :-)
tough hike for sure. Def need to go when not to hot. tough on joints, nice views from top. lots of narrow spots that u really have to be careful on. we have done hikes rated as hard that were easier than this one, so moderate may be an understatement. had 3 kids with us 10,11 and 12 yrs old. they crushed it, admitted to being sore at end. views were worth it! recommend doing mt st Helena first which is very close to this one and will give amazing similar views.
I've hiked this trail, partially, several times and did it again yesterday (5/12/16). Probably bad timing for it -- it's starting to get a little too hot, and this is a strenuous hike. There are 3 trees down blocking the trailhead; I had to remove my backpack and,crawl under.
Lots of flies and mosquitos right now.
I've never hiked the whole thing. After the 1000 foot mark, it continues a little further to the dry (right now) gulch, where you continue to the left up the hill. You continue climbing, up and up, dirt trail, until eventually it levels out, then there's a little steep downhill into some boulders you have to navigate and then continue around the mountain. This is generally my turn-around point. so, while I haven't done the whole thing, I think I've done most of the climbing.
Great trail. Did it during the hot spell in Feb '16.
First three miles were shady, damp, verdant and pretty steep.
The last mile (along the ridge) is fairly flat, sunny and dry.
The unnamed peak on the north side of the ridge offers some good views, but take a short bushwack (the trail is labyrinthine and a bit overgrown).
There is a register at the top of Fiske peak (under a rock containing the western-most of the three usgs markers).
Distance and elevation seem to be off a bit, we figure the elevation has an extra zero and the mileage is closer to 8+ miles. We went on a cloudy, misty, sprinkling rain day, really muddy trail, and creek was full to require crossing via the 16 road bridge. Recommend for a spring hike.
I did this trail on Dec 31 2015. Right now all the creeks around there are dry, the grass is dead and everything is frozen. It's better to wait until at least February or March to have a good chance of seeing green grass and maybe some water if the El Nino' holds up.
This site has some more info on the trail. I did most of the 11-mile loop past the falls, which is the longer version of the trail on this page. The ~3 miles up to the falls only took an hour with the dry stream, then the trail crosses behind the falls, up over a saddle and down into the next valley west, which is more dry. After a while is passes a flooded, crumbling mine drift and then starts to become overgrown. It's still relatively easy to follow as long as you know about that last turn towards the end of the ridge. At N38.73931° W122.31303° the trail makes a 90-degree left turn straight uphill and then stays high on the ridge, following it's contour around it's south end. If you don't turn there and keep going straight, it will SEEM you are still on the trail until it disappears into the bushes in a half mile. Bring a GPS, make sure it doesn't "truncate" the track like mine did (the GPX on that site is more than 500 points) and you should be fine. Look for the geocaches around there too.
Kathryn C. on Redbud Trail to Baton Flat
Beautiful in the fall, wonderful trail, and dipping into Cashe Creek is the bonus
ano n. on Fiske Peak via Blue Ridge Trail
Awesome hike. Good for those who want to physically challenge themselves. It's a nice gradual climb all the way up! Views from the top are really nice...This trail leads right into the trail that heads to Fiske Peak. I recommend you head to Fiske Peak, it's not too far. There's a guest book at the top of Fiske Peak too!