Nice hike. Went through east grade to hidden springs, to engleman oak, cougar ridge, boulder loop. The first time I went early in the morning and saw a coyote and on the top of hidden springs I saw a deer. As always take plenty of water. I went through two liters. Had some snacks. You can mix in crest trail and others for more of a challenge.
If you're looking for a good workout, this would be it. Following close to the suggested route, there were plenty of uphill stretches that help with a bit of cardio, and even more so on a bike. You climb up high enough to get some decent views to the west and south, then when you get to the shelter at Boulder Loop trail you get an eastern view. (and today I got shelter from a sudden downpour) As you loop around to the north of Burnt Mountain, you get several views to the north. Then you give back all of that elevation gain on a descent to the trailhead. There's varied terrain to be seen, including oak groves, ridge trails and mountain meadows, There's also several geocaches waiting to be found.
Go early in the morning way better ... it took me 3 1/2 hours at a nice slow pace... not very active person.... but I finished it! got turned around on cougar ridge and bolder trail so just a quick heads up there are 3 hills in the hike that whoop my #** and one steep down hill . For views on the trail was nice lots of bunnies and humming birds ... not a very active trail in the morning started at 6:30am-10:00 am saw maybe 20 people max.. good like my fit but said 10.4 miles but I did get turned around ... agin do the hike in the morning gets way to hot in the afternoon not much shade after 9 am ..... ps dirt parking lot is free but no parking after dark .....
Moderate hike with lovely views! The road getting to the starting point can be rough, but the trail is definitely worth it. There are several trails to choose from, and most are frequented by bikers. Saw lots of deer tracks and a coyote as well.
Daley Ranch is one of my favorite trails so far that I've been to in north county. There are tons of trails within it that are pretty challenging and areas to check out. Just be sure to bring plenty of water on hot days and be prepared to face many hills. If you want to take it easy I'd say take the paved road to the Ranch House and the loop over by the Ranch House is pretty flat.
This is one of the best places to hike in North County. There are miles of trails so it is easy to hike just about any distance. There are hills if you choose to be challenged and you can visit many times before hiking the same route. Hot in the summer so be sure to take plenty of water. There is only bathroom and water at the Ranch House. Lots of fun!