670 acres of gently sloping to steep hillsides of cottonwood riparian, blue oak woodland, and chamise chaparral natural communities. Just a few of the species supported by these habitats include California towhee, Bullock's oriole, and black-headed grosbeak. Please see the attached bird checklist for additional bird species in the area. This area is just downstream of the Monticello dam, where Cold Creek enters Putah Creek, and includes Stebbins' Cold Canyon Reserve.
Awesome 5 star loop. With the recent rains, scrambling through the entry tunnels limbered us up for the hike. Going clockwise, this is a leg burner ascending many stairs and steep inclines. Each moment of this hike being the payoff. The loop is moderately challenging with vast ridge views and overwhelming beauty. There are NO DOGS allowed on this trail, it is posted many times. I was discouraged to see such gross disregard today, by several discourteous dog owners.
The hike was very hard my first time going up the stairs, especially when we werent prepared for the heat and difficulty level of the hike. we quickly learned it's easier going the reverse way on the hike.
However, the view is great and keeps coming back for more. Come prepared with lots of water and snacks or lunch to enjoys the view and catch a break.
I seriously counted all the steps... 253 (if I recall correctly).
Interesting to see how canyon is recovering from wildfires in past couple of years. Trail has had some work and in places is better than before. Muddy and slippery after rain, though. New entrance to reserve. Do not cross the highway . . . follow signage to walk down the ravine from parking and cross under the freeway via drainage tunnel. Fun in winter, but more beautiful in spring with wildflowers.
Today was a perfect day for this hike. We started out around 10:30 after the morning chill was gone and we completed it around 2:00. We took some good breaks to refuel and take in the scenery. This hiking trail was damaged severely last year by a fire. A lot of the trail has been washed away and the wooden steps that were burned, most have been replaced but not at their original intervals. With a lot of the brush gone, you get a lot more spectacular views. There is still a little bushwacking but not much. There is also some rock crawling in an attempt to get through the ridge of this trail. Other than that, be careful if the ground is wet, it is slippery in many areas on the south/east side of the trail. The trail is about 5+ miles now since they had to re-route it after the fire. This is a pretty nice hike. It is difficult but very rewarding. This is a no dogs trail but we saw almost as many dogs as people.