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.
I've hiked this trail twice. The first time was in the heat and it was unwise! The second time was in October and much better. There is no view until you reach the top, aside from that I wouldn't call it beautiful but at least you'd outside :)
A good section has steps so be ready for those. Pretty good climb but manageable.
The trail is much rougher since being reopened after the fires. Very dry, very hot, almost no shade. You need way more water than you think you'll need and the trail takes longer to hike than you'd expect. I'd rate it moderate to strenuous. Even the groups of twenty somethings were cursing this trail halfway through. There is also zero phone reception here. My girlfriend broke her leg here and I had to hike out, drive down the road to a pay phone to get help, and then she had to be airlifted out. The rescue crew said they have to airlift people out of there at least a couple times a month.
Great, difficult hike that definitely gets your heart pumping! Bring lots & lots of water and I'd recommend starting before 10am because It gets really hot and the sun begins to burn by 9:30am! So wear lots of sunblock and appropriate shoes!
I've done this hike a couple of times and love it! Definitely a climb for most of the way up but the view of the lake is spectacular at the top! Well worth the strenuous hike.
This app said that this trail was dog friendly yet when I arrived there were signs that stated no dogs. I saw many people bringing dogs off the trail after completion and some just starting. So after making that drive, I just went for it with Kona on leash. The trail was not very maintained- constantly ducking underneath overhanging branches and scrapping my legs from over-grown shrubs. (Sounding a bit crybaby-ish right now, I'm aware) The top ridge climbing for me was a bit more difficult than moderate, and it was not great for a leashed dog. Views at top nice but overall experience not that great.
Brittany W. on Homestead Trail, Stebbins Cold Cany...
It was nice and long hike! Make sure you bring a lot of water. It's hot and dry!
I have embarked on this little adventure on July 10th, as a spontaneous decision to explore something fairly local in the state. It was midday and very sunny, so I was aware that I should be bringing a decent amount of water for a trail that is over 4 miles long. I took my dad along with me and although I was a bit concerned about how well his body would respond to the demands of this trail, I was very elated to discover that he actually enjoyed it after it was all completed as a loop. He had heart surgery last summer following a heart attack, so it was a bit strenuous for him, especially when we approached the very steep winding steps toward the Blue ridge portion. At that point, we saw several fellow hikers turn back because after having to endure the heavy sun during the shadeless part of the hike, the steep slope was too much of a challenge, it seemed. Since it was our first time on this trail, we were curious about what was ahead, so we kept trekking along. The view of lake Berryessa was gorgeous and well worth the epic rock-climbing-esque feature of the hike, at least in our opinion. It wasn't until we completed the loop that we figured we walked significantly way more than the 4.4 mile distance we were informed about, perhaps because of the modifications that were done to the trail to compensate for the 2015 forest fire. My phone's pedometer clocked me at about 18,000 steps by the time we returned to our car. I didn't do too much walking before the hike that day, so I would wager that the trail we took translated to about 8 or 9 miles.
I gave this trail 5 stars, because despite the heavy heat that day, I think we were well prepared to mitigate any complications from it. Your body can sweat up to 1 liter of water per hour in high temperatures, so keep that in mind if it looks sunny and expect a long hike ahead. We packed consumables with electrolytes, such as salt crackers and coconut water. Wearing synthetic clothing can also help regulate body temperature, so it is better to cover up with that material than to fully expose the skin to the sun, based on my experience. I recently returned from a trip to Death Valley, so I was happy to apply the knowledge I acquired from that trip but closer to home. This trail was a bit challenging but it was a beautiful sight from the ridges. If you are prepared for the conditions, I am sure you will enjoy any experience.
Hannah L. on Homestead-Blue Ridge Trail
We didn't really like this trail because we did it as a loop on an very, very hot day. The view is nice at the top, but the first 60% of the trail has no shade. If I were to do it again, I would do it as an out and back on the shaded half and still get the view of the lake. I recommend going in the spring when everything is still green. If you do go during the summer, bring a lot of water and go early.
Brittany C. on Homestead-Blue Ridge Trail
Dogs are not allowed anymore on this trail.
We did the homestead trail out and the blue ridge trail back and according to my fitbit from the parking lot we went 7.2 miles. The revamp since the fire may have added some distance.The homestead trail has a serious climb of stairs and the blue ridge trail has some great views but you have to scramble over some narrow steep rock paths. You are indeed on a ridge, so if you don't like heights this will be a serious challenge. Pretty and unlike the normal deep forests hikes I have done, but not sure I would do it again. I am a moderate to very actively fit person and this still got my heartbeat going. It will truly depend on your fitness level as to how difficult you think this is. Bring LOTS of water and LOTS of sunscreen.