Mount Sizer Loop is a 15.1 mile loop trail located near Morgan Hill, California that features beautiful wild flowers. The trail is rated as difficult offers a number of activity options.
Strenuous 15-mile hike captures the wild essence of Henry W. Coe State Park, southeast of San Jose, California. This is Henry Coe the hard way: 15 miles with over 4,000 feet of ascent and a chance to test your legs on the "Short Cut" -- consensus pick as the San Francisco Bay Area's toughest trail. Henry W. Coe State Park sprawls over more than 87,000 acres of high ridges and low valleys southeast of San Jose. It once belonged to a rancher named Henry Willard Coe; his heirs donated the ranch that would become the state park bearing his name. The park has few amenities, but has abundant trails for hikers, equestrians and mountain bikers. The hike to Mount Sizer goes deep into the heart of the park, where the views from the heights seem to go on forever (occasionally the snow-capped peaks of the Sierra are visible on clear winter days). To hike into this remote country is to see it as it stood for thousands of years before the first European settlers arrived. Some of the hills are scarred by wildfires of recent vintage, but the sight of green reclaiming the blackened landscape can't help but cheer you up. Make no mistake: this is a very tough trek and you'll need all the cheer you can get.
We went in the reverse direction, which got cutoff out of the way earlier in the hike. I strongly recommend adding the additional couple of miles to take as many of the side single-tracks as possible: flat frog trail, jackass trail, china hole up to manzanita point, either springs trail or forest trail. you'll encounter more poison oak, but being off of the roads is worth it, and it's only an extra mile or so, with no additional elevation to speak of. Poverty Flat rd. to finish is a bit brutal.
The is one of the most challenging hikes in the bay area. It is not overly long but incredibly steep and remote. fantastic views of the Henry Coe back country. Most probably you will not see anyone once you leave the visitor center. Go do it!
The Blue Ridge road / trail has some of the most beautiful views in the Bay Area. Note that Mt.Sizer is not where the free park brochure's map indicates. Also, if you're hoping to pick up a good topo map at the HQ, it may not be open if you get there early (I didn't check beforehand; I got there around 7am and it was closed). There's a decent amount of shade on most parts of this route, and overall, was a day well spent.
This was our first hike in Henry Coe and this guide was very useful- thank you! The hike was challenging but we had cool weather, making it very enjoyable.
Several uphills and downhills, great workout!
I've made it a point to find the cruelest and punishing hikes in the Bay Area and this one tops the list. Mt Sizer is a great tune-up hike for week-long backpack trips in the Sierras and a true test of your will and stamina. And now that I'm more familiar with the many evil and unbelievably steep switchbacks up "the shortcut" and the last punishing "climb out of Poverty" , they no longer intimidate me. But I do respect them and the many other steep hikes in Henry Coe. And since its good to "share", I look forward to hearing my friends swearing a blue streak at me on their first attempt at this hike.
Thanks for the guide - we knocked this out in 8 hours - creek was dry and we battled mosquitos (Oct). A great hike - very strenuous. Did The Shortcut in my age so it felt very rewarding.