Explore 1 Day Backpacking - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

1 Day Backpacking Map

Beautiful trail. We didn’t find it physically challenging but it was a little mentally challenging for me (I’m scared of heights) as we hiked the middle section along the ridge. Beautiful views of the Santa Cruz Mts and Monterey Bay. Highly recommend.

The loop is significantly different from one side to the other. The right side trail while going from the parking to the campground is safer than the other. Staying on the left side trail going from the parking to the campground will take through the Castle Rock Falls and most part of this trail is on the edge of steep slope and through narrow crevices between rocks but gives fantastic views. We used one side going to the campground and another side returning to the parking lot.

It was good hiking for a few hours to see the nice view. Relax and fresh there

1 month ago

Hiked to Grass Lake. Quiet trail - only saw a few other hikers on the path. Extremely rocky which can slow the pace. Definitely recommend keep the map with you because the trail can be a little hard to follow at times. Grass Lake was peaceful - light breeze but relaxing.

Gorgeous hike with great views. Some slight bouldering along the way adds some technical challenge. Bring a sun hat or some sunscreen, part of the hike is pretty sun exposed. From points you can see both the Pacific Ocean and the Monterey Bay. Completed multiple times now.

A short and sweet hike that meets all the criteria when you're looking for something simple.

It is not too strenuous but has a few fun parts that'll get your heart rate up. The view isn't breathtaking, but very refreshing. It's not too crowded, nor is it desolate.

Great place for a short afternoon hiking that doesn't need too much preparation.

Just plain beautiful.
We ended up doing about 12 miles
Sunset - Skyline - Berry loop.
Falls were awesome, not extremely demanding but not easy.
Took us about 6 hours to do the loop.
Well worth it.

1 month ago

Great trail. Rocky and flat in the beginning. Beautiful views at Grass Lake. Quick easy hike that one can finish within a few hours.

Such a beautiful trail!! I hiked it alone on a moderately busy Sunday afternoon. It was the perfect combination of ease and difficulty for me. Very straightforward to follow along the path, and when you come to a fork in the trail it is marked properly. There are a few decent sized rocks along the way to stop and hang out to take a short break.

Wonderful hike!
Early October, Sunday morning, got there at around 7:30 and the parking was halfway full. Very windy, lots of shades, waterfalls was only dripping water. Descending first then ascend when going back to the parking.
Paid the fee for $10 (fee is only $8, but didn’t have change, self pay in the envelope)
Definitely come back for camping overnight!

Beautiful trail. View of the Santa Cruz mountains and it’s a loop too back to the parking lot. Not too much elevation change. Make it by 9am to have a good shot at parking.

Great trail. It's well maintained, has some beautiful views, and (early in the morning) wasn't too crowded. The parking lot at the trailhead is pretty limited, but there's some extra along the road.

Awesome hike with beautiful views! Definitely go in the morning to avoid getting hit too much with the sun.

One of the absolutely most beautiful views I've gotten in the Bay Area. Going around 7-10 am you get to see a snake of fog slithering through the valley

2 months ago

This is my favorite trail that we hiked this year! I would definately do it again! It was strenuous but not to hard and so beautiful.

Hiked this yesterday with Sierra Club group. There was fog in the morning, which burned off, in the afternoon. There were a few nice vistas, the overlook at the top the most impressive, with 2 benches. Lots of poison oak but I had gaitors. One guy got stung by a wasp, which we were informed are active, this time of year. It was a strenuous hike, with gradual inclines. Bring at least 2 quarts of water, as there is none there. Many steep dropoffs along path make it somewhat dangerous. Moist, cool sea breezes made it comfortable. No good stopping points, other than at the top.

Met a rattle snake that makes this trial special

3 months ago

The trail was nice and relatively easy. Itself the trail would only be 2-stars. The treat was coming across the soda spring and circa 1900 resort at Glen Alpine Springs with cabins and other buildings designed by Maybeck.

Walking on rocks the entire time, not very scenic. This has to be one of the worse in Lake Tahoe

Hubby and I went this morning!! Much more difficult than I expected, almost threw in the towel, but my competitiveness kept me going. The trail needs to be marked better the higher you go...had a blast, but should have taken my hiking boots..tennis shoes dont work!

Beautiful trail, nightmare parking. Get there early!

Had an awesome time on this hike, great lookouts, huge rocks and a waterfall(might be more water in the early months of the year). We took the short cut about 2 miles in to head on back which made the hike 3.5 miles and it took us about 2 hours just relaxing and exploring. Highly recommend!

This is a strenuous hike. You should be well prepared with lots of water, food, basic first aid kit, hiking shoes, cap and sunscreen. First 8-9 miles are with the steepest climbs. The entire hike shown on map is more than 15 mile. It is almost 17 mile plus 0.6 mile from and to the parking spot on the beach. Better start early in the morning as it gets really hot with little shade near the top. Also do use a map as it is easy to go off course.

Fun trail. Didn’t have my hiking boots, so bouldering was difficult. Areas of the trail require you to climb over rocks so be prepared.

Also parking in the parking lot is $8 cash. You can park on the side of the road but be warned that there is a ditch and I saw a car get stuck. Not hard to park, just be safe!

4 months ago

Me and my wife did this trail this Saturday. There are big rocks on the trail, then after sometime there is gravely trail. It is hard with normal shoes because you have to put every step very carefully on the rocks so as not to slip. There is small waterfall at around 1 mile which is good to chill for a bit.

BONUS: Climb the rocks on the side of the waterfall and follow the stream, there is another pool filled with water worth seeing and dipping in. All in all a good experience.

PS. Do not park your car until you reach the parking lot at the trailhead, you might get lucky and find a parking right there. I saw some sedans climbing up that one lane road that leads up to the trailhead parking, so do not worry if you are not sure if your car will make it (I seriously though the road was small enough and filled with potholes that small sedans/hatchbacks cannot make it but I was wrong)!

Started near Summit Rock and hiked into Castle Rock along ridge trail. The scrambling within Castle Rock State Park is pretty fun, but the trails back out through the Loughry Trail, though nice and shaded, gets a bit boring. You get the added benefit of hearing gunfire as you hike past the Los Altos Gun Club. There's quite a bit of poison oak along the trail, so don't fall over and roll around.

4 months ago

We went with our 3 boys and we only made it about 2 miles in. But if you stop about 1.2 miles in you will pass a small waterfall. There’s a red fire department bin, take this small trail to the waterfall. You can take a quick dip near the waterfall. However, my 6 y.o. discovered another awesome part of the waterfall! If you keep climbing up the rocks near the waterfall (if you are facing the waterfall it would be your 10 o’clock), It will lead you to the top of the waterfall. Follow the water upstream and you’ll find a small lagoon like area w another smaller waterfall. There’s a rock in the middle that you can use to jump off. A small secret spot that my family and I enjoyed. Many photo opportunities. One warning, we did see a small water snake under one of the rocks there but it didn’t bother us so we didn’t bother it! Other than that, uber chill spot off this trail but well worth the climb!

4 months ago

I was glad reviewers mentioned to keep driving until you get to the parking lot. We had almost lost hope with all the cars parked on the road making it very hard to pass drivers going the opposite direction. But we got to the parking lot and found the trail head easily.

The trail is covered with large rocks, then small rocks for almost a 1/2mile going up hill making for an unstable walk. And with all the rocky and gravely paths I noticed I had to concentrate on each step taking from being able to look around while walking so we stopped more often than I normally do when hiking cause I would slip each time I took to long looking up to enjoy the views.

Early/late morning the trail is mostly sunny. But mid afternoon it becomes more shady. Except once you pass the Soda Springs house it is up hill (with rock steps) and all sunny. And it almost seems like you won’t get there. And then after a few summits you reach it.

Note; I wouldn’t bring kids past the second creek crossing and seeing two dogs on the path, it was clear, their paws were hurting.
Took us 3hrs from Lily Lake to Grass Lake (including a 40min lunch, along w/a dip in the water) and 1hr back to the parking lot.

4 months ago

Beautiful trail and lots of history along the way. My sister and I learned lots about that area by just reading the post along the way. We did bring the pup but would HIGHLY recommend booties. Our pup always hikes in her boots and on this trail it was necessary because of all the loose rock. Also found some cool swimming spots near the waterfall!!

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