Explore 52 Hike Challenge - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

52 Hike Challenge Map
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hiking
19 hours ago

Beautiful trail with great views of the lake and nicely shaded. A little difficult to track the beginning of the trail but doable with using the all trails map and some spotty cell service. There's a great bench spot for a picnic not far from the end overlooking the lake. Bonus that you can bring dogs. Plenty of parking in October though I imagine it can get more crowded in the summer.

trail running
11 days ago

Good trail with some good climbs but the map on the app is deceiving (or I’m just horrible at directions...)! While the trail on here is called Briones crest, don’t follow all the signs for Briones crest in the park...you’ll get lost! The trail on here hops on a few other trails and doesn’t completely stick to the actual Briones crest trail.

hiking
24 days ago

Definitely a lightly trafficked trail. I didn't see anyone the entire time out and back. It's obvious that the vistas have been changed by the recent fires but the views are still stunning. If you're a lover of nature just prepare your heart to see some hurting wilderness. I lost the trail not long after crossing the creek just beyond the campsite, but otherwise it was fairly clear. Just about the only coverage you get is in the first 20 mins of the hike so bring sun block and lots of water!

Starts off easy enough but gets challenging on the bottom half. Especially the French trail section.

hiking
30 days ago

Very nice and quiet hike with hardly any traffic. Took about 3 hours at a reasonable pace with a few stops. Great views! Some areas have moderate+ gradient, especially around the Falls Trail loop. Better to go clockwise around this loop. The creek and waterfalls were all dry. Be prepared with hat, sunscreen, and plenty of water since it was a hot 90 degrees by mid-afternoon.

A nice place but ALOT OF PEOPLE. Stream trail is basically a paved walkway. A lot of big groups. We did have a nice picnic

I’m a beginner hiker this year ramping up to bigger hikes with elevations. That said, I was hiking solo on this trail and after a couple miles I decided to head back due to lack of experience. Will try again when Someone else can join me.

1 month ago

I would suggest to go counter clockwise starting on the fire road because there is no shade, it was not too hard seemed more moderate to me, you must cross the creek 20 times and some of the crossings are 20 feet of water to cross even in the summer, in the rainy season you will have trouble and will get wet.
I did not see any other hikers the whole trail. My Fitbit showed over 10 miles not 8.5.
My time was limited it took me 3.5 hours I would have liked to stop to enjoy the views and animals but rushed through it.
Overall a nice private trail.

Awesome trail. I’m new to hiking and getting in shape. This trail kicked my ass. The last half mile-ish back up to the parking lot is killer and I had to stop a few times to catch my breath. It’s definitely the higher end of moderate.

it was a nice family hike. challenging in a few areas. we never found the water fall :(
but it was a beautiful view

Started at West Ridge and went on to the French trail.Kept on french trail .It had pretty steep inclines and declines.Wanted to go till Chown trail .But,took the route back to steam trail.It was about 7.5 miles hike overall.It is pretty intense and hard .

Stream trail is easy, flat and fairly wide with portions where the trail is paved with concrete. I went on a Thursday morning and was surprised by how crowded it was. It’s very nice, especially considering how close to Oakland it is, but it doesn’t stand out as a memorable hike. On its own I’d give 3-3.5 stars. French Trail on the other hand is quite pretty. I took Orchard Trail off of Stream Trail which connected me to French trail. French Trail has a number of steep inclines and declines with beautiful, dense forest. I had the trail to myself almost the entire walk.

It was an amazing place. Calm and love all the fresh air.

This is our go to trail when hot or raining... The trail is under the canapy and easy to moderate... The trail is always changing and if you are lucky you will see a nice waterfall

Don't be like us - check the weather beforehand so you don't end up hiking here when it's 100° outside

hiking
2 months ago

Parking is $7 fee to enter Armstrong woods, drive through the woods and up a significant elevation to the very limited parking at the trail head. Gets hot and about half the trail is in sun so bring plenty of water. The trail goes right by Bullfrog Campground which looks like a lovely spot to pass the night.

hiking
2 months ago

We did this in reverse-starting down Gilliam Creek and ending on the fire trail. We had an early start, but still ended up doing the uphill fire road in full sun. The last few miles were very hard and unenjoyable. The stream crossings were no problem this time of year. We saw only 3 other people and enjoyed the solitude. A few turkeys passed our way. Bring 2 liters of water per person!

stream trail is the best, all in redwoods and always chillly

Whether you start from either French Trail or Stream Trail, there's good elevation coming in and out of it. You’ll find several picnic tables along the way and enough bathroom facilities. There's also lots of side trails to explore.

My AllTrails app suddenly stopped recording at one point so I wasn't able to full record my hike but that's ok (pardon the gap on my recording).

If you decide to hike on a weekend and choose Skyline Gate Staging Area as your starting point, try to get there before 8am to have a better chance at finding parking (vs street parking).

What is great about this trail is that you can make it as long or short as you like. There ate lots of trails that off shoot this trail so if you want an extension or if you want to cut it short you can. The French trail is one of my favorites because first of all it’s beautiful, it’s up-and-down to get a nice workout and no bikes!
it really is a good idea to get there early as it does get crowded and it tends to get warm as you’re making your way uphill back to the parking lot. Definitely put this one on you list!

Very nice elevation loop. You will feel the burn. Start as early as possible.

Within few minutes you forget that you are very near to some of the busiest cities. A close-up experience with nature, this moderately rated hike will help you appreciate the much needed quiet time you are missing after living in the city. Good for kids who can manage some elevation.

Great hike. Highest place I’ve gotten to in my backyard

hiking
3 months ago

The Sky trail is beautiful but very overgrown with poison oak in many places so be cautious and wear long pants. If you want to hike down to the beach from Sky Camp but avoid poison oak, I'd recommend using the Fire Lane Trail. It's a little less scenic but less overgrown so you can avoid the poison oak.

Got to Skyline parking lot before 8am on a Sunday and it was already full so had to park along the street. Hike down Stream Trail and to the other parking lot was pretty easy, shaded and downhill, passing by campsites and redwoods. Headed back via French trail, which requires some uphill initially and then a few portions of up and downhill, nothing too strenuous. Overall a good hike, just get there early.

3 months ago

Trail is not well marked or maintained

River trail is flat and a pleasant walk. French trail portion is strenuous but fun. Lots of foilage and shade

People do not keep their dogs on a leash even though the rules are to do so!!!

Other than being unsure of people’s dogs level of friendliness while walking, the experience is nice. I love the views of the redwoods and the creek. Oh and the lady bug habitat.

Lots of bathrooms along the trails.

A great hiking experience, minus the dogs not on a leash.

Good workout..we started with stream trail and reached play area from there we got on to orchard and then French trail. Has some elevation and trees around.

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