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Fantastic views! There's still some snow near the top of the trail, but nothing hiking boots can't handle.

Parking is at the cafe at the bottom of the trail. The views for this trail were pretty amazing and the trail is mostly sand and very well maintained. A lot of dogs off leash today. The elevation gain at the beginning of the hike is pretty significant, but the side trail leading to an overlook was a good place to enjoy the view! There was also some snow at the end of the hike before the turnaround. I brought micro spikes, but managed fine in my boots.

Great hike to take my dog on.

hiking
5 days ago

I loved this trail. beautiful. Inclines made it a workout.

Went on an overnight out and back backpacking trip, camping about 7 miles in, near a creek crossing on Deadwood Ridge. The trail was definitely challenging but had no other redeeming qualities, other than a nice creek to rest at early on the trail. The trail is well shaded, but because of that there are few opportunities for good views. The trail was well graded and appreciated at first, but I found it to be monotonous after crossing El Dorado Creek, relentlessly marching up the side of the mountain. In addition, the trail going up towards the ridge was very narrow. There were few places to take a break. On the ridge, there were few good places to camp. I would not recommend the place I camped (creek crossing along ridge), I was running out of daylight. If I had more time I would have backed up a half mile and camped at the water pump. If you want to camp closer to the trailhead, there is at least one good spot (probably more) along El Dorado Creek.

I did not encounter any bears on my trip. That was a good thing because I forgot to put all my food in the bear canister. The food was not touched.

Some folks have mentioned parking issues but I had no problems parking at the end of the pavement, about 0.2 mile before the trailhead.

This trail is best for trail runners. Lots of elevation change and consistent grades. If I was trail running I would rate it 4 stars. I would not recommend for backpacking except as an early season shake-out.

This listing is pretty mislabeled. This is a part of the Western States Trail and this portion should be labeled Michigan Bluff to Last Chance. Since you are going in and out of 2 canyons I would also label as Hard. Especially if you're backpacking and have a pretty heavy pack.
Here are some things we learned: There is no parking next to the trail head. We parked next to the old cemetery and the Michigan Bluff monument. We left our car for 3 days and it seemed fine. We talked to some locals when we got back to our car. They thought we were just going out and let us know about several locals recently losing dogs to mountain lions.
BRING BEAR SPRAY. It is also a good idea to have a bear bell and make plenty of noise on the trial. We saw a lot of trail runners out so the trail is well traveled. You will also do a lot of stream crossing depending on how much it has rained recently and how much snow is still melting.
Trail breakdown: 2.5 miles in is entirely downhill and takes you to the first bridge and river. Almost 6 miles from the trail head and just before Deadwood Cemetery you will find a decent place to camp. For an even better place to camp and a little more walking, head on to an established spot between Deadwood and Devil's Thumb. There is a great area with a picnic bench and water pump with potable water (if we had gotten an earlier start on day one we would have camped here). Ditch your pack at the water pump to lighten your load and make your way to Devil's Thumb. A closer look shows that it is not one big rock but many rocks. Head down the canyon from Devil's Thumb to get to the swinging bridge. Lots of switchbacks but the pay off is worth it.
What we did:
Day one: hiked in and camped right before Deadwood.
Day two: packed up and ditched packs at Deadwood. Made way to water pump and filled up. Hiked all the way down to the swinging bridge and had lunch. Made our way out of the canyon back to our belongings. We then hiked down to Eldorado Canyon (aka 2.5 miles from trail head) and made our camp near river in an established spot.
Day three: hiked out.
Things I wish I had known:
-how steep the trail was
-the amount of mountain lion and bear activity in the area
-how bad the ticks are
-the different points of entry for the trail and the relative location of established camping spots
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I know this review is long, but I'm hoping it helps someone who is looking at this trail.

hiking
15 days ago

fun hike wonderful views and not too steep an incline and pretty easy trail. slushy snow at the top that got our feet wet. thicker socks and better boots would have solve that though.views well worth the hike

Awesome place to get out close to home! Very well maintained trail system!

hiking
20 days ago

Still some snow pack up top but pretty clear

hiking
20 days ago

Beautiful and well laid out! You can be entertained for hours. Just be sure to make a reservation on weekends

hiking
21 days ago

Super easy hike only a few steep climbs
Easter Sunday morning was great very few peeps out there

on Hidden Falls Trail

hiking
23 days ago

Awesome!!! Also make sure you have plenty of high quality H2O.

Hike was pretty chill going clockwise around the trail is pretty chill... it’s more downhill in the start then uphill on the way back!

Waterfall was cool but would have been cooler if you could go in it! Water was also pretty murky so did not jump in! There are two good lookout points along the trail (ones at the waterfall and one is just over the bridge after the waterfall)

Went on a Wednesday around 3:30pm and didn’t need reservations but you may need them on a busier day!

Overall the hike is more of a trail walk... would have given it a 3 Star if there wasn’t a waterfall to see!

Overall 3.5 stars!

hiking
29 days ago

This hike is really the perfect day hike if you are in the mood for scenic views rather than intense canopy. There isn't much shade on this hike so I'd definitely recommend a hat, sunscreen, and most important water. Given that, I'd say that this is one of my favorite "lazy Sunday" types of hikes. It's not intense, but it's not flat either. It's a great hike to go on a picnic with your SO or a small group of friends.

The views are incredible, and this hike is beyond gorgeous when it's green out. We went in late March 2018 and were the only people on the trail somehow. You can see San Francisco easily if it's not a foggy day, you can see Mt. Diablo, and you can see most of Marin as well as some glimpses of the ocean. All in all, I'd say that this is one of the best scenic hikes around.

This trail has been on my list to go for about a year; finally decided to go. Parking was a little different, you have to buy your parking tickets online before going. There's no ticket attendant to sell you tickets to get in but there is a park ranger checking if you bought the ticket.

The trail wasn't as exciting as I thought it would be. I had thought the trail would be near water majority of the time but I was wrong. Overall hiking experience was fine, easy, small steep hills and plenty of shades from surrounding trees.

Waterfall is fun to watch as well. Although the waterfall didn't appear to be that big maybe because there was no snow or rain lately.

Attempted fishing as well but no luck. I fished at the two waterfalls in hopes that it was fish and it looks like it had fish but nothing was caught.

hiking
1 month ago

Did the full loop and it was a beautiful hike. I love how you can take the side trails that branch off the the main legacy trail. Just beware of all the horse poop!

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike!

weekdays are where it's at. Beautiful hike.

hiking
2 months ago

A lovely hike above New Hogan. There is no shade- must be prepared. The dog loved it though, and got to roam free since we were the only ones there on this lovely winter day.

Nice trail. The camp ground is Closed for the season right now. Several connector trails which is nice. You can customize the distance easily.

hiking
2 months ago

Great family place to hike with tons of trails to choose from. We loved seeing all the horseback riders. Great for dogs as well.

I can’t rate this trail yet. Do Not Go on weekends or holidays if you don’t have parking reservations! They don’t sell them there and will turn you away. No where else close enough to park to hike.

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike with tons of different trails. Great for dogs. Loved seeing all the horses !!!

Requires parking reservation.

walking
2 months ago

Fun trail to bring the dogs on. Very green and pretty on our spring-like February day hike

Great hike, especially to do first thing in the morning during the week before too many people are around! The bathrooms were closed but there were portapotties, at least. Make sure you keep track of the trail you want to do because there are a lot of them and it’d be easy to end up on an unexpectedly long hike.

I'm gonna give this a 3 star, one star off because the bathrooms were closed and there was no water, which we brought a lot with us and still ran out about halfway through, and one star off for all the damaged maps. It was a beautiful trail... however we bit off way more than we can chew. We accidently turned our nice moderate hike into 12 miles of hell. We started out on South Legacy then thought this is long, Creekside looks shortest so took that to get back, connected over to North Legacy, had to stop and cry because I ran out of water during the creekside portion and felt like I was dying, then connected back to south legacy for the final stretch... plan where your going!! don't be dumb and get lost like we did!!

Beautiful hike and the trials were clean and easy to navigate.

The trails are well maintained and the views are beautiful. There are so many trails, you can keep coming back and end up somewhere new each time. Great place to hike.

Easy to moderate hiking trails. Well marked. Beautiful park with easy parking. Went during a weekday so didn’t experience having to reserve anything. A few pretty waterfalls.

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