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Beautiful scenery with some nice mild incline.s to make it decent enough exercise for the day. We went on a Wednesday around 6:30 and there were only a few hikers and a couple of mountain bikers. Great views and easy parking. Highly recommend and would go again.

hiking
2 days ago

As an amateur hiker, I found this moderately challenging but satisfying. Lots of incline but with a wonderful view. It was a beautiful scenic route and heavily shaded. Terrain was a bit loose in some areas so the correct shoes for this hike is essential. Parking was a bit confusing and I think we began at the wrong end as we started decline end first. I would not bring my children here however there was a family with small children. Overall, one of my favorites so far, definitely one to do again (in the the spring, when there’s more water)

This hike is a nice representation of California. Know that this trail is legit hard. The uphills are steep and seemingly never ending. The views will provide just the right amount of distraction and reason to stop and rest. There’s also plenty of shady parts. It’s a bit tricky to follow the trail on the rebound. We got off trail, but plenty of cut overs were available. The trail also had quite a few benches, so take a lunch/snacks and enjoy the view! There’s a reason this is called a panoramic hike. You’ll have multiple views of Mt Tam, SF, Oakland and beyond.

Take plenty of water!

I went last month and it was my life longest hike to date. It was a good workout going up and resting at Muir Beach but the trek back...9 miles out and back...thank God for my beautiful pics!

Very nice trail with a good mix of views. Will definitely come again.

Did counterclockwise. Highlight is the alpine lake. Pristine and not even a single soul nearby as I hiked this in the evening. I had a constant fear of mountain lion as there is a sign which said "avoid hiking alone". Nevertheless, found lot of people near cataract falls. Moderate hike.

Great trail, long but not too hard for us, we went anti-clockwise.There is not too much water at the fall but the lake is nice to have a meal break. There are several restrooms at picnic area along on the trail. We started at 9 am and completed at 1:30 pm. Dog, Cat, Crocodile friendly, not so much bugs or mosquitoes. Go early and park your car under big tree. I am kidding about the crocodile anyway.

Excellent Trail...Plenty of Shade...Free Parking...Friendly People...would totally go again.

Loved the scenery! I would highly suggest bringing a full CamelBak and wearing very comfortably padded trail shoes. This was a very challenging incline and I regretted not bringing my trekking poles. The decent (going clockwise) was very hard on my toes. For dog people, bring a separate supply of water and a collapsible bowl. My in-shape, 28 lb dog drank down two water bottles easily. Eventually I had to pour from my own water supply but we had a blast! Also, good luck with parking! PS - parking tickets are $63

hiking
13 days ago

This is classified as a moderate hike but for the first time hiker it may be a challenge. There are many sets of steep wooden stairs. Also rock “stairs” to navigate. Dogs on leash are allowed to hike here. I would not recommend taking a dog that is not used to steep rocky hikes. My girl is a good hiker and can handle inclines but this was too difficult for her. We had to take several breaks and she only made it about halfway. Be careful going down as some of the places have gravel that can cause you to slip. Finally I would suggest going in the winter or spring. I went in the summer and though the lake was pretty the waterfalls were almost non existent.

Great hike mostly an incline up stairs and rocks. Great picnic area about 1.4 miles up. Lovely mystic look with a forest feel.

5 Stars for it’s difficulty yet manageable to complete. Incredible workout especially it’s long inclines....keeps your heart rate elevated.

I love this hike and have been back 4 times in the past 2 months. It’s about a 6.5 mile loop and the first half is all incline but you get some breaks in between each hill which helps. Be prepared for some rocky/gravel areas which can get slippery so wear good hiking shoes.

The second half of the hike is easy and you get even better views from the other side of the hill. Beautiful views throughout the trail. About half is covered. It can get pretty hot depending on the weather and the annoying flies come out.

15 days ago

The path is wide and well signed. It starts with a gentle incline through mostly exposed ravine. This takes you over the hill and back towards the road. From the new trail head, you walk steadily uphill through partially shaded trees to the ridge line. Once at the top you are rewarded with views of East Bay hills and reservoirs on one side and Bridges and bayviews to the other side. There are some nice benches to sit and enjoy the vistas. Then, it is a shady decline through bay and eucalyptus trees. Some parts are a bit rocky and steep, but doable.

sooo dusty but great views of the bay. not really in the redwoods at all lots of sun

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!

Hiked the loop clockwise at sunrise. There were already a ton of people by 6am, and the parking lot was full. The clockwise loop ascends a wide, dirt road, which near the summit turns into a rocky and uneven trail. The descent takes the Horse Heaven trail, which is narrow, steep and uneven. The morning light and the fog layer made for a pretty cool view of the bay. Took about an hour to hike up and another hour to make the steep descent.

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

hiking
21 days ago

This trail has amazing views of Lake Tahoe! It is a workout with the steep inclines going up but quick and easy going back down! Family and dog friendly. Quick hike / walk unless you stop and read all the signs with historical info about the lake or just sit and enjoy the view. Definitely a must! The trail head is marked with a green gate, parking is on the road next to it. There is a bathroom at top.

hiking
21 days ago

Great view of the lakes along the interpretive loop.

Great views of the city and plenty of elevation change to raise the bpm.

Using this exact route we chose to go East first.

Starting at 9am on a Saturday, we saw only about 12 people in total until about the 6 mile mark.

The trail is beautiful but not in a scenic vista way. You will constantly have shade and a limited view of the path before and behind you as it is well grown bushes and trees as well as numerous turns.

We didn't see much wildlife but the manzanitas are amazing as well as the redwoods here and there.

The lake is a nice serene spot to have a small break. No bugs or mosquitoes.

The path is well marked but bring your map on the app as it did help. Also, it is well maintained but there is a lot of erosion which means you will need to concentrate on your steps for most of the entire hike...so a lot of engagement with the path.

If you do this exact hike, if you are just in average shape, it will be hard. If less than average shape, it will be strenuous. If in good shape it will be a good long exhausting hike.

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