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

Local Trails Map
VIEW FULL MAP

11/4/18 Lovey hike, not a lot of elevation gain/loss. We saw a bear and her cub! Only saw a handful of other hikers.

Perfect place. It’s a wonderful air with redwood aroma, dears and squirrels. A little bit harder: too much elevation gain.

Challenging on the uphill with a few switch backs over drainages. Mile 5 is when you hit Doe Trail to Goat Trail - a gentle down hill with lazy S turns. Footing was solid for narrow trails. I’m excited to check it out again.

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.

This is a beautiful trail with scenic views. Followed the suggestion and went anti clockwise because that helped. This was almost a hard hike.


The distance shows 9.4 miles but that’s wrong. It took about 11 miles to complete. So be aware of that discrepancy. Also make sure you carry plenty of water. You will need it.

Great trail. There are a few short sections of the trail that look like they could wash out with a good rain or two so might avoid around then. Tons of shade and enjoyed walking through the trees. Very little traffic

This is an excellent hike ranging between moderate to hard depending in personal stamina. We did the complete 9.8 mile starting from North ridge, whittmore gulch, purisima Creek, Craig britton, Harkins ridge and back again North ridge.
elevation gain is good towards the last 2 miles. start early as it takes around 5-6 hours to complete

Wonderful hike back into small, beautiful lakes. recommend taking the southern side (on the right as you look at the lake from the trailhead parking lot) around Saddlebag lake as the northern side is very rocky and hard on dogs paws.

This trail is great for running and hiking. It took me just over 3 hours to complete, and it was well worth it. Well maintained trails in beautiful forests and redwood groves in the lower loop, and more challenging rocky terrain with beautiful views in the upper loop. Bring plenty of water and download the map ahead of time!

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.

We (2 couples) hiked it in early October - it was cold (35F) and mostly windy - dress accordingly.

The way in/out is somewhat boring (Oct - no boat taxi) and long. The trail isn't well marked and it's relatively easy to lose your way (we didn't, thanks to the AllTrail app). The lakes are nice - but we've seen nicer in this area...

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!

Go COUNTER CLOCKWISE! Did the Loop clockwise. Started at 9:15am. First 2/3 of the trail was shaded and scenic. Last 1/3 was steep and full of flies. Definitely a moderate/hard gorgeous hike.

hiking
1 month ago

Scenery: 4
Views: 2
Difficulty: 3.5
Crowds: 3
Shade: 5

My 1-5 Rating Scale Comparisons for above:
5 for Scenery; Mcway Falls Julia Pfeiffer Burns SP
4.5 for Scenery: Berry Creek Falls Big Basin State Park
4 for Scenery: Steep Ravine Trail

5 for Views: Nimitz Trail Tilden Park
5 for Views: Ridge Trail San Bruno Mtn Park
4.5 for Views Montara Mtn Summit San Pedro County Park
4 for Views Rancho Canada Del Oro Bald Peaks trail

5 for Difficulty: Junipero Serra Peak
4 for Difficulty: Mount El Sombroso Loop Trail

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.

1 month ago

Beautiful trail. Allows opportunity to walk over streams on large fallen trees. A workout but accessible for a wider variety of hiking and fitness levels.

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

on Fall Creek

hiking
1 month ago

A beautiful hike shaded by the trees. I went early on a Sunday morning and saw about two other hikers for my 2.5 miles in. On the way out, however, I saw easily 20+ other hikers. I’d love to go again and get an even earlier start. There were very infrequent, brief sections of the path that were narrow, rocky, and/or interrupted by fallen trees.

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

We started from the North Ridge trail parking lot. It’s a really great hike with stunning views on the ocean, followed by being surrounded by the redwood trees. Then a rather easy walk along the creek, followed by a steep climb. It’s a proper workout in the end, but a very satisfying hike!

2 months ago

Great trail along the creek, wonderful redwood trees and other flora. All the trail is in the shade so perfect for hot summer days. Note that at one point the trail collapsed, there is a huge tree fallen on the creek, on which you should walk to continue.

Met a rattle snake that makes this trial special

2 months ago

Definitely a favorite now. We went August 25, the weather was perfect and in the morning about 9am, there was still parking, but it was filling up..

The first of the hike is where you gain your elevation. Coming back was all downhill. The redwoods are always breathtaking and do not disappoint and the creek is just a bonus.

In August there was still enough water rushing through the creek. It is nice and refreshing to stick your feet in after hiking for a few hours.

As we got closer to finishing the hike more people were headed in and it got crowded. Definitely worth getting an early start if you want some quiet time with the redwoods.

The name is not an exaggeration, so many lakes! I only saw about 7 people past Saddlebag Lake so the solitude was great. If I had more time it would've been enjoyable to fish some of those lakes.

backpacking
2 months ago

We did a three day/two night trip over Labor Day weekend, 9/1/18 - 9/3/18 with a dog. The drive up was slightly rough (the roughest was right at the beginning of the 2 mile dirt road) but not bad and we made it just fine in a small sedan. We started at Saddlebag Lake, taking the trail on the east side of the lake. We chose this trail after reading reviews on here stating that it is longer but easier on dog's feet and more shaded. I would agree with this, even after only taking this trail, and would recommend this side to anyone with a dog. As others have said, there is no boat running to get across this lake.

We got a free permit (required to camp) for Steelhead Lake. There wasn't much camping around this lake but we took the little trail off to the left to Towser Lake (very close to Steelhead) and camped there. Awesome spot to camp! It was a popular spot but there is a lot of area to spread out and be away from others.

The next day, we did the Twenty Lakes Basin loop, going clockwise. This was not a very tough hike but very rocky, we had doggie booties but Osker blew out two of them on the trail. We completed the trail fine, but we were worried that he was going to have pad issues; luckily he did not. The trail itself was ok, nothing too special; a lot of the lakes were not easily accessible, but were pretty scenic. Also, the trail is not well marked when doing this loop clockwise. Right after passing Lake Helen, keep your eyes out for the signpost to continue on the trail. It is across a small water crossing and down hill a little ways. It could easily be missed if not paying attention.

Overall, I would highly recommend hiking out to Towser Lake and camping there but would only recommend hiking the Twenty Lakes Basin loop trail to those that are looking to get some miles in with some good (but not great) views. Also, make sure to have doggie booties if you're doing the loop trail!

Arrived before 10 on labor day and there was some parking available. There is parking near the trail-head past the first restroom.

We did this clockwise and it provides a nice gentle slope up so as not to be too strenuous.

Lots of redwoods, shade, and slugs. I can see that in the winter there may be running streams but not at the end of summer.

Overall, beautiful, quiet, not many others, and cool. A moderate hike due to length (add the walk from the first bathroom and we did about 9 miles).

hiking
2 months ago

Too many people and walking up on someone dropping their drawers close to the creek was the final straw.

We did this trail on 9/2, as a group of 10 folks of varying fitness and ages. We also had a 15 month old puppy. I had read this page thoroughly, so I was prepared.

- Get AllTrails Pro, the trails are not marked. This saved us.
- For the puppy, we got booties and they kept coming off. Thanks to the kindness of strangers who were returning after backpacking, we had a pack of self adhesive tape that they used for their dog. This was a life saver.
- 4 out of the 8 miles is on scree and talus. I was afraid for the puppy, she did fine, but for one small cut in her paws, the booties helped. You have to watch each step you take.
- From the top of saddlebag lake, I highly recommend doing it the counter clockwise (see my track upload). The climb down to Lake Helen is hard and I was glad I was going down in that scree and not up. Further, you hike towards North Peak when you go counter clockwise and it is stunning.
- Yes, there is not much elevation gain, so our group was able to do it comfortably, but it did take us nearly 7 hours (4:30 moving), between the scree, the puppy and the elevation of this area (10,200 feet+).
- The views are astonishing. The teenagers in our group was awestruck. "Bob Ross painting in each turn" - one exclaimed.
- It is more or less completely exposed, so be prepared.
- We had plenty of company during labor day long weekend, but we didn't mind it. If we were a noisy bunch and ruined your day, we are sorry. We had 5 teens in the group :).

Highly recommend this trail. Highly recommend AllTrails pro.

Load More