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

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Was looking forward to a more challenging hike, and decided to give Chalk Mt. a try. It started off nice and smooth. We heard about the waterfall near Berry Creek Falls and decided to take an extra 4 miles to see that! That was great. We then, trekked back down and started our ascend up on the Westridge Trail to Chalk Mt. This was by far, the most difficult hike I've ever done. The ascend up was torturous as we were attacked by bugs, then the sun just beat down on us, draining us of our energy. We were lucky enough to spot a person as we had gotten lost. Luckily, he had a map and pointed us in the right direction. The ups and downs were really bad on my toes, ankles, and knees. Not even halfway done, we ran out of water. We definitely suffered from dehydration. My recommendation, take LOTS of water. One measly water bottle won't cut it. Due to our detour to the waterfall, this ended up being 21 miles overall. You definitely need to go mentally and physically prepared before you tackle this one.

hiking
5 days ago

Good moderate trail with some inclines on the track. Some beautiful scenes of the Forrest on the way.

Decent hike. Lots of inclines for a good workout. Saw some deer and butterflies, but not many views. Lots of shade though so good on a hot day.

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.

Great loop and a good challenge on the incline of you’re running. I go here regularly with my dog. If you don’t want to hike the full 6 miles you can go for a nice walk and turn around whenever you feel like. Trail goes along the creek and there’s no incline for the first mile.

Near the top is where the poison oak gets REALLY BAD, to the point where you can’t avoid even if you walk slowly and sideways. Wear pants/bring a long sleeve.

Good hike , view was disappointing

Nicely shaded trail and also really appreciated all the trail markers.

I would rate this a moderate trail. We did the Dean Trail first which is 2.2 mile upward trail. It has good shade.Would definitely go again

I really enjoyed this Trail. It's mostly shaded 85 to 90%. That's huge for people like me that are easily overheated. I take the dean's Trail first which is about 2.2 miles where you climb the elevation. I would consider it moderate if you're going to try and do it without stopping. once you get to the peak it's a very nice downhill 2.3 mile Trail that you can walk relaxing or run. Towards the very end it goes back to an incline to get to the parking lot that's where I usually just use it as my cool down period. the only thing about this trail that is a negative is that there's very little to no flowers or bloomage or anything other than the color green; and no water brook, etc. but it's one of my favorite trails to go to and it's only $6 to park.

27 days ago

I second that the trail is mostly in the shade and I like that. It also has a lot of smaller trail options. It also has high elevation (sometimes steep climbs), which is also what I was looking for. The trail is pretty much gravel-ish. Will definitely come back for more.

We hiked this trail last week (7/15). We accidentally went the reverse way around - take the yellow trail first for the 1.5 miles before it turns into the red or “closed” trail. We packed very lightly from east coast and didn’t have hiking boots - for about 1.5 miles we had to slide down on our hands and butts so we didn’t slip since it was all loose sand on the way down. You can avoid this by starting yellow to red, sandy part up, ocean view on the way down. Bring shoes with tread for safety. Thought I couldn’t do it but when we got to the top it was worth it! You get ocean, desert and forest landscapes all in one.

Did this hike in the middle of July 2018 on a day that was quite hot. Much of the trail goes along roads which can be a blessing or a curse, depending on how rugged you want your hike to be. We passed many trucks on our hike but not a single hiker to be seen. We went through jackass trail which had groves of poison oak growing next to and on the trail but this area is starkly beautiful as you're walking through a charred oak forest "graveyard".

The trail is about 60% covered by oaks and manzanita, but 40% is pretty exposed so make to wear sunscreen. Also note that the water table is low so the water pumps are all empty so the only water you have is what you take with you.

Overall this is a hike best left for spring when the weather isnt as oppressive. You'll need every bit of help going through the shortcut and poverty flat at the end. The trails arent too rugged so it makes for clear directions but less intimate exploration.

One of my favorite hikes in mount tam. Perfect level of difficulty with some steep climbs, gorgeous views, and it’s a loop trail.

This is one of my favorite hikes! You get a little bit of everything, the Redwood Forest, amazing ocean view, wildflowers that surround you, a nice ocean breeze to carry you down. I would definitely recommend hiking boots for doing the whole Loop, and long sleeves and long pants to trudge through the wild flower bushes.

Beautiful trail, lots of shade

So thankful for all of the shade! Definitely saved me on a hot morning. The uphill climbing was a littleeee rough but the views at summit made it all worth it!

Beautiful hike with a great climb up chalk mtn. and a nice stroll back down through the redwoods.

Very dry. There was no wildlife and “crystal springs.” However it was a nice good work out. Finished in about 2.5 hours

This was incredibly hard in the middle of summer...as everyone says, bring plenty of water!! At least 4 liters. You’ll need every drop. This trail is relentless!

hiking
1 month ago

I went through the whole loop - throughthe “closed area” and back down. Watch out for the poison oak on the south part of the trail. Definitely wear real hiking boots/shoes for this trail. The path is a bit eroded in parts and you’ll need the extra footing.

Lots of poison oak. Thankfully I was warned how bad it was that I ended up turning around near the top of the hike. Couple of hikers who were wearing pants (I had shorts on) said it was so bad you can’t not help but brush up against it.

hiking
1 month ago

Completed this clockwise this morning and used about 3l of water total. In early July I was able to fill up just before going up The Shortcut and could have also filled up at at the intersection of Poverty Flat and China Hole, if I’d needed to. Despite being July the weather was very mild 8C when I set off and 22C by the time I got back to the headquarters.

The Short Cut is quite challenging but a slow and steady approach works well. I definitely recommend cutting down Jackass Trail as the views and single track are great. My rating for this route is 4* to reflect the general lack of single track when good routes are there.

Instead of walking back up Poverty Flat I cut up China Hole Trail and briefly walked along Forest Trail before finishing the last 1km on Corral. Definitely recommended if you enjoy single track my route: 5* :-).

Total time for ~26km was 4h55m. Honestly I expected this to be more difficult than it was. I walked with poles for the first time and suspect this may have made the difference as my legs feel significantly less tired than I anticipated.

hiking
1 month ago

pretty consistent incline, but perfect for heartrate.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful and moderate forest trail with plenty of nature features to check out.

It was a beautiful and peaceful trail. Only issue, and probably my bad for not getting a map, is what should have been an easy 5.5-6 mile loop ended up being just over 9 miles. Yup not clearly marked and we went off the trail! My advice...make sure you get a map. Other then that will definitely do it again (with a map)

hiking
1 month ago

Had a great time on this trail. It was our second time hiking and it was definitely a challenge but 100% worth it for the beauty.

A very nice hike, very nice views on the path. It was a bit hot so don’t forget to bring enough water! Especially with kids.

hiking
1 month ago

I did it for the first time when the trail re-opened in April- all of the wildflowers were in bloom and everything was as green as it gets! The day was clear and the view was spectacular. It’s an easy walk through the canyon for the first mile and some, and then a steep climb to the peak, but so worth it.

I went again a couple of weeks ago and it was foggy at the top but it cleared up on our way down.

Wear layers for the unpredictable weather and long pants- the upper part of the trail is overgrown and it’s a tick area!

Tough trail but worth the effort for the $1m views throughout. So many amazing wild flowers, rolling hills, and views of the Pacific.

Did the loop despite the one portion being “closed”. Totally accessible if not just a little overgrown. No real hazards.

hiking
1 month ago

Enjoyed the sanborn trail!

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