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One of the best hikes I’ve done in Mt Tam. You will go though many different types of forest and nature. The lake is really beautiful about halfway through.

We took a couple of detours and made it closer to a 12 mike hike in about 4 hours.

Highly recommend.

hiking
9 days ago

Wow, no kidding that this hike was tough! It was a bit hard to navigate at times (we used two different maps), but overall it was a great workout. During the 9 miles we only saw about 6 people, so it was pretty private. The trails are very well kept. We had a lovely picnic at the top with the lunches we had packed!

Surprisingly great route for a quick run after work. Improved by returning via Saratoga Gap Trail to mix things up a little.

trail running
1 month ago

Nicely shaded out and back. Not a lot of parking and seems to be a popular trail with mountain bikers. Initial steep climb for the first 1.5ish miles but steady gradient with lots of switchbacks after. A challenge if you push for speed on the uphill, but also not too difficult to maintain a 10min mile pace for the entirety if you’re just in the mood for an easy run.

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.

Like being in the Sierra’s in our back yard.

Love Purisma Creek. Majestic redwood gulches

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.

mountain biking
2 months ago

Great trails, but note that the highlighted route shown starting from Big Basin Way (Hwy 9) is on the Achistaca Trail which is for hikers/equestrian only (to the south-west of Skyline Blvd), whereas mtb-ers need to use the actual Saratoga Gap Trail which is just on the other side of Skyline! Once you get to the Charcoal Rd intersection, you can head across Skyline and onto Hickory Oaks Trail and continue north, enjoying Peters Creek Trail and then Chestnut Trail. We did this as an out-and-back, but you can also use Long Ridge Road&Trail to make a small loop at the end as highlighted.

Absolutely amazing sweeping views and great trail. Great loop. Not difficult for fit hikers. Only negative was major gnats (it was super hot the day we went in July)! Definitely a top hike in the Bay Area

2 months ago

Start at the top of Montevina Rd . Great views of Lexington and the Coastal range early on.Kind of a reverse hike where you start at the top and go to the bottom.

Gorgeous view, the trail itself is not that challenging but the trail signs are a bit confusing, grab a map at the trailhead

hiking
3 months ago

I went hiking on a late Sunday afternoon. Not too strenuous. There was practically no traffic, I saw a total of four humans the entire time I was there.
About a quarter of the way in you start feeling completely isolated from the rest of the world, except for the cows. You pass through grazing lands and there are way too many cows. Some sections seemed a little dangerous where the cows did not have an escape route and ran right in front of me to get away from me. Also, the large population of cows results in manure related stench being prevalent for significant portions of the trail.
I also found a snake playing possum and some very curious deer when it was nearing sunset.
All in all, a nice refreshing hike.

hiking
3 months ago

The old Spanish trail becomes non-dog friendly about half way down the right side of the loop, had to turn back. Lots of mountain bikes going pretty fast on alpine road which made hiking with a dog on the narrow trails less than ideal. A couple of nice vistas.

Tough climb but totally worth it!

The hills, they rise
in a sea of green and gold
Bursts of starlight
as dandelions unfold
A crown of poppies
dance gently in the breeze
Whispering sweetly
“What a beautiful world this is!”

Beautiful hike, waterfalls, lush ferns to manzanita, views of the lake. Mostly shaded all the time.

hiking
3 months ago

I found this trail challenging but not too hard; good if you're kinda out of shape but want to push yourself. The hills and valleys are split up so it's not just one grueling uphill climb. The views and wildflowers are really beautiful in the summer.

Parking is limited, yet there were several open spots when I arrived and left. Trail is easy to follow, but make sure you're heading for the right parking lot at the end (there are signs for two different ones). There is almost no shade so be sure to bring sunscreen and lots of water!

Did this hike Thursday. We started from the Fairfax trail head worked our way up the falls around to the Kent trail. Took our time and explored each waterfall. Ended up being 12.2 miles only because we kept exploring. Great hike!

Just beautiful!!!

We did this loop on a beautiful 80-degree day in late May. Plenty of wildflowers were still out. Big views over the hills to the Pacific were gorgeous. Terrain not too challenging, but a few spots to get your heart rate up. Trail often wide enough to walk side by side. I'm glad we discovered the Midpen Open Space Preserves!

hiking
3 months ago

Steep (10+% grade) for first 2 miles, ease up on rest. Peak is a non-event. Trail almost completely shaded. Great hike!

great hike today, still some water flow in the falls, my Fitbit said 10.5 miles. went clockwise parking at Rock Spring. trailhead starting with the Cataract trail, lunch break at Alpine Lake which was a nice unexpected surprise to see on this hike. Nice and cool in the trees even though we worked up a sweat on the Kent trail!

Took this hike yesterday and although we hoped for warm, it was quite foggy and cool. Don’t be scared off by the Rock Springs parking lot - we thought the trail would be packed. True the downward hike was busy but once we turned off at alpine lake and came back up - and I do mean up- the Kent trail we ran into only a few folks.
The wildflowers, especially iris, were out in full force, Got to see a little newt and a frog!
Great variety of flora and geology - a most highly recommended hike!
From a 57 year old and 23 year old daughter!

hiking
4 months ago

I had the pleasure of joining the 510 Hikers today. The hike started off pretty easy, but was soon challenged by the incline in some of the hills. Would I do this hike again? Yes, most definitely. The views are beautiful and there’s a number of shaded rest areas.

Awesome trail. Lots of elevation changes and things to see. Def a work out.

It’s pretty and challenging, there’s also a lot of manure and flies

Very beautiful hike. Did the loop to the lake and back to the cataract falls. Is a 9.2 miles, took us about 6 hours, stopping for lunch, pictures and just enjoying the beautiful view.

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