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The loop was 7.2 miles.
3.3 miles uphill 3.5 - 4.5 difficulty.
Next time would probably start at Purisima instead of North Ridge.
3.5 shade.
4 scenary.
Scale 1 to 5.

fabulous!
I did this loop from Juniper Campground, so I had about 4 extra miles added on in order to get to and from the camping site. Went down deer flat road to the trail, took the loop clockwise from there, going down Mitchell Canyon Road and back up Mitchell Rock trail and Twin Peaks Trail.
Twas grand in the fall! all the leaves were changle.
Mitchel Canyon Road is a fire road, it's smooth and wide. I really enjoyed the 2nd half of the trail, going up mitchell rock trail and eagle peak trail, because it's a little more rugged and adventurous: narrow path, more rocks to step and climb over. but nothing too strenuous. don't get me wrong though, it was tough. but do-able. I was very grateful that I brought hiking poles. it was also pretty hot- even in mid-October. it was like, 80 degrees.
of course the views were sensational form each peak. From Eagle Peak, I saw beautiful dark mountains. they looked completely black, but they were really just covered in deep green chaparral.
Twas a quiet trail, I saw a handful of people, but it was a week day.
I reached Deer Flat road as the sun was starting to descend in the sky, and the lighting was gorgeous on the hills. It turned all the yellow into gold.
I highly recommend this hike, especially if you are staying at Juniper Campground. and I highly recommend Juniper Campground too.

Wonderful hike. I did it back in April with my husband and it was difficult at the stair part. My second time doing it on Sunday with a girlfriend. Still hard, but better (since I have more hikes in) Encountered a rattlesnake at the top. But made it

I only hike once a week and I felt this hike should be rated as moderate instead of hard. It starts of with several inclines for the first 2 miles after that it’s pretty easy. What I like about the hike is there are 2 caves you get to see on the way, as well as an amazing panoramic view of the city that no photo can explain. The trail does get narrow at times. Can be difficult for pets and young kids.

nice trail...I want to go back again...

Scenery: 4
Views: 4
Difficulty: 4
Crowds: 3
Shade: 3

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

Went on this trail this morning with my two dogs. The steep parts were killer, but doable. Got a great workout in. Half of the hike I only saw 1 person, but the beginning and end I saw tons of people, so if you’re looking to have quiet time, come early. I started at 8:45am on Saturday.

I did this trail but started at alpine lake took the trail counter clockwise, the trail up winds in and out of large beautiful trees and many creek crossings, and waterfalls. nice wooden bridges to keep you from getting wet even during rainy seasons. Once you get to the top, the trail loses its beauty and other hikers disappears going down.
There is a creek crossing just past the lake that you might run into trouble during rains there is no bridge.

I love this place it’s cool

Deffinetely hard one, especially if you don't have experience. I did it as suggested, going counter clockwise. Will be even harder during the summer, since there is no shade half of the way. Hiking will take you around 3 hours with some stops for pics and breaks. Btw i did the descending part at night 7-925pm.

Not bad of a hike... the only thing it’s dry and your exposed most of the time to the sun. I think it’s a great fall winter early spring hike. I think it can be too hot in the summer tho!

Done this hike twice now and it’s awesome! I recommend going clockwise around the loop (with the switchbacks at the end) so that you can see the lake for longer while you’re on the ridge. Go early if you can since it’s hot and can get crowded.

I had hoped to do the Whitemore Gulch and Purisma Creek Loop, but felt I was running out of daylight, and so came up the Harkness trail instead. I have to say it wasn't my favorite. After an initial pretty exposed portion along the beginning of North Ridge, this dips into pleasant shady Redwoods territory. Beside the beginning of the return loop near the creek -- where I saw a beautiful banana slug in the middle of the trail -- coming up the Harkness Ridge portion really was mostly a miserable slog in the heat. It might be better clockwise as others suggest, or early morning.

it was a great hike,beautiful place to hike..
steepy and rocky which is great for your lower extremities.

It was a great hike! I would bring more water than you think you need. A fire went through the area a bit ago and all the brush was scorched so there isn’t much shade. It is all uphill so be prepared for that!

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.

Really great hike except for the section after you reach Grizzly peak boulevard. It's hard to find the next section of the trail (you need to turn left at the end of the trail and walk along Grizzly peak to find the trail entrance) and then the next section is not well maintained. Also the trail is not well marked so have a map handy. If it wasn't for that segment, I'd rate this hike a 4/5. Great views.

We did the full trail and it's definitely a solid workout (some of the steeper climbs I've done). It looks us about 2.5hrs with some water breaks. Some shaded and some direct sun. Recommend plenty of water, bug spray, and suncreen. We also brought our pup who loved the climb as well and was off leash the majority of the time. Also definitely recommend solid trail shoes or hiking boots.

We arrived around 9am and had no issues with parking right at the trail head.

What can I say about this hike? Amazing views, history and elevation galore! Will do it again!

Steep and at an incline most of the way so wear shoes with good grips as it is slippery downhill. Offers great views of bay.

I love this hike! That being said I went at 2:00pm when it was 91 degrees out and I almost had a breakdown at the top it was so hot. There are signs warning about the lack of tree coverage. Listen to them! Don’t be dumb like me, bring lots of water and plan earlier in the day before it gets too hot

Be prepared. Just be prepared. It’s steep but rewarding!

This is a great hike. Started off of skyline and did Harkins ridge first since it was 9:30 am and already feeling the heat. It's even more beautiful once you are down in the groves. Take a few extra minutes and just sit there. Saw a handful+ of people but mostly had it to myself. I would say it is moderate to hard.

I love to do this hike but always do it in reverse. start and endon Purissima Creek Road. I like to get the hard work out of the way first and then coast downhill to finish

This was a pretty good workout!! I was planning on doing this alone, but glad I didn’t. There were3 gates that had to be hopped over in order to follow the route. It always makes me wonder if I’m doing something I shouldn’t. There was not as much for views as I was hoping. Lots of cows to look at adjacent to Black Diamond Way. I think there are probably better hikes to take. I gave it 3 stars for lack of a true trail because of the gates and the lack of scenery.

It’s really steep, which makes the return trip (descent) a bit difficult. The majority of it is in the sun, with limited tree coverage, so be sure to wear sunscreen! I prefer some of the other fire trail hikes that are more wooded.

- Well maintained path
- Somewhat challenging
- Mostly open landscape
- Good overlook of East Bay
- Mild foot traffic
- Multiple additional paths in area to make hike shorter or longer
- Decent signage
- Picnic / sitting area / bathrooms near NW edge of Park

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