Explore the most popular camping trails in Henry W. Coe State Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
7 days ago

This is a good one! Completed on 5/19/18 and this will kick your ass. We did it clockwise and it starts out nice enough but once you hit the short cut, it gets pretty serious. This is an intense climb so make sure you're well prepared for this. I clocked in around 1500ft of gain. After this, it's a nice walk on the ridge. We cut down Jackass Trail, though, wouldn't really recommend this route, its super overgrown right now and we found lots of ticks on us after that stretch. The climb on Poverty Flats is pretty rough too, tough way to end an already long hike. I should have filtered more water at China Hole but opted not too. This is a solid hike but as long as you're well prepared, it's nice and challenging. Enjoy before it gets to hot!

hiking
26 days ago

Beautiful lake, but little access for swimming.

backpacking
1 month ago

Fantastic hike to do in the spring! Temperatures were fairly mild, and we were able to see a variety of wildlife. We walked through at least 4 different terrains including grassy regions, heavily forested areas, shaded creeks, dessert-ish areas. The wildflowers were in bloom right when we were backpacking. The park rangers are super helpful! We did a modified version of the loop to get the best view of the wildflowers. There is quite a bit of elevation gain, including steep uphill and downhill climbs, but it's doable for most fairly fit people. We started at noon and camped for two nights, finishing around 10am on the third day. We got a tiny bit lost near a small trail off Bear Mountain, but otherwise most trails were well marked. Overall a fantastic trip--highly recommend!

hiking
1 month ago

It was a unique experience to walk though oak savannah and into an old madrone forest with ponderosa pine. Apparently there are ponderosa pines on three ridges in the Henry Coe area. I was pleasantly surprised. The wildflowers were out, and I must have seen over a dozen different species. The wild iris was my favorite. At frog lake there was a giant bellowing bullfrog and fish and smaller frogs aplenty. (The large bullfrog is invasive, unfortunately.) Otherwise not much wildlife, but I am sure the animals are out there.

The roads are extremely steep, built for trucks, so I recommend taking the walking trails. Lots of spots for backcamping. Bring lots of water, a filter, and food. It’s rugged and you will definitely need some extra calories to get through the day(s).

Hard but rewarding loop with many moments of silence and serenity; we saw only a handful of people the entire time.

Nice jaunt. A few spots were rather annoying with the elevation change but all in all a good hike. Also had a nice lunch under an old oak tree at the lake. Peaceful and no hum of cars.

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked on 3-10-18. 5 stars... maybe because it was raining and the wildlife was out, there was only 3 people on the trail (beside a few backpackers in Poverty Flat). I completed going clockwise, heard frogs at frog lake, a fox up on Blue Ridge, a rabbit, two herds of deers, multitudes of California Newts. The Big Berry Manzanita are amazing as are the Madrones. Flowers were out. Anyways this hike was a gem in the rain with an umbrella. But a lot of elevation gain. This hike took me 8 hours, and ended in the dark after a great sunset.

on Mount Sizer Loop

hiking
2 months ago

I did this trek on Sunday 3-12-18 and unfortunately I did it backwards. So I can not say I have completed the "short cut" It was a really nice hike in 65 degree weather can imagine it being much hotter I would melt away. It was long and intense for me and I hike every weekend. I took the Jackass trail from Poverty flat to Blueridge (remember I started at end) Going down the Short Cut is really rough on the knees..... I much prefer going up it. I will be back to do it the right way.... It is very peaceful and lightly traffic, just how I like it.

Known as "Flag Frog, Middle Ridge, And Fish Trail Loop" in 101 Great Hikes of the San Francisco Bay Area.

Haven't walked this yet - rating based on book recommendation - will update when I walk it later today.

This hike had a great deal of elevation changes in short distances. You will want to be conditioned before attempting it! Traveling Serpentine was a huge climb for sore legs on day 2 of our trip, Middle Steer Trail was a straight descent down from Steer Ridge, if you are sore or would like to ease your trip, I suggest taking Steer Ridge to Jim Donnelly- which was just recently re-carved and has enough switchbacks to lighten the descent on your legs. Overall this was a great trip and Pacheco Falls were 10/10 worth the trek!

hiking
6 months ago

Tough one. Budget at least 7 hrs.

backpacking
9 months ago

I hiked out to Coit Lake from the Hunting Hollow Park Entrance recently as part of a 2 night backpacking trip. The fishing at Coit was great. Only giving 4 out of 5 stars because the shore access on Coit lake was not as good as Mississippi or Kelly Lake. https://backpackersreview.wordpress.com/trip-reports/henry-coe-coit-lake/

hiking
9 months ago

A couple of strenuous climbs, but completely worth the view you get along Blue Ridge Rd. There are plenty of hawks to keep you company. The creek is also beautiful even in the summer and worth poking around if you have time. Most of this trail is downhill and a bit hard on the feet - I had to run the steeper parts. Finished in 6 hours, "short cut" took me 36 minutes.

hiking
9 months ago

Hiked this in 90+ degree weather. Did it in 7 hours out of necessity, but now I'm dead.

This trail takes you to the bottom of the valley, to the peak of mt. sizer, back down to another creek bed, and then back up to the starting point. Drank four liters of water and wanted more. I bought the fourth liter at the advice if the rangers, and that saved me. 5 stars, but I do not recommend going in the summer.

hiking
10 months ago

Good workout, low crowd with minimal shade

hiking
10 months ago

I consider myself an occasional hiker 6 to 7 times a year, maybe 10 miles at a time. I have hiked almost all the other popular day hikes in the bay area. I hiked this Monday about 80 degrees weather. I was contemplating climbing Mt. Whitney and was checking my endurance. This was a killer. I somehow ended up hiking 17.5 miles with a few side trips. The "shortcut" took me 1 hour 30 minutes, twice my age. I did take jackass trail it is passable during the day, although I counted 4 trees fallen over the trail. There is some poison oak along the route that one can avoid if they are careful. The Jackass trail is overgrown at some points and would be impossible to follow during dusk or at night. It took me 10.5 hours to do 17.5 miles. The views were good, but I have seen better at other hikes in the area. It is a good training hike to test your stamina. I concluded I am not ready for a day hike up Whitney, maybe I could do with an overnight and more training.

Did this the second time, but camped at Sada's spring this time instead of dayhiking all of it. The site there is perfect for a single tent, with a good spot for a hammock. Going up the 'shortcut' in 90 deg weather in the afternoon with camping gear may not be the best idea, I discovered.

The map that we followed ended at lock gate

hiking
11 months ago

Knocked it out in less than 4 hours with someone that never really hikes. All in all, pretty chill trail.

backpacking
11 months ago

This trail was rewarding with all of the vertical gain, and coit lake was a nice treat at the end. HOWEVER. I highly recommend avoiding the "cattle master trail" - it is not marked, hardly visible, and mainly soft, unstable ground with many mudslides along the way. Without AllTrails gps tracking over the trail we surely would have gotten lost. Stick to the clearly labeled paths to Kelly lake and coit lake and avoid the cattle trail that this loop suggests.

hiking
Saturday, May 20, 2017

Extremely tough and long bring plenty of water and food.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

This is a great overnight trip. We did the whole thing in a casual 24 hours. One logistical warning: to get a backpack permit you need to go to the park HQ, which are about a 1 hour drive from where you put in for this area. Also, there is no overnight parking near this trailhead so you must park at Hunting Hollow and walk 1.8 miles up the mostly flat road before you start in on the trail. Not too bad, but adds 4 miles to the total trek. Also, we ran into at least 2 groups at the lake who hadn't bothered to get a permit, so we had more company than the ranger said we'd have. I don't mind this type of fauna too much but be forewarned if you're looking for solitude.

hiking
Monday, April 03, 2017

It's really tough. We spent 9 hours to finish this, including multiple rests and crossing 3 creeks. Be ware to be get wet in the creeks during the spring time. But once you have done it, the only feeling you have is proud.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

it was a great workout. beautiful medium size mountains, and lots of best birds to see. February weather was cool, small waterfalls. lots of up and down hills. take plenty of water and food. took about 5-6 hours to finish, on a rush pace.

backpacking
Monday, December 19, 2016

This was a hard but rewarding trek with a lot of front-loaded elevation gain on both days. We set out from the Hunting Hollow Entrance of Henry Coe State Park and walked up the road (~2 miles) to the Coyote Creek park entrance - where this trail starts. You quickly start climbing on the Anza Trail and the Jackson Trail. There was some tree cover, but luckily we were hiking in the winter when temperatures were mid-50s. There were great views of the surrounding hills and fields which made all of the work totally worth it. After the climb, descending down to Kelly Lake is easy and then there is a slight hike up and down again to the nearby Coit Lake. There were lots of frogs, ducks, and other birds by Coit Lake. There were several choice camping spots around the northern part of the lake. We woke up to frost on the ground, it was magical. Conviniently, there are a few outhouses near Kelly and Coit Lake along with a few trash bins (although I don't know how often those are emptied). Hiking back up the hill from Kelly Lake was killer, but after that its a nice flat/decline hike down Grizzly Gulch back to the Coyote Creek Entrance. Overall a great trip!

hiking
Saturday, November 12, 2016

We went in the reverse direction, which got cutoff out of the way earlier in the hike. I strongly recommend adding the additional couple of miles to take as many of the side single-tracks as possible: flat frog trail, jackass trail, china hole up to manzanita point, either springs trail or forest trail. you'll encounter more poison oak, but being off of the roads is worth it, and it's only an extra mile or so, with no additional elevation to speak of. Poverty Flat rd. to finish is a bit brutal.

hiking
Wednesday, November 02, 2016

The is one of the most challenging hikes in the bay area. It is not overly long but incredibly steep and remote. fantastic views of the Henry Coe back country. Most probably you will not see anyone once you leave the visitor center. Go do it!

hiking
Sunday, September 04, 2016

The Blue Ridge road / trail has some of the most beautiful views in the Bay Area. Note that Mt.Sizer is not where the free park brochure's map indicates. Also, if you're hoping to pick up a good topo map at the HQ, it may not be open if you get there early (I didn't check beforehand; I got there around 7am and it was closed). There's a decent amount of shade on most parts of this route, and overall, was a day well spent.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Beautiful trail

hiking
Wednesday, March 23, 2016

It was a GORGEOUS trail. My only complaint was that there were multiple creek crossings that we were not prepared for. Because of El Niño they were fairly deep as well. Other than that the trail was really quiet and peaceful. I would rate it as moderate as some parts can be fairly steep.

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