Explore the most popular Bird Watching trails in Red Hills Recreation Management Area with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
rocky
3 days ago

I'm not sure why this is "easy," maybe it is for experienced hikers. Narrow trail, uphill, rocky, but beautiful. We followed the map to the top of the first peak. It was a great view, but the kids didn't want to continue without knowing if there were more hills to climb. We went back down the way we came and walked over to to the other trailhead (Old Stage) to explore a little bit.

hiking
rocky
6 days ago

Plenty of flat rock along the way so i can see why this trail is ‘easy,’ but my dogs and i stretched this hike out an extra mile because we got lost quite a lot. Haha, there are a lot of forks in the road, just put your best foot forward & don’t be afraid to get lost out there!! it was fun

Unique serpentine habitat. Saw some very large beetles and tarantula. Red soil high in iron that is rare elsewhere in CA. Good for running IMO but going over the rocky areas is slower going then a dirt trail so I’d book some extra time even though the gain is slight.

If you like rocks, elevation, and no traffic then this trail is for you. I'm sure the view is nice in spring but right now in August not so much. Ha! I would not recommend it for small children as it's very Rocky and uneven but older kids would be fine. Parking area is free at the trailhead with a pit toilet, which didn't have TP, and there's a nice sign that tells you about the local f&f. Wildlife report: birds of prey, no snakes seen but be mindful, a coyote (right next to the trail in a bush) which I scared off with a yell. Note to self: remember to bring your survival knife next time. Doh! Just shows they really are scared of you. Geology: Red dirt, volcanic rocks, and Rocky Creek beds to satisfy any geology student. Would recommend this area for that reason alone.

I went here a while ago, there was no shade whatsoever ever and easy to get lost. I went with my fiancé and our dog we ended up getting lost and had to call a sheriff to come look for us, they were about to send a search party! During the time we were lost on this trail we gave all of our water to our dog because we didn’t want anything to happen to him since it was so hot. Something ended up biting him and he ended up passing away in our arms...

no shade
over grown
5 months ago

However this app took me on the trail took me to where there was an overgrown bush on the trail and all the other trails around it seem like maybe they could be the right one, but those trails are also overgrown and dont seem like the right way. Near the very end of this is when it started to get very confusing and it can even be confusing before that, I was just following this map. Not sure if where it was overgrown was the right way but I turned back to avoid trying to guess my way back to the parking lot. No shade, lots of bugs, and barley any views. Dont go in the afternoon if its supost to be over 90 I used every ounce of water I had, especially after i decided to turn around. If i didnt have extra water I'd probably be out on the trail still dead of a heat stroke. If it wasnt for the wildflowers everywhere this hike wouldnt of even been worth it, just knowing all the other trails that are available in the surrounding area. It's a nice walk if you can find your way around and in the morning and/or the fall or winter time

good trail, it's not marked, take a gps

Rocky, so be aware of your footing. I started at the Overlook loop, which is a decent view at the top and ended at Soaproot. Didn't come across many people on the trail.

hiking
no shade
rocky
scramble
6 months ago

Start at the Red Hills Recreation area parking lot and head counter clockwise. As other paths veer inward stay to the right keeping the circumference of the loop as large as possible. You will reach the parking area near Old Don Pedro Road and just keep going. The trail becomes an old gravel road for a ways and it seems like it's going too far but it's just your mind. Finally you will reach an area where you will have a view of the lake and the trail turns back. You will start seeing signs that say Soaproot Ridge, follow those back. it's a long way. It's rocky and dry and not a good place for an emergency. Be sure of your ability because it is every bit of 8 miles and tiring.

Hikers and fur babies beware! This trail says dog friendly but the trail is full of sharp rocks and broken glass! 2 miles in my dog had shredded all 4 of his paws and we had to wrap him and pack him out. Poor baby! Dog shoes folks! don't make the same mistake we did!

Beautiful trail in the early spring! Bright flowers, creek sounds & shades of green. It's not a hard hike, but you have to keep an eye on your map, or you can veer off the trail:)

Beautiful wildflowers right now. Best in the spring when the flowers are blooming and it’s cooler temperatures outside. Definitely download the map and use it at all bifurcations in the trail. We took one wrong turn and added a mile to our hike.

Such a beautiful spring hike. The flowers are in bloom!

Great for trail running. Very technical for footing and balance as it is a very rocky trail. The lack of markers did not bother me, just had to pull out my phone a bit more often for position confirmation than if there were more markers.

hiking
no shade
rocky
7 months ago

Beautiful hike- definitely go “backwards” instead of starting at the marked trail head. Trail is not highly marked and it would be very easy to get off track- using the AllTrails app helped. Lots of loose rock- would recommend appropriate footwear. Bring sun protection as well, not much shade. Nice staging area with bathroom (no running water).

hiking
no shade
rocky
7 months ago

Great views from the ridge of the Overlook loop dropping down to a creek leading back to Soaproot loop.

Sticking strictly to the trail, outlined in this map, it’s closer to 6 miles. We started out headed West as marked by the trail indicator. I’d say about 70-75% of the hike was manageable and it was pretty rocky. The last 25 percent was rocky and a steep unrelenting hike with minimal shade. I don’t think it would have been as bad if we headed East and got the steep incline out of the way to begin with. Seemed way less steep headed down, so headed up that way would seem easier. There is minimal signage and people take horses on the trail. On certain places they “got lost” and we did too by default following their tracks. This might have added a quarter mile to our steps, but my fitness tracker says we stepped 6 miles easy. Not sure how this is only 3.3 miles. I’d say I was definitely under prepared, but the trail was definitely oversold. There’s not anything real scenic, other than birds, a small creek. the trail is really rocky and requires appropriate footwear. I’d also highly recommend a snack pack and plenty of water. It took close to 2 hours to complete and I fully expected to be in and out in about an hour.

hiking
no shade
rocky
8 months ago

A nice trail for a walk on a spring day. It's low elevation and there's not much shade, so it's probably best early season. It's also quite rocky, so sturdy footwear is recommended.

This trail is not clearly marked at all. None of the trails are named the Red Hills Extended loop trail so the markers that they do have posted do not help if you are trying to do this trail. We got lost and hiked an extra three miles. There were no maps at the trailhead so we used the map on here to kind of guide us. The trail is very rocky and it was muddy when we went due to all the recent rain. We also had to cross many small streams so wear waterproof shoes. All in all, it was a nice hike but longer than we expected.

hiking
muddy
rocky
washed out
8 months ago

A good hike, but the trail deviates from the map in the first half quite a bit. I found it easier to follow the heat map overlay. It was closer to 9 miles.

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