Austin Creek Trail

HARD 22 reviews

Austin Creek Trail is a 8.5 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Guerneville, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

DISTANCE
8.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,797 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

backpacking

camping

hiking

nature trips

rock climbing

trail running

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

washed out

no dogs

This loop through the backcountry in Austin Creek State Recreation Area is one of the longest and most isolated trails in the Wine Country. With several creek crossings and two fords of large East Austin Creek, this is wild country, far removed from civilization. The trail has many panoramic vistas of the rugged North Coast Range and primitive backpacker camps, making this a great option for overnight trips. This trail makes several creek crossings; in winter and spring, it is best to check with rangers about water levels. If the water is too high and crossings are dangerous, especially on East Austin creek, this hike should not be attempted.

backpacking
1 month ago

This is a challenging hike in some places with beautiful views and lots of stream crossings. The beginning of the hike is very steep and is especially challenging at the end when coming back in with a pack on. The fire road offered very little shade so be prepared to sweat when going back uphill.
The water levels were low enough at most crossings but there were a few where you want to take your boots off or wear water shoes. It was refreshing to cool your feet in the water on a hot day in June.
We camped at Tom King campsite. It was secluded near a creek with a couple picnic tables and a fire ring. Pretty nice for backcountry camping! This time of year there is a fire ban in the backcountry so we couldn’t build a fire to ward off the swarms of mosquitoes. Bring your Deet!
Overall a really nice hike with good views. This is the only backpacking trail in Sonoma county and they only give 3 permits per day so you will need to get one early.

hiking
4 months ago

Very beautiful hike. Had a great time. Wish we had brought footwear for fording, had to take off shoes a lot. I think the hard rating is probably a bit off, more of a moderate hike. There is some elevation gain, but it is on a fire road, so footing is solid and the grade is not too bad. Certainly give yourself enough time to complete, took us all afternoon due to having to change in and out of footwear frequently.

Lots of newts and wildflowers. Also saw a king snake sunning itself.

hiking
5 months ago

The forest you're in for much of this hike is just stunning - so lush and green and undisturbed. We only passed 2 other groups the whole hike. There are > 15 stream crossings, so be sure to bring/wear your water shoes or be prepared to take your shoes off a lot. We saw a TON of red bellied newts, so watch your step! The reason this hike gets a hard rating is definitely the last 1.5 miles (otherwise definitely would not classify it as such). That steep uphill at the end of an 8.3 mile hike is not fun!

hiking
5 months ago

The forest is lush and the newts are frolicking! There are currently (January) a dozen or so stream crossings; knee-high water at one ford. I clocked the loop at 9 mi, 1145 ft, 3.5 hrs.

hiking
6 months ago

20 + river crossings two requiring us to remove shoes and socks to cross. Bring water shoes and a water filter. Being from NorCal, trail had average scenery. Saw, turkeys and lots of interesting salamanders.

hiking
11 months ago

Strava has this hike at 9.3 miles and 2100 feet so don't believe AllTrails. And the extra mile is tough! Did this in "reverse" from Gilliam Creek trail looping back on the fire road. Very little water flowing in mid August. 3h 45min. Only 2 other hikers on a Sunday. Entrance to the park is through Armstrong SP so watch out if Google maps says otherwise!

hiking
11 months ago

Took the Gilliam creek trail 12:30 pm was perfect start for mid day start. The 10 mile loop was challenging with river crossings, obstacles from our wet winter, steep elevation changes. We had 5 liters water we could have brought more. We saw 4 other people on trail. The meandering creeks were beautiful. The oak trees were stunning to view. We saw deer, snakes, turkey,crawfish,wild boar and a lot of birds. We will return to see the other seasons. Highly recommend

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Did this backwards. Started at Gilliam creek. Finished on the fire road. All ip hill for almost 3 miles. Amazing variety of scenery but lots of creek crossings. A good solid workout.

Monday, April 03, 2017

Great trail that leads down a fire road to some beautiful creeks. The Second half of the hike you have alot of creek crossings, then a solid 1.5 mile climb back to the trailhead.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Very hard, wading through rivers

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Thursday, June 15, 2017