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China Hole Trail Loop

HARD 60 reviews
#2 of 53 trails in

China Hole Trail Loop is a 9 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Morgan Hill, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

Distance: 9.0 miles Elevation Gain: 1,715 feet Route Type: Loop

backpacking

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

bird watching

running

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

over grown

rocky

no dogs

The essential Henry Coe Hike: 10 arduous miles through the park's demanding mountainous terrain. China Hole is one of the most popular destinations at Henry Coe State Park. Spring rains create a picturesque swimming hole at the confluence of two creeks, making the nearby backcountry campsite a prized locale for overnight outings. A day hike to China Hole is a perfect alternative if you hate to sleep on the ground but love to get your heart pumping under the California sun. You'll also descend along the Madrone Soda Springs Trail and the Mile Trail, which passes the decaying remains of an era when the springs were a major tourist attraction. Best time to go: spring, when the hills are green and the wildflowers are popping, and early summer, when it's warm enough to swim at China Hole. The water gets more dank as summer progresses -- the puddles remaining after July tend to reek.

hiking
over grown
7 hours ago

hiking
bugs
over grown
7 hours ago

hiking
off trail
over grown
rocky
scramble
washed out
21 days ago

Mile Trail was extremely poorly maintained, overgrown with rampant poison oak, and poorly marked — to the point that we got lost and ended up in a very dangerous situation climbing up a near-vertical hill. If I hadn’t been able to track our location via the AllTrails map, we would have had to turn back and abandon our backpacking trip. This trail is not safe. Springs Trail and China Hole Trail were better marked with pretty views, and these I would recommend — but otherwise the landscape was dry dirt, weeds, rocky river beds, and plenty of poison oak. I will not be returning and recommend others avoid it; there are plenty of other beautiful state parks in California that offer a better experience.

hiking
4 months ago

Hiked this June 1st. Warm day to start but ended hike in thunderstorm. Be prepared. Took 3 liters of water which was plenty. Hiked down China Hole Trail and out on Madrone Springs which switches back and forth along the stream and then a quick 1,000 foot climb. Need to be in good shape but the wildflowers, China Hole, and beauty in spring worth the effort.

hiking
rocky
4 months ago

Definitely prepared enough water for the trail. The trails are really small which make it unique and fun. Be careful with all the small plants have spines that can hurt you, My ankle got scratched from those plants were really low on the ground.

backpacking
6 months ago

Amazing trail! Definitely challenged myself backpacking to Mahoney Pond using the China Hole Trail on 4/6 and 4/7. The weather was perfect where it was sunny with a slight breeze. Had to cross the river after ~3 or so miles. A lot of uphill and downhill areas which are exposed to sun then covers into manzanita’s. The view at the top of each hill was amazing. The sight of green went on for miles. Coming back, we took advice from rangers/ volunteers and used the trail leading to The Narrows. Good thing too because the hills were so so steep. After about 3 miles from the pond we reached The Narrows. We would hike in and out of the river but it felt amazing to step into the stream while the sun was hitting us. The wildflowers on each hill were a bonus too. A lot of wildlife on this trail: deer, snakes, frogs, birds, and more. 10/10 would do again.

hiking
off trail
over grown
6 months ago

We did this hike as part of a larger backpacking trip in late March. The amount of water in the creeks and streams appears to be VERY dependent on the time of year according to some of the comments here. The Mile Trail involved probably 15 river crossings (hopping on slippery stones), while to get to the campsite at China hole required wading through ~3-feet deep water. We were not prepared for these crossings, so they were very time consuming and cold. FYI the "Narrows" trail is the river bed, which is totally impassable in March unless you have water shoes. The scenery was beautiful, though, especially China hole! About half the time is spent in direct sun, the other half in partly-shaded forest.

running
Monday, August 06, 2018

Pretty decent hike. Went at about 1pm on a 90 degree day. Brought 2L of water. The hike down wasn’t that bad at all.. considering it’s all downhill! On the way back I took the Springs trail back up. Wow! That was quite a hike up. Made me stop a few times. I can’t wait to go back after a nice rain when the river fills up! Would make the hike that much better. By the way.. it’s 8$ to park!

hiking
Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Fun trail to hike on. Mostly narrow trails. Some fairly steep drop offs but not too difficult to deal with. Not too strenuous if hiking on the Soda Spring Trail out and returning on the China Hole Trail. Took us about 5 hours round trip. Definitely not a good place for swimming at this time of the year though. The creek is al dried up. Some water left at China Hole but not much.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Trail is in good condition. Watch for poison oak growing on the trail.

hiking
Sunday, March 18, 2018

We went on a day that was supposed to be super rainy - the rain started as we were walking up the Corral trail back to the cars so we just got cool weather and fresh trails! The big creek was pretty darn full - didn’t get all the way to China Hole. We got a little sun on the incline and even with all the rain the creek hopping was fine. If I were to do it again I would go back up the China Hole trail - I loved the views that way and the incline going up the other way was brutal - all uphill with no flat areas until you get back to the fork.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Couldn't exactly find China loop hole trail. But the hike is easy, elevation isn't very high.

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Not hard, considering that there's no major incline. Flat, and circular. =Round About Trail. 4.6 miles up, 4.6 miles down!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Beautiful views, moderate hike, constantly jumping streams and small lake to take a dip in half way through

hiking
Monday, April 03, 2017

Lots of wildflowers on an early Spring hike! Several clean! bathrooms along the trail. My wife told me to highlight that! A ranger recommended to do the China Hole loop in reverse. Rather go down China Hole trail and come back up on Mile trail and Madrone Soda Spring trail. Seemed to be easier on our knees. Also there were multiple (7+) stream crossings involved on the Madrone Soda Spring trail section. We definitely got our feet soaked!

hiking
Thursday, March 16, 2017

Loved this trail! Especially when you get further in and the trail gets more scenic and a little more woody--the first half is mostly just walking through grasslands. This trail can easily take all day, so get there early.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

I am not convinced that this hike has 2000' gain - if it does then it is pretty well disguised. That figure is mentioned in the map published by CA State parks, but from the topological, elevation at Park HQ is around 2600' and Cayote creek is around 1200'. We could add in a couple of hundred feet to account for rolling terrain, we'd still be about 400' short.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

This is a helpful guide with some really nice pictures.

hiking
1 day ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
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hiking
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