Coit Lake Loop Trail

MODERATE 18 reviews
#6 of 53 trails in

Coit Lake Loop Trail is a 21.9 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Gilroy, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Horses are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 21.9 miles Elevation Gain: 4,560 feet Route Type: Loop

backpacking

camping

hiking

horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

walking

bike touring

bird watching

running

views

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

no dogs

Backpacking permits may be acquired year-round at either the Coe Ranch or Hunting Hollow Entrances. Permits may also be acquired at the Dowdy Ranch Entrance on weekends from May through Labor Day Weekend. Also, there is no parking at the Coyote Creek Gate, so you must park at Hunting Hollow and walk 1.8 miles up the mostly flat road before you start in on the trail. The social trail at mile 13.0 to mile 15.1 is NOT a legal mountain biking trail. If you are mountain biking, stick to Wagon Rd and Wasno Rd through this section. You may want to avoid 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 it is possible to get lost. If you would like to stick to the clearly labeled paths to Kelly lake and Coit lake and avoid the cattle trail try this page: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/california/kelly-and-coit-lakes-trail

hiking
no shade
7 months ago

This was a great last minute trip as the permits are first come first serve! Although it didn’t matter too much because clearly there were lots of people without permits. Really beautiful this time of year. We arrived to thick warm fog as we entered the oak meadows after taking the entrance of the coe headquarters trailhead. Really steep ascents and descents on some parts of the trail, challenging but easy enough for inexperienced backpackers if you give yourself 2 or 3 nights. We did 3 nights and we all felt that we could have hiked a little more each day, although our final distance clocked in at around 28 miles. We had really sporadic weather when we were out there, fog, rain, sun, clouds, wind. Nothing we couldn’t handle but apparently the weather is notoriously unpredictable in the park. The creek was full enough to swim in some areas and shallow enough to tread through without getting your feet wet. Although you might do better strapping on your sandals in some places, because several of us got our feet wet. We accidentally went on memorial day weekend (oops lol) and camped by the creek the first night which was really nice. Second night we were supposed to camp at coit lake but the only available campsite was small for 5 people, so we went on to kelly lake where we found a ridiculous amount of people scrambling for a site. My guess is lots of people didn’t have permits, apparently some people were also making fires which is not permitted in the park. We took it in stride and camped in a pretty exposed area. Next day we were supposed to stay at lost creek but someone had claimed the only campsite there (kind of crappy of them considering we had a permit and all). I’m glad though because in the end we found a much better creekside camping spot by china hole. Overall it was really fun, for me the river and the beautiful flowers and meadows were the highlights. The lakes were a disappointment, as they are more for fishing. We loved camping by the river though! Overall beautiful california trail, docked one star because of the no campfires rule.

backpacking
10 months ago

Solid loop. Did the whole thing over night. First day to Pacheco camp was 9 miles which was pretty easy. Second day was a solid 13 mile day and some of those hills are killer to climb. My feet hurt so bad right now but totally worth it. Great way to start off this year's backpacking season. Highly recomend this trail around this time when it's cool, wet, and GREEN.

hiking
Tue May 01 2018

Beautiful lake, but little access for swimming.

backpacking
Mon Aug 21 2017

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/

backpacking
Mon May 29 2017

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.

Tue 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.

backpacking
Mon Dec 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
3 months ago

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5 months ago

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10 months ago

Wed May 24 2017

Sat May 13 2017

Fri Apr 28 2017