East Ridge and Pool Ridge Loop Trail

MODERATE 160 reviews

East Ridge and Pool Ridge Loop Trail is a 5.2 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Guerneville, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

DISTANCE
5.2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1558 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

no dogs

A pleasant mostly-shady forest hike around the two ridges bordering the Armstrong redwood grove.

hiking
7 days ago

Started the hike off with the incline up to 600ft elevation before looping back down. Great weather on the day I hiked. Will come back to climb a little higher.

hiking
1 month ago

Very challenging, uphill climb. But worth it. Beautiful

hiking
1 month ago

Great glutes workout due to the uphill. Love that this hike is mostly forest but with the reward of a view at the top (midway’sh) of the hike. For folks just starting to get back into shape (like myself) this will be challenging but def doable. Just take your time, bring water and dress in layers.

hiking
1 month ago

Going up East Ridge is moderate and uphill the rest of the way into Pool Ridge, looping back is easier. Nice hike with great views at to top of East Ridge. I went with a friend so I didn't know much about the hike but not many Redwoods on the hike until the end when going back! Just be warned :)

1 month ago

I would rate this trail as moderate due to how strenuous it is. Beautiful views at the top of the ridge!

hiking
2 months ago

Stunning hike. Loved the terrain, the smells, the silence. Make sure you ask the Rangers if the Pool Ridge Trail is closed. We told the man at the visitor’ desk that we were doing the East Ridge/Pool Ridge Trail but where they meet the trail was closed and there were no signs. We called the ranger station and they said that the trail had been closed for a year but they were just now making the signs!!! He told us what to do to reconnect further down. My advice would be to NOT close a trail without having the signs ready to prevent people getting lost......

hiking
3 months ago

This is a beautiful hike with a pretty steady and challenging climb to a stunning view. We went on a foggy morning and ended up above the clouds at the top. The last bit of the hike takes you through the giant redwoods of Armstrong Woods. Stop by the ranger station for a free map before starting. Parking is free in the first lot you reach off of the main road. Recommend hiking shoes.

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike, significantly longer and greater elevation than posted (7.9 m/1700ft). Today was beautiful, but the views must be amazing on a clear day!

trail running
3 months ago

I’m biased as I LOVE Armstrong woods but as an obstacle course racer I find the variance in up/downhill as well as terrain change (roots, steps, dirt, rock, etc.) ideal for training. As well as ideal for beautiful scenery! Parking can be a bit crazy if you go during peak hours but you can park along the road right before the lot no problem. Bathrooms, trail stops, and signage adorn throughout (east ridge trail can be a bit wonky at the top though) so you never feel lost. Check it out!

4 months ago

My all time favorite

4 months ago

Great hike! There’s some debris down on the pool ridge trail and the signage is a little wonky once you get on pool ridge if hiking counter clockwise.

hiking
5 months ago

Ran this loop counter-clockwise, most of the elevation gain was in the first 3 miles. Once I reached the peak it was difficult to know which direction to go as there were no more signs for East Ridge. The Pool Trail finishes the loop, a small section of had some down trees to get around, but once I got around that the trail was better maintained from that point.

5 months ago

one of my favorite hikes in bay area.

7 months ago

awesome

hiking
7 months ago

Really nice workout hike if you begin at the East Ridge Trail and connect to Pool Ridge Trail. Definitely would say going up East Ridge, especially near the top is rigorous, but that is where the workout begins. We loved it, but if you don't hike, you may find it challenging. Some doubts some may encounter on the trail I will address. When going up East Ridge there is an unmarked fork. One will go up and the other down. It doesn't matter which one you take since they both connect within a couple of minutes of walking. However, when you get to the fork and notice no signs, you do wonder if it takes you elsewhere. When you first go down Pool Ridge Trail, cross the fire road to continue. There is no sign but will see the path. Also,when you are going down Pool Ridge and get to a small parking lot and sign board, there is no posting of Pool Ridge to continue. Again stay straight and go across the fire road and stay on the path...it is just unmarked but that is the trail. Finally, when going down Pool Ridge and you pass loop trail, part of Pool Ridge is obstructed and closed off with no warning or alternative markings. You will want to take the Picnic Area trail which will eventually connect you back to Pool Ridge. Finally, bring lots of water because it is a 6 mile hike and it does get steep. When we hiked it was 100 degrees in Guerneville though about ten degrees cooler under the trees. The vistas at the top are really beautiful and worth the hike. We saw a few woodpeckers, turkey vultures, red trail hawk, lots of salamanders, and the usual squirrels. Bring a change of shirt because you will sweat and that will be more comfortable for your drive home. Get out there and enjoy this fabulous hike...we encountered just a few people and we went on an early Saturday afternoon. Unfortunately you could hear a few people yelling and playing music..seriously people use common sense, we are in nature not to listen to your loud conversation about nothing and for Gods sake unplug from technology or stay at the damn mall. Figure would throw in a common sense rant.

hiking
8 months ago

Challenging ish start but nice crest and a quick downslope to some pretty dang big redwoods.
Lots of contact with roads and stuff so it isn't like being way out there but it's a great hike with good variety.

9 months ago

love this hike. it is super steep but I like feeling the burn afterwards. very pretty home up. at the top a good view.

hiking
9 months ago

How long does this one take, for a moderately experienced hiker? Looking to make a plan with some others. Thanks!

hiking
9 months ago

We about died on the steep incline of the trail, but so did all the other people from what we saw! So at least there was something to laugh at - and the views from the top we certainly pretty, but not spectacular. However, our descent was marvelous (partly because it was downhill) and we found so many redwoods to stand in. There was still some active creeks, and we wish we had come earlier when the rains were still active to see it all in its full glory

9 months ago

Love this hike. Great workout walking up

hiking
10 months ago

One of my favorite trails... I've been doing this loop once a week for nearly 4 months, and I love all the uphills!

10 months ago

Have done this hike 6-8 times. Like the workout from the uphill climb starting at the gift shop and going up East ridge to Pool tail with a beautiful payoff in the Redwoods after the 6+ miles. Easy to follow trails...largely in the shade.

11 months ago

Beautiful and shaded trail. Seems more challenging than moderate due to inclines, but maybe that's just me.

hiking
11 months ago

Took East Ridge Trail up and once we reached the top, instead of heading back, we decided to do the entire loop! it was a challenge but so satisfying at the end!!

hiking
Friday, March 03, 2017

Trail markers are not very clear and it's easy to take the wrong trail. The hike itself is nice, it's mostly shaded which helps with the steep ascent to the top. I finished the loop clockwise in about 2.5 hours, but I didn't take much time to stop since it was getting late.

hiking
Sunday, December 04, 2016

Tackled this loop going clockwise bright and early. Pretty decent climb but it's well shaded and benches litter the area in various spots. The beautiful redwoods appear mostly contained near the visitor center but plenty of other things to see as you ascend and eventually descend the ridge. Definitely worth checking out and a nice workout.

hiking
Monday, November 28, 2016

Some amazing views once you are on the top. Was up there around 8 am and the sun was still low on the horizon, so was perfect. Though it says Strenous at the Trail head, it isn't that hard for regular hikers since it's very well shaded. Might actually be better in spring

hiking
Sunday, October 09, 2016

Trails are pretty steep, so pace accordingly. Map on this app isn't the most up to date as new trails seem to have been added and parts of old trails closed, so I would recommend getting a map upon arrival. I would rate it higher than moderate but not definitively hard. It's somewhere in-between. Overall, a good hike.

hiking
Wednesday, September 07, 2016

tough stretches of long uphill climb, without breaks. makes this seem more like a difficult rating. incredibly poor trail markings, especially at the loop trail area where a new route has been established, but still is not on the park map. stunning vistas from several high spots, but no big redwoods. they're along the nature trail near the parking lots

Monday, August 29, 2016

We did the shortened loop version of this hike - start on east ridge, turn left when the trail marker designates a fork, arrive at a separate parking area deeper into the park, then continue home on the Pioneer Nature trail. The east ridge portion was a steady uphill climb in the beginning of the hike, followed by a mile or so on an moderate-to-easy trail looking down upon the park, followed by a walk home along a well-maintained, flat, nature trail with various trees highlighted along the way.

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