Garin to Don Castro via High Ridge Loop Trail

HARD 3 reviews
#6 of 6 trails in

Garin to Don Castro via High Ridge Loop Trail is a 11.5 mile lightly trafficked point-to-point trail located near Hayward, California that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
11.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1742 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Point to Point

dog friendly

birding

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

walking

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

no shade

This is the Bay Ridge Trail between Don Castro and Garin Park. It is one way and requires two cars and at least two or more friends.

mountain biking
5 months ago

I mountain biked this trail, which is allowed, but make sure you bring a bike with a good suspension and brakes. Once you reach the peak of your elevation climb at the radio tower, it's a steep and bumpy ride down from there. And take the advice of the sign by the water towers and walk your bike down the paved road. Otherwise, you'll be giving your brakes a serious workout and you'll need them for the final descent.

I actually took BART to the Union City station and biked to the staging area at May Rd. That's why you see my track start there. This may be preferred by some people so that you can manage this long point to point trail. Also, you don't have to pay to park at the May Rd. staging area. I think it's $5 to park at the main Garin Ave. staging area where the track starts. Once I reached Don Castro, it's another short bike ride to the Castro Valley BART station. You can also utilize AC Transit to get from one staging area to the other. I was riding solo, so this seemed like the best alternative for me that didn't require doing a 23 mile out and back on this trail.

There is very little shade on this trail. There is a scenic, shaded area about 2 miles after the radio tower and then it's shaded once you reach Don Castro. But other than that, you're totally exposed to the sun. Bring protection, lots of water, and don't pick an overly hot day.

I felt like I was fighting off flies almost the whole time I was biking this trail. You'll also be going through a lot of gates, which of course are meant to keep the cattle from getting out. I encountered a few groups of cattle, but they were mostly off the trail seeking shade.

I came across about a dozen hikers along High Ridge Loop Trail. But once I turned off High Ridge and onto Whipsnake, I only passed one girl running on the rest of the 9 mile Chabot to Garin portion of the trail. I think that many people don't realize that these parks connect, and those who do probably aren't up to the challenge. There was also a massive mudslide and some downed trees about 3 miles after the radio tower, but I was able to get around it.

3 months ago

hiking
6 months ago