Hites Cove Trail

HARD 37 reviews
#42 of 203 trails in

Hites Cove Trail is a 6.5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Mariposa, California that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
6.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
980 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

beach

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

hiking
2 days ago

This trail is absolutely amazing, especially during this time of the year (Spring) when the wildflowers are in full bloom. This trails is about 9 miles round trip out and back. Parking is available on the side of the highway, although I did see an old "No Parking" sign that was so faint, you would not even know which way it's pointing. People parked there regardless.

Best views are at the beginning of the trail, but at the end you will find some history with abandoned coal mining equipment all over and an old shack. The beginning of the trail has some shade from trees, but still most of it in in full sun, especially at noon when the mountains don't protect you from it. I brought sunscreen with me and had to reapply several times throughout the hike. The earlier you start, the better. We started at 9 AM, and I think this was already too late. If you can, start around 6ish, this way you are not hiking back in blazing heat.

Water is essential on this trail. I usually bring 1.5L and have at least half left, but this time I drank the full water bladder.

While the trail runs along the side of the mountain, I did not have my usual fear of heights. It is rated as strenuous, but if you are in a good shape, I would say it is moderate due to distance.

This is one of the best hikes I have done.

backpacking
8 days ago

We had a wonderful one night backpacking trip this weekend. We started at the Hite Cove trail head. We hiked few miles to the campsite along the scenic South Fork Merced River. After we setting up tents at the campsite we hiked few more miles up on the Hites Mine Road. We turned back before we reached the Hites Cove because we were running out of day lights. We spent a night at the campsite. The campsite was sandy flat ground with fire pit and next to the river. Next morning we packed up and hiked back. The trail was full of wildflowers and many wonderful views along the river.

hiking
9 days ago

Did this hike 4/15/18 and it was beautiful! Lots of variety in terrain. Some up and down but definitely not “hard.” Lots of wild flowers out, go now! :)

hiking
18 days ago

Walked the trail last Saturday. There’s a lot to see here. Took many pictures. Arrived around 2:30 pm while most hikers were headed out. Saw kayaking down on the river. Poppies were closing up as I headed out around 6:00pm. Some very interesting rock formations down at the bend in the river at about 3miles (best guess).

hiking
1 month ago

Worth the drive. I always love how few people we see. 2 people in 3 hours if you don't count the group we saw only going 0.25 miles in to take pictures and return. March 18, 2018 the river was going strong and we saw plenty of flowers and little cute red lizards.

1 month ago

Has always been a great hike, have been going since I was a kid.

hiking
6 months ago

Beautiful autumn hike with my pup. Views and trail hugged the Merced river from different heights. Some nice up and down to get the legs going. I saw 5 people in 3 hours.

hiking
9 months ago

A few good places along the way to sit and enjoy the water. Lots of sun exposure. This trail get extremely hot early on in the year, bring water.

11 months ago

Great trail to listen to the water and enjoy wild flowers.

11 months ago

Great hike! Had a good balance of elevation changes and straightaways. Be advised that the water level is so high this spring the trail is cut off a bit toward the end. Still very worth it though. Would suggest going on an overcast day or brining plenty of water as there's a good deal of sun exposure.

11 months ago

Beautiful hike.
Amazing scenery
River was running high
The flowers

The hiking companions

Monday, March 20, 2017

The wildflowers are blooming now and will probably get even better in the coming weeks. The river is high and adds to the experience. The rolling single track trail isn't too tough, but there are places to be careful and watch your step due to exposure to the river below, especially when stepping aside for foot traffic. Bug spray is recommended and make sure you and your pup are protected from ticks. We spent about 2 hours pulling at least a dozen off of our dog.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

This is the best wildflower trail on the planet, but it has to be done at it's peak in March!

hiking
Saturday, April 09, 2016

We really enjoyed this trail. Took our 10 year old daughter with us and she did fine. She was a little winded and took a few second break coming back, as there is more incline heading back. I read the path was narrow but I hadn't read that it was aping the edge of the mountain you're on for the first mile and a half or so. Was beautiful though. Also had our German Shepherd with us and of course he loved it. We started too late so we only got a little over two miles down the trail and had lunch and had to head back. Really want to return to finish this one! Do watch out for the poison oak.

hiking
Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Loved this trail. A couple of downed tree obstacles. A case of scrambling under or endeavoring to get over. Otherwise a great hike.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Nice and relaxing, but I didn't know where the trail end. I kept on walking till about 20 minutes after there's no identifiable trail, then I just turn back.

hiking
Sunday, March 13, 2016

beautiful and intense hike! maybe I'm a newbie, but this trail was very narrow. it wasn't bad, but there's definitely a lot of elevation, which is hard for some people to climb up and down constantly.

hiking
Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Most beautiful in the early winter. Lots of color in the trees.The grade is easy with fine river canyon views. Wish I had brought my fishing pole.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Not actually a year round trail. The first quarter of a mile is on private property and the trail closes at the end of spring due to the increased fire danger in summer. It is also 8.4 miles round trip to the actual site of the town of Hite Cove - not 14.4 miles. It is what I would call an easy hike, most of the route is traversing with slight elevation gain/loss at the beginning of the hike.

hiking
Sunday, May 01, 2011

This is a great hike. Not sure that I agree with the 14miles though. I'm a newbie, so I don't have any fancy equipment telling me how far I hiked. It's actually a moderate-demanding hike. There are some hills to climb. Narrow trails. Rocky in many points. Definitely go in April when all of the wild flowers are still in bloom. We started around 10:30a and returned 2:30 or so. It's an out and return hike. When the creek/river splits, that's about the end of the trail that we could find. Might be longer, but we didn't find it.

hiking
2 days ago

backpacking
9 days ago

hiking
10 days ago

hiking
10 days ago

hiking
28 days ago

hiking
5 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

6 months ago

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