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Mount Sizer Loop

HARD 54 reviews
#1 of 42 trails in

Mount Sizer Loop is a 14.6 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
14.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
4,219 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

views

wild flowers

wildlife

no dogs

Henry W. Coe State Park sprawls over more than 87,000 acres of high ridges and low valleys southeast of San Jose. It once belonged to a rancher named Henry Willard Coe; his heirs donated the ranch that would become the state park bearing his name. The park has few amenities, but has abundant trails for hikers, equestrians and mountain bikers. The hike to Mount Sizer goes deep into the heart of the park, where the views from the heights seem to go on forever (occasionally the snow-capped peaks of the Sierra are visible on clear winter days). To hike into this remote country is to see it as it stood for thousands of years before the first European settlers arrived. Some of the hills are scarred by wildfires of recent vintage, but the sight of green reclaiming the blackened landscape can't help but cheer you up.

1 month ago

Did this hike in the middle of July 2018 on a day that was quite hot. Much of the trail goes along roads which can be a blessing or a curse, depending on how rugged you want your hike to be. We passed many trucks on our hike but not a single hiker to be seen. We went through jackass trail which had groves of poison oak growing next to and on the trail but this area is starkly beautiful as you're walking through a charred oak forest "graveyard".

The trail is about 60% covered by oaks and manzanita, but 40% is pretty exposed so make to wear sunscreen. Also note that the water table is low so the water pumps are all empty so the only water you have is what you take with you.

Overall this is a hike best left for spring when the weather isnt as oppressive. You'll need every bit of help going through the shortcut and poverty flat at the end. The trails arent too rugged so it makes for clear directions but less intimate exploration.

This was incredibly hard in the middle of summer...as everyone says, bring plenty of water!! At least 4 liters. You’ll need every drop. This trail is relentless!

hiking
1 month ago

Completed this clockwise this morning and used about 3l of water total. In early July I was able to fill up just before going up The Shortcut and could have also filled up at at the intersection of Poverty Flat and China Hole, if I’d needed to. Despite being July the weather was very mild 8C when I set off and 22C by the time I got back to the headquarters.

The Short Cut is quite challenging but a slow and steady approach works well. I definitely recommend cutting down Jackass Trail as the views and single track are great. My rating for this route is 4* to reflect the general lack of single track when good routes are there.

Instead of walking back up Poverty Flat I cut up China Hole Trail and briefly walked along Forest Trail before finishing the last 1km on Corral. Definitely recommended if you enjoy single track my route: 5* :-).

Total time for ~26km was 4h55m. Honestly I expected this to be more difficult than it was. I walked with poles for the first time and suspect this may have made the difference as my legs feel significantly less tired than I anticipated.

hiking
3 months ago

This is a good one! Completed on 5/19/18 and this will kick your ass. We did it clockwise and it starts out nice enough but once you hit the short cut, it gets pretty serious. This is an intense climb so make sure you're well prepared for this. I clocked in around 1500ft of gain. After this, it's a nice walk on the ridge. We cut down Jackass Trail, though, wouldn't really recommend this route, its super overgrown right now and we found lots of ticks on us after that stretch. The climb on Poverty Flats is pretty rough too, tough way to end an already long hike. I should have filtered more water at China Hole but opted not too. This is a solid hike but as long as you're well prepared, it's nice and challenging. Enjoy before it gets to hot!

hiking
5 months ago

Hiked on 3-10-18. 5 stars... maybe because it was raining and the wildlife was out, there was only 3 people on the trail (beside a few backpackers in Poverty Flat). I completed going clockwise, heard frogs at frog lake, a fox up on Blue Ridge, a rabbit, two herds of deers, multitudes of California Newts. The Big Berry Manzanita are amazing as are the Madrones. Flowers were out. Anyways this hike was a gem in the rain with an umbrella. But a lot of elevation gain. This hike took me 8 hours, and ended in the dark after a great sunset.

hiking
5 months ago

I did this trek on Sunday 3-12-18 and unfortunately I did it backwards. So I can not say I have completed the "short cut" It was a really nice hike in 65 degree weather can imagine it being much hotter I would melt away. It was long and intense for me and I hike every weekend. I took the Jackass trail from Poverty flat to Blueridge (remember I started at end) Going down the Short Cut is really rough on the knees..... I much prefer going up it. I will be back to do it the right way.... It is very peaceful and lightly traffic, just how I like it.

hiking
8 months ago

Tough one. Budget at least 7 hrs.

hiking
Sunday, August 06, 2017

A couple of strenuous climbs, but completely worth the view you get along Blue Ridge Rd. There are plenty of hawks to keep you company. The creek is also beautiful even in the summer and worth poking around if you have time. Most of this trail is downhill and a bit hard on the feet - I had to run the steeper parts. Finished in 6 hours, "short cut" took me 36 minutes.

hiking
Sunday, July 30, 2017

Hiked this in 90+ degree weather. Did it in 7 hours out of necessity, but now I'm dead.

This trail takes you to the bottom of the valley, to the peak of mt. sizer, back down to another creek bed, and then back up to the starting point. Drank four liters of water and wanted more. I bought the fourth liter at the advice if the rangers, and that saved me. 5 stars, but I do not recommend going in the summer.

hiking
Thursday, June 29, 2017

I consider myself an occasional hiker 6 to 7 times a year, maybe 10 miles at a time. I have hiked almost all the other popular day hikes in the bay area. I hiked this Monday about 80 degrees weather. I was contemplating climbing Mt. Whitney and was checking my endurance. This was a killer. I somehow ended up hiking 17.5 miles with a few side trips. The "shortcut" took me 1 hour 30 minutes, twice my age. I did take jackass trail it is passable during the day, although I counted 4 trees fallen over the trail. There is some poison oak along the route that one can avoid if they are careful. The Jackass trail is overgrown at some points and would be impossible to follow during dusk or at night. It took me 10.5 hours to do 17.5 miles. The views were good, but I have seen better at other hikes in the area. It is a good training hike to test your stamina. I concluded I am not ready for a day hike up Whitney, maybe I could do with an overnight and more training.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Did this the second time, but camped at Sada's spring this time instead of dayhiking all of it. The site there is perfect for a single tent, with a good spot for a hammock. Going up the 'shortcut' in 90 deg weather in the afternoon with camping gear may not be the best idea, I discovered.

hiking
Saturday, May 20, 2017

Extremely tough and long bring plenty of water and food.

hiking
Monday, April 03, 2017

It's really tough. We spent 9 hours to finish this, including multiple rests and crossing 3 creeks. Be ware to be get wet in the creeks during the spring time. But once you have done it, the only feeling you have is proud.

hiking
Saturday, November 12, 2016

We went in the reverse direction, which got cutoff out of the way earlier in the hike. I strongly recommend adding the additional couple of miles to take as many of the side single-tracks as possible: flat frog trail, jackass trail, china hole up to manzanita point, either springs trail or forest trail. you'll encounter more poison oak, but being off of the roads is worth it, and it's only an extra mile or so, with no additional elevation to speak of. Poverty Flat rd. to finish is a bit brutal.

hiking
Wednesday, November 02, 2016

The is one of the most challenging hikes in the bay area. It is not overly long but incredibly steep and remote. fantastic views of the Henry Coe back country. Most probably you will not see anyone once you leave the visitor center. Go do it!

hiking
Sunday, September 04, 2016

The Blue Ridge road / trail has some of the most beautiful views in the Bay Area. Note that Mt.Sizer is not where the free park brochure's map indicates. Also, if you're hoping to pick up a good topo map at the HQ, it may not be open if you get there early (I didn't check beforehand; I got there around 7am and it was closed). There's a decent amount of shade on most parts of this route, and overall, was a day well spent.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

This was our first hike in Henry Coe and this guide was very useful- thank you! The hike was challenging but we had cool weather, making it very enjoyable.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Several uphills and downhills, great workout!

Friday, April 05, 2013

I've made it a point to find the cruelest and punishing hikes in the Bay Area and this one tops the list. Mt Sizer is a great tune-up hike for week-long backpack trips in the Sierras and a true test of your will and stamina. And now that I'm more familiar with the many evil and unbelievably steep switchbacks up "the shortcut" and the last punishing "climb out of Poverty" , they no longer intimidate me. But I do respect them and the many other steep hikes in Henry Coe. And since its good to "share", I look forward to hearing my friends swearing a blue streak at me on their first attempt at this hike.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Thanks for the guide - we knocked this out in 8 hours - creek was dry and we battled mosquitos (Oct). A great hike - very strenuous. Did The Shortcut in my age so it felt very rewarding.

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