Rattlesnake Bar-Horseshoe Bar Trail

EASY 33 reviews

Rattlesnake Bar-Horseshoe Bar Trail is a 2.9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Newcastle, California that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

2.9 miles
288 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly



horseback riding

trail running




wild flowers

horseback riding
1 month ago

I've been riding my horse/s on these beautiful trails since 1987. Back then there weren't a lot of hikers, bikers, etc. in fact we hardly ever ran into anyone that wasn't on a horse but that has changed. We should all want to continue to enjoy the trails together and to do that it's a good idea to know a little about what we encounter on the trail whether on horseback or on foot. Now as a horse woman I know horses but I understand a lot of folks don't. I'm not saying a person has to know everything about horses to share the trails but to know a little can help. The number one issue I've been seeing in posts is about the "horse poop." Well horses poop, can't help it but there are benefits to this: horse poop is organic, its a fertilizer for all the beautiful flowers we enjoy, it dries up pretty quick and if you want you can kick it out of your way, it doesn't smell as bad as dog poop or won't stick to your boots too long (dries up pretty fast); all in all horse poop is actually good for the environment. Now, the other issue is dogs and horses. Most horses are used to dogs, they live on ranches, dogs live on ranches; problems usually occur when a dog that is unfamiliar with horses is off leash; this might also be the reason some riders have been "not very courteous." The dog might be intimidated or he might charge up behind a horse barking and will probably spook the horse (they are a prey animal after all); now the horse may kick out at the dog, spook causing potential injury to the rider, or not do a thing, you (the hiker) never know which. The safest approach if you encounter horses is to leash your dog until you pass, remember a horse's aim is good and if he decides to kick a dog it could be fatal and no one wants to see that happen. Another fact about horses: 99% of the horses you'll encounter don't kick people, it's just not in their nature to do so, just because their butt is facing you doesn't mean they're going to kick; if you're unsure or scared just ask the riders if they kick ( this is in reference to a review that stated the horses were "tied up blocking the trail"). The third issue I see is the suggestion to use the "Horse Staging Areas" to park. Equestrians bring horses which require us to haul them in trailers costing us more in day use fees. The "Horse Staging Areas" are small to begin with but when non trailer hauling vehicles also use the "Horse Staging Area" it leaves us with no place to park other than the asphalt boat launch area. The "Horse Staging Areas" are built with a horse's comfort in mind, that's why all have gravel and most are shaded; while our trucks have air horse trailers don't. Just remember horses are animals and just like dogs they love their people, so the next time you encounter horses on a hike maybe you'll ask if you can pet one (on the neck not the face), you might really like it. So this ends my lengthy tutorial on Horses 101, until the next time Happy Trails to All.

1 month ago

Love this spot quite and easy to access the lake!

2 months ago

Very easy trail except the steep start at the boat ramp entrance. The kids loved seeing the passing horses and the lake views. We would go again!

2 months ago

Easy trail for kids (ours are 9,6,5) Fun trail, good lake views. Lower trail is under water or otherwise washed out so don’t take it unless you want to have to turn around 3/4 mi. in, or bushwhack back up to the upper trail, which we did.

3 months ago

The most obvious entry to the trail at the boat ramp parking is steep, washed out, and is hard to use. Another entry prior to boat ramp parking, at the horse staging area, will bypass the washout. Trail after that is mostly level and an easy, shady hike with picnic tables and wildflowers. Families and horses share. Horsemen were courteous when we stepped aside. Dogs primarily not on leash tho they were friendly. Pleasant hiking.

5 months ago

Overall not a horrible trail, highly traveled, stick to the upper part of the trail because the lower part has been washed out. Very dog friendly, the only thing I would recommend is watch out for the ticks. Pretty scenery, the only real negative thing that I could say is the people on horseback or not very courteous, And like to tie their horses up blocking the trail, not that that would be a problem, but most of them were turning towards us to kick because we had a dog. Something just to be aware of.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Gorgeous setting; very narrow in parts. Friend moved a baby rattler in the rocks off the trail.

nature trips
Monday, March 27, 2017

Beware (esp. parents with littles)...the trail is tricky to navigate given broken limbs/debris from the recent rains and most near the water becomes very dangerous as the water has carved out the cliffs below the trail. The area was gorgeous however....lots of spring blooms and butterflies. I'd recommend a nearby trek to Avery pond rather than this one for now. $12 fee.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

The trail is currently washed out about a mile in.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Great beginners trail. Good if you have little ones. Nice section to walk across rocks for a nice picture

Monday, July 11, 2016

good easy trail as long as you take the high road. the lower trail is for advanced hikers and there is a lot of poison oak that can't be avoided.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Very green with lots of pretty flowers.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Beautiful trail. Extremely easy so kids will have no problems.

Friday, January 08, 2016

Great for training! Pretty, and great for running.

trail running
Tuesday, October 14, 2014

I ran this trail mid morning in October. It was painfully dry and hot. This would be a fabulous trail to run in the winter/spring.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Not a great trail. Really more or less of a horse trail. We saw 9 horses and riders along the trail but no other hikers. The trail was difficult to follow sometimes and difficult to tell where the Bars were and which ones were which. Given the drought the lake is very low. The trail is very narrow in places and full of weeded, dry stickers. The environment is very dry and provides little beauty. Given that there are so many other rewarding hikes in the area I would skip this one. Additionally, the parking area was closed off to cars so be prepared to add some extra time on both ways (up to 1/2 mile) each way but at least entry was free.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

It's a really nice trail, especially nice for riding our horses,

Friday, January 20, 2012

Aside from the entry which is an annoyance, the trail itself is not too bad. The route is pretty flat and easy, so I would recommend it only for hikers starting out. If you have any level of fitness at all this won't be much of a challenge, but there some interesting things to see here and there along the way

Monday, August 15, 2011

You have to bring $10 cash to pay the incompetant ranger at the gate. Do not ask the taker of the $10 where any trail is located because they do not know anything about the park they work at. That said we found the wrong trailhead on a very hot day, we will try to find it again someday. There are no picnic tables and not much to do unless you have a boat.

3 months ago

4 months ago

recorded Track - Feb 03, 02:49 PM

6 months ago

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Monday, April 03, 2017

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Friday, January 06, 2017

trail running
Monday, November 14, 2016

Load More