Ringtail Cat Trail to Calaveras Ridge

HARD 7 reviews
#9 of 10 trails in

Ringtail Cat Trail to Calaveras Ridge is a 7.4 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Alamo, California that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
7.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2368 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dog friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

horseback riding

views

wildlife

2 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

This is a challenging hike through some remote terrain. My elevation gain measured in at 2200 ft, which is similar to hiking up Mission Peak. But you won't have the crowds that you will find there. In fact, you'll encounter quite the opposite.

I hiked this trail on a beautiful Saturday afternoon in June. It wasn't hot and all the mud had finally dried up. So this is about as good as it gets to hike these trails. I would have expected to see some other hikers on such a nice day. But once I got away from the Ringtail Cat staging area, I saw more deer than I did people. I passed a couple solo hikers on the short stretch of Las Trampas Ridge TrailI and I didn't see anyone on the other trails.

I hiked the loop counter-clockwise. The climb up Ringtail Cat, Madrone, and Corduroy Hills was difficult. I really like the rocky part of Corduroy Hills that is close to the Las Trampas Ridge Trail as it provides another obstacle to climb over. After that, it's mostly downhill. There is a section of Del Amigo that is a very steep descent and the trail is covered with loose soil, so bring some good shoes.

You'll come to a 4-way intersection about 6 miles in where the track shows you taking an unmarked trail that looks like a shortcut option instead of staying on Madrone to get back to Ringtail Cat. The unmarked trail seemed ok at first, but then it started getting overgrown and I strayed a little of course. There were a bunch of cows and it became clear that I was probably on private property. I looked at the satellite layer and it showed me on a trail marked "point of no return," which wasn't very comforting. I eventually linked up with a fire trail that took me back to Ringtail Cat, but not before I came across about a dozen wild turkeys.

This trail is definitely for people looking for some adventure and a challenge. Las Trampas in general isn't for beginners or the faint of heart. Once you get away from the featured Rocky Ridge View loop, where the climb up to the ridge is steep, but paved and welcoming, you can hike for miles without seeing another soul. And be on the lookout for wildlife, especially rattlesnakes in the hot and dry season.

5 months ago

8 months ago

hiking
11 months ago

Great hike. The trail gave us a different view of the East Bay hills and had a variety of vegetative cover.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

hiking
Sunday, March 03, 2013