DISTANCE
6.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1364 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

walking

views

hiking
2 months ago

I hiked this loop at the beginning of February, on an unseasonably warm and sunny day.
I second the other reviewers' main complaint: this is not a "wilderness experience"; More than 3/4 of the loop I hiked feels like attending the I5 Concert from an orchestra seat.There is a little peace to be found on sections of the Sasquatch trail and on the northwest side of the summit (Darkside trail). The whole descent via Arm Bar and Breakdown particularly calls for earplugs.

Other highlights of this trail.
1. Take a picture of the map at the trailhead if you don't have a map of the trails - it will help navigate the inter-woven switchbacks.
2. Yes, this is primarily a bikers trail: beware, look ahead and behind (many portions of the trail are visible at almost any point to see oncoming traffic) -- share the trail.
3. The trail is cut for bikes: low, never ending switchbacks (between 3 and 4 miles to the summit where a hiking trail would get there in 1.5 to 2 miles max), quite a bit of a roller coaster feeling in many section, round/steep/high angle turns, etc.
4. More than 2/3 of the trail is fully exposed; bring water and sun protection in warmer months.
5. It might be better to go UP the Breakdown and Arm Bar trail to see the bikers coming (flying) down towards you.
6. The view (on a clear day) are not that bad and would be worth the effort if it was not for the noise. Did I mention the noise?
7. One plus (and the only reason I decided to hike there in spite of the lackluster reviews) is the very quick on/off I5 as I drove from the Bay Area to Eugene.
8. There is parking for at least a dozen car right at the trailhead and facilities.
9. A decent workout if that is what thing you are looking for and if you hike fast on the uphill
10. Ah...the summit... quite anti-climactic, small, no great views and a bit of junk around.
I gave 2 stars for the workout value, for some views of he Rogue Valley and for the ease of access.