Explore the most popular mountain biking trails near Gilroy with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

A very nice area to spend the day hiking with plenty of picnic areas

hiking
1 month ago

The trail was beautiful and well maintained. The soil has a lot of clay, so if it is wet, expect to get a few inches stuck to the bottom of your boots on the lower portion of the trail. It gets better at the top of the ridge.

I did this loop counter-clockwise (I believe same as OP) today (11/25/18) for my first trip to Henry Coe, and was very pleased with the introduction. The temp never got above the high 60s and I was very comfortable despite the lack of shade, even though I set out late (around noon). $6 parking. There are toilets at the trail heads and at Willson Camp, and sources scattered throughout the park from which you can filter water. The autumn colors are beautiful and a recent rain made everything smell of bay and laurel. Quite a variety of trees including some pine. The views are beautiful, but the truly special thing about this park is just how massive it is and how isolated you feel out there. Can’t wait to do some overnight trips further out into the extensive trail system.

If you do the loop as the OP describes, all of the most intense elevation gain is in the first half. I would rate it overall as moderate, not hard, for a regular hiker. I think the Mt. El Sombroso loop is much harder, in response to the reviewer below. My only edit to the OP’s track is that I skipped walking along Gilroy Hot Springs Rd. and opted to take Spike Jones and Steer Ridge trails back to Hunting Hollow. This added ~3 miles and ~1,300 ft. elevation gain.

Also: technically dogs are not allowed anywhere in Henry Coe, as it is a state park. There are detailed signs explaining why at all the trailheads. I brought my very well-behaved dog and had no issues with the 3 mountain bikers I encountered, though one advised me that rangers would not hesitate to ticket if they saw us, so bring em at your own risk.

Visited on Nov 25th, 2018. Beware of ticks -- I saw at least one on my sleeve. There is lots of tall grass brushing up against your legs on the entire path (good opportunity for ticks to hop on). This hike starts off with a significant incline if you're going clockwise, but it would probably be more difficult to make your way down the slope if you hiked it the other way around.

Scenery: 3
Views: 3.5
Difficulty: 4
Crowds: 2
Shade: 2

My 1-5 Rating Scale Comparisons for above:
5 for Scenery; Mcway Falls Julia Pfeiffer Burns SP
4.5 for Scenery: Berry Creek Falls Big Basin State Park
4 for Scenery: Steep Ravine Trail

5 for Views: Nimitz Trail Tilden Park
5 for Views: Ridge Trail San Bruno Mtn Park
4.5 for Views Montara Mtn Summit San Pedro County Park
4 for Views Rancho Canada Del Oro Bald Peaks trail

5 for Difficulty: Junipero Serra Peak
4 for Difficulty: Mount El Sombroso Loop Trail

This trail is awsome! Plenty of technical trail to navigate. Great spartan race training. Love it!

Great for 1 day backpacking!

No signs on trail. Family & dog friendly.

hiking
7 months ago

Overgrown, free range cattle, beautiful views, poison oak, decent outing. May 27, 2018. Not hard at all, a casual hike.

Hard to find, good hike!

hiking
8 months ago

Beautiful lake, but little access for swimming.

One of my favorite local trails! Valley and Coyote Lake views as well as wildlife. Go in Spring when the weather is cooler since there are many unshaded parts of the trail and you can enjoy the beauty of the many wildflowers. Another name for this trail is Mummy Mountain.

10 months ago

For a quick bike fix this is the easy go to. You can go around the sports center many times if you need more, it is 8/10 of a mile around. You can also go out in the fields if no ones around. Go thru the park and there is a short single track that leads to a subdivision along the creek

Nothing really too special but if you have no other choice in a backpacking trip i guess its okay......

Good trail. Lots of animals: turkeys, wild pigs, dears and cattle. We extended the hike by going down to the valley. This adds 2 miles. The view of the lake has nothing special. The lake was quite low.

Great hike. Long but not difficult. Beautiful views and the lake is a real reward after long hours under the sun. We took a dive. It was very cold but really refreshing.

The trail is well marked and once you get to the lake you feel very accomplished. Though, the rolling ridges, sun exposure in some spots, and heat made for a pretty tough hike in, we were still able to keep approx 20 min per mile pace.

Once at the lake you can fish, swim, and camp. Something to note, there is a little restroom shack and trash can not too far from Kelly Lake.

We are doing a 25 miler backpacking trip in Yosemite backcountry coming up so we did this trail to condition with our packs.

backpacking
Monday, August 21, 2017

I hiked out to Coit Lake from the Hunting Hollow Park Entrance recently as part of a 2 night backpacking trip. The fishing at Coit was great. Only giving 4 out of 5 stars because the shore access on Coit lake was not as good as Mississippi or Kelly Lake. https://backpackersreview.wordpress.com/trip-reports/henry-coe-coit-lake/

hiking
Monday, July 10, 2017

There is no parking at the coyote creek gate. You will need to park at Hunting Hollow and walk 1.8 miles down Gilroy Hot Springs Rd to the trail gate.

Out and back. Really worth camping at the lake.

backpacking
Monday, May 29, 2017

This trail was rewarding with all of the vertical gain, and coit lake was a nice treat at the end. HOWEVER. I highly recommend avoiding the "cattle master trail" - it is not marked, hardly visible, and mainly soft, unstable ground with many mudslides along the way. Without AllTrails gps tracking over the trail we surely would have gotten lost. Stick to the clearly labeled paths to Kelly lake and coit lake and avoid the cattle trail that this loop suggests.

walking
Monday, May 22, 2017

This trail starts at Gilroy Sports complex and is not closed. It's is a nicely paved path with access to paths that run thru woods along creek. It's attached to Christmas tree park. It's very close to Gilroy Trk stop and easy to get to along sidewalks. Excellent for dog walking.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

This is a great overnight trip. We did the whole thing in a casual 24 hours. One logistical warning: to get a backpack permit you need to go to the park HQ, which are about a 1 hour drive from where you put in for this area. Also, there is no overnight parking near this trailhead so you must park at Hunting Hollow and walk 1.8 miles up the mostly flat road before you start in on the trail. Not too bad, but adds 4 miles to the total trek. Also, we ran into at least 2 groups at the lake who hadn't bothered to get a permit, so we had more company than the ranger said we'd have. I don't mind this type of fauna too much but be forewarned if you're looking for solitude.

nice trail with wonderful views!

backpacking
Monday, December 19, 2016

This was a hard but rewarding trek with a lot of front-loaded elevation gain on both days. We set out from the Hunting Hollow Entrance of Henry Coe State Park and walked up the road (~2 miles) to the Coyote Creek park entrance - where this trail starts. You quickly start climbing on the Anza Trail and the Jackson Trail. There was some tree cover, but luckily we were hiking in the winter when temperatures were mid-50s. There were great views of the surrounding hills and fields which made all of the work totally worth it. After the climb, descending down to Kelly Lake is easy and then there is a slight hike up and down again to the nearby Coit Lake. There were lots of frogs, ducks, and other birds by Coit Lake. There were several choice camping spots around the northern part of the lake. We woke up to frost on the ground, it was magical. Conviniently, there are a few outhouses near Kelly and Coit Lake along with a few trash bins (although I don't know how often those are emptied). Hiking back up the hill from Kelly Lake was killer, but after that its a nice flat/decline hike down Grizzly Gulch back to the Coyote Creek Entrance. Overall a great trip!

Backpacking at night

trail running
Friday, September 02, 2016

I really enjoyed this trail. Also ran Mummy Mountain Trail. Very awesome, however Lake was desolate?

hiking
Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Great scenery! Well marked trails and lots of options for easy to moderate and short to long hikes. I ended up on Coyote Ridge trail. I just pick trails at random to hike with a goal of 5 miles. Ended up with 6 miles in 2 hours. Lots of cows, hawks, squirrels and I even was able to walk up on a deer and get a few photos before he/she notices me and ran off.

hiking
Tuesday, September 08, 2015

We hiked the Coyote Ridge trail while Camping at Coyote Lake. The trail is nicely maintained, and has benches along the way. It trail itself isn't a loop, but you are able to hop onto many other trails to get back. The trail itself doesn't have a lot of trees. We went during a heat wave - I would not recommend. Be sure to bring plenty of water. The views are awesome!

camping
Tuesday, September 08, 2015

We camped at Coyote Lake and had a great time! The tent and RV sites are not too overly crowded. Restrooms and showers are nice as well.

There are plenty of activities to do: Hiking, boating and fishing. The lake was low when we went which limit the boat activities. Talked to a few people fishing and they mentioned they weren't catching any. We decided to do a lot of hiking! There are dozens of trails there. Be aware - most trails do not have a lot of trees - and it is in Gilroy - so it is HOT! Bring plenty of water. The trails were nicely maintained. There is also benches and tables along most routes.

Had a great time! Hope to come back when it is a little cooler.

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