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

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
2 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!

backpacking
3 months ago

Fantastic hike to do in the spring! Temperatures were fairly mild, and we were able to see a variety of wildlife. We walked through at least 4 different terrains including grassy regions, heavily forested areas, shaded creeks, dessert-ish areas. The wildflowers were in bloom right when we were backpacking. The park rangers are super helpful! We did a modified version of the loop to get the best view of the wildflowers. There is quite a bit of elevation gain, including steep uphill and downhill climbs, but it's doable for most fairly fit people. We started at noon and camped for two nights, finishing around 10am on the third day. We got a tiny bit lost near a small trail off Bear Mountain, but otherwise most trails were well marked. Overall a fantastic trip--highly recommend!

hiking
4 months ago

It was a unique experience to walk though oak savannah and into an old madrone forest with ponderosa pine. Apparently there are ponderosa pines on three ridges in the Henry Coe area. I was pleasantly surprised. The wildflowers were out, and I must have seen over a dozen different species. The wild iris was my favorite. At frog lake there was a giant bellowing bullfrog and fish and smaller frogs aplenty. (The large bullfrog is invasive, unfortunately.) Otherwise not much wildlife, but I am sure the animals are out there.

The roads are extremely steep, built for trucks, so I recommend taking the walking trails. Lots of spots for backcamping. Bring lots of water, a filter, and food. It’s rugged and you will definitely need some extra calories to get through the day(s).

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.

on Mount Sizer Loop

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.

Known as "Flag Frog, Middle Ridge, And Fish Trail Loop" in 101 Great Hikes of the San Francisco Bay Area.

Really stunning walk. Varied terrain with shade, water and some nice uphill sections to get going. Picked up a tick on the route so be aware.

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
Monday, July 17, 2017

Good workout, low crowd with minimal shade

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
Sunday, June 11, 2017

Knocked it out in less than 4 hours with someone that never really hikes. All in all, pretty chill trail.

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.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

it was a great workout. beautiful medium size mountains, and lots of best birds to see. February weather was cool, small waterfalls. lots of up and down hills. take plenty of water and food. took about 5-6 hours to finish, on a rush pace.

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.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Beautiful trail

hiking
Sunday, March 13, 2016

Only complaint was that there were multiple creek crossings that we were not prepared for in regards to shoes. Other than that it was BEAUTIFUL and I highly recommend this trail.

hiking
Sunday, April 26, 2015

Hiked about 9 miles in Coe Park yesterday with 4 friends. Started at park HQ and took Monument Trail to Hobbs Rd to Middle Ridge Trail to Fish Trail then added on about 3 miles by looping south around Forest Trail then north via Springs Trail to Corral Trail and back to HQ. Though the skies were heavy to start with, the storm had passed, and we avoided having to put on rain gear. By 2pm the skies were clear and we had sun and a cool breeze, perfect for hiking. Encountered backpacking groups -- pairs of friends, school groups and scouts. The trails took us through a varied landscape from shad,y wooded creeksides to sunny, windswept hillsides studded by iconic stand-alone California oaks.

hiking
Friday, April 03, 2015

Stopped to enjoy the bullfrogs and catfish at Frog Lake.

hiking
Monday, December 08, 2014

This was an easy hike for me since it was 6.3 miles out and back. the scenery of beautiful yellow colors in the leaves of the trees are awesome. it was raining then stopped so more fresh air.

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.

hiking
Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Coe ain't no joke.

My girlfriend decided she wanted to do this hike on her birthday, and I obliged, being an inexperienced hiker and not knowing what to expect. We entered from the Hunting Hollow entrance, and within the first 15 minutes we were climbing like mountain goats. The trail at this point was straight up-up-up with not a switchback in sight, and after cresting the sixth giant hill, each hill following it elicited laughter from us both. By that time it didn't really matter how many hills the trail threw at us; we'd gotten used to it.

However, it's the way down that can really get you. We elected to return on the Middle Steer Ridge trail, and the straight path down is so steep that it's nearly impossible not to start running downhill unable to stop until the ground flattens out a bit. I felt like a runaway train a few times and thanked my lucky stars that I neither slipped nor rolled an ankle in the process. All told, I'd do it again, but not if it had rained recently (like it had).

The views at the heights are spacious and open with more foresty hiking magic at the lower altitudes. Not for beginners, but excellent for quad strengthening.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Several uphills and downhills, great workout!

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