Explore the most popular lake 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.

1 month ago

This hike was tough. It pretty much kicked my ass. I went in very confident. Just over 12 miles? I sometimes trail run that before breakfast, and my gear is ultralight. Piece of cake. Boy was I wrong.

I got to the park at 3pm on Friday. I was the only one there. The ranger told me I'd be night hiking and I didn't believe him.

The first 5 or so miles past China Hole and through The Narrows went great. It was around 90º but I was down in the valley and there were at least a few puddles to get water. Once you get to Willow Ridge Trail though that all ends. The last 5.6 miles is steep, exposed, ridge, and no more water until you get to the lake. It felt like walking up and down all of the hills in San Francisco in succession, if SF were a desert.

I got to the lake after 9 and I was exhausted. It was a little scary to night hike by myself in what felt like deep in the backcountry. I was seeing glowing eyes off to the sides of the trail and kept getting paranoid about mountain lions. But, I did not see any mountain lions. I did see a few tarantulas in the middle of the trail. Nearly stepped on one, but thankfully did not (it probably more thankful than me even).

Then since I rolled in after dark and I wasn't familiar with where the campsites are around the lake, it was really challenging to find where to sleep. I ended up cowboy camping on the flattest square of dirt I could find.

Waking up to the sunrise over the lake made it worth it though, mostly. This was a good learning experience for a relative backpacking noob.

Single track trail with some good climbs- pretty overgrown, lots of poison oak and swarms of yellow jackets. That being said, I still rate it 4 stars since it was my fault for going during this time of the year- spring and fall are the ticket with this baby. We accidentally took a wrong turn and finished by climbing up and over Hobbs Road and down Monument, which definitely upgraded this hike to “difficult”, at least for me.

2 months ago

We took the Frog Lake Loop trail today. It was a bit dry as expected but beautiful lake at the destination. We saw a wild turkey, tons of frogs, lots of blue dragonflies. I would definitely go back in the spring to see wild flowers. The Hobbs section was a bit steep downhills in some part and there was a couple of trucks on it. Next time, I’ll take the Frog Lake Trail to avoid the vehicles and get much better view of the ridges.

Nice trail! Definitely a good day hike. Beautiful ridgeline views.

Trail was amazing and not very difficult. So many frogs at the lake/pond!!

5 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!

6 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).

7 months ago

Easy trail, wild flowers, frogs, unusual butterflies, we saw purple ones. Tranquil and peaceful!

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.

7 months ago

Had no problem finding the trail head or accessing the trail. It starts roadside at a gate that's next to the plaque describing the dam. Very flat, great views of surrounding hills, valley, and reservoir.

9 months ago

It was nice, not great. Went in early January and it's not much of a lake. Frog pond would be more appropriate. This close to the headquarters you run into ALOT of people. We saw probably 10 other parties. Rather than take the loop, we trekked onward the next day down to upper camp which was nice. This is a great little trip if you are trying to take it easy or introducing someone to backpacking. We stayed at the two oaks campsite which is world's better than the frog lake campsite by the bathrooms.

11 months ago

Well, while this is not a long hike, you can extend it by walking all along the top of the dam over to the other side. For a beginner, there are some hills, so its not super easy. I thought it would be completely flat, but its not. But the view from the dam is amazing!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

This is a great place that people need to really give a shot. You'll explore some really nice spots. The scenery at the top of the dam is gorgeous! There's another trail that goes a bit higher but I didn't get the chance to explore that area. Next time!

Monday, August 14, 2017

This is a tough hike, but makes for a great backpacking trip. Few people make it to the lake so you are likely to get some solitude. The fishing is great at Mississippi Lake too! Here is a trip report I wrote for my trek to Mississippi Lake: https://backpackersreview.wordpress.com/trip-reports/henry-coe-mississippi-lake/

Friday, August 04, 2017

Great hike. First part is quite challenging going up the hill and then "sliding" down the road ( so steep). Coming back on flat frog trail is uneventful for the first part thru the forest but after about .7 mile you'll start enjoy unbeatable views and surrounding scenery for reminder of the hike.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Good workout, low crowd with minimal shade

Sunday, June 11, 2017

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

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Calm lake. Two hiking options: 6 miles out & back or 4.5 miles loop. Out&Back is easy, loop is moderate.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

What a GORGEOUS hike! So much wildlife this morning near the pond (which I guess is the watering hole). Lots of bullfrogs at a different pond along this trail about 1.5 miles in as well. The flowers were blooming, the grass was tall and green, and there were lots of bugs, but no biting bugs. The dark oak trees contrast beautifully against the light green wavy grass. There's lots of shade and sun and is in perfect condition to hike right now before it gets too hot. We did all 7 miles (both loops) and were pleasantly surprised by the beautiful views and wildlife we saw. Bring lots of water, definitely wear sunscreen, and maybe wear a hat in the next couple months. There is a bit of steep incline between the loops, but it doesn't last for a long time.

Keep the trail clean and enjoy!

Friday, April 28, 2017

What a beautiful peaceful hike. Take a day off work and go... less talk more walk.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

There was no trail head or markings on where the trail started and no way to get across the spillway. Total bust.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Quite an easy hike. We took a couple of detours on the way, to seems the monument and enjoy the view from the vista point on Ponderosa trail.

Frogs were plentiful when we were at frog lake (April) and very noisy.

Great hike, took us about 3 hers, at a leisurely pace

Monday, April 03, 2017

We did the shorter hike. Nice incline and decent view. Not a lot of shade but definitely a lot snakes...rattlesnakes!!!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

There are lot of frogs at the lake :). There are some good view. Easy hike. However, everything seems dead at the moment and a lot of bugs flying around.

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.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Try it counter-clockwise for a tougher finish back up Hobbs road before the switch-backs down to the visitor center which adds a nice view to the wind down after the climb. The only reason not to give it 5 stars is that you are on a road. But that's just me as I prefer trails when I'm hiking.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Beautiful trail

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.

Monday, September 14, 2015

It was a nice 1.5hrs walk. Once you finish first 15min uphill and then steep downhill and get down to the lake it's an easy nice walk through the woods back to HQ.

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.

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