Explore the most popular wildlife 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.

hiking
15 days ago

The views are okay and the incline, with hardly any shade, definitely deserves the hard rating. But I saw a lot of wildlife and the sunset was great.

hiking
15 days ago

Scenery: 3.5
Views: 4
Difficulty: 5
Crowds: 2
Shade: 3

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

hiking
28 days ago

A full moon hike and an epic golden hour, beautiful to every extent possible. Started 4 pm from the parking lot and loop took close to 9 hrs with an hr break to catch the sunset and moonrise. Definitely must do in every season!!

Good trail. Up and down hills.

Went in summer so it was 90° hot and the waterfalls were quite lacking in water. Still overall pretty interesting hike.

backpacking
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.

Was there early September 2018 and there was no waterfall at the triple fall. It was all dried up. Overall, the hike was fairly easy.

hiking
1 month ago

We hiked this loop on 8/17 but did not take the short trail up to Mt Sizer. It was warm and 92F in the afternoon. It is best to start as early as possible. We took 3L of water and probably could have used 4L.
The views from the Blue Ridge are awesome. Last year we could see the Sierras.
The shortcut and Poverty Flat were very hard work and we stopped several times to cool off. Relentless is the adjective to describe them. We did not see anyone on the entire loop.
I highly recommend the loop. It has terrific views and is challenging for most. I would avoid warm >80F days for the loop.

hiking
2 months ago

Is only 4 miles hike, but steep. Very nice. Will be back springtime when the falls are fuller.

hiking
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.

trail running
2 months ago

Pretty decent hike. Went at about 1pm on a 90 degree day. Brought 2L of water. The hike down wasn’t that bad at all.. considering it’s all downhill! On the way back I took the Springs trail back up. Wow! That was quite a hike up. Made me stop a few times. I can’t wait to go back after a nice rain when the river fills up! Would make the hike that much better.

By the way.. it’s 8$ to park!

Good workout. Long pants a must. Narrow single track, tall grass with ticks and burrs, and poison oak along majority of the trail.

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.

hiking
3 months ago

Fun trail to hike on. Mostly narrow trails. Some fairly steep drop offs but not too difficult to deal with. Not too strenuous if hiking on the Soda Spring Trail out and returning on the China Hole Trail. Took us about 5 hours round trip.

Definitely not a good place for swimming at this time of the year though. The creek is al dried up. Some water left at China Hole but not much.

The waterfall trail is absolutely gorgeous.

hiking
3 months ago

Multiple waterfalls, lots of shade, dog-friendly, easy loop, not crowded: what's not to like? No permit was required for hiking as this was after 6/30.

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
3 months 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.

a gorgeous hike that is easy enough for little kids.

Probably my favorite trail in the South Bay. A true hidden gem. Lightly traveled (we've done the loop without seeing a sole), and the views are stunning. First mile+ is a bit of a climb but once on top you hike along a ridge line that provides views in multiple directions. No traffic noise, no people, you feel as if you're alone in the wilderness. Just awesome. Once you drop down into the canyon (end of mile 2) you're treated with a beautiful seasonal stream with large granite looking boulders akin to what you'd see in a low elevation sierra stream. Final mile is practically flat and really enjoyable. If not for the first mile of climbing this trail is EASY.

Trail is in good condition. Watch for poison oak growing on the trail.

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

hiking
5 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!

Heading into summer: tall grasses, narrow path on the Vallecito portion of the trail Today, had a mountain lion sighting 150 yds from the main trail and a different unseen animal growled at us near the creek on Vallecito trail. While on the wide trails, very enjoyable.

Fun trail, we only met a couple other hikers/backpackers near frog lake. We saw a king snake, some pretty wildflowers, and a lot of frogs when we were at the lake. However, most of the trail has tall grasses on either side, which wasn't very enjoyable to navigate. Saw a ton of ticks hanging out on the grasses just waiting to latch on to someone and also a solid amount of poison oak, especially on the Fish Trail part of the loop.

Went at 11am on a Friday. No issue with Parking and no reservation. Easy 4 mile loop.

clockwise - nice incline right off the bat with great views of the surrounding hills. Ends with about 1.5 miles of flat. Nice in winter and spring, not sure if the summer would be so nice as the hills would be all brown by then. Partially shady

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

Drove up sunday, and A RESERVATION IS REQUIRED FOR HIKING, the reservation has to be made at least the night before. NO SAME DAY RESERVATIONS. Long drive, to have to turn around and drive out. Very disapointing.

haven't done this hike, but a RESERVATION is required to HIKE on the weekend. way too many other options in the Bay Area.

the good news is that the road is open again

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