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

hiking
7 hours ago

one of my all time favorite places to hike

Short but steep trail- I wouldn’t do this trail in the heat of day, but the view at the top is worth the hike.

Met a rattle snake that makes this trial special

Fantastic trail for running before or after work with beautiful views during a good part of the loop. Most of it is wide and not technical, but you’ll share it with mountain bikers as well, so keep that in mind and be alert.

We (my wife, 30, and me, 38) did this trail yesterday, 8th September, but went a little further to the east to not have to hike through the community.

It took us nearly 4 hours with a short break to do the 9.6 miles loop, which was downhill for about 5.5 and uphill from there on. Going through forest and some open places, where we got quite some sun yesterday. Temperature got really high then, reaching nearly 100°.

There were nearly any other people during the hike so it was quite relaxed. And there are quite some nice views. But that is it for the positive side.

Things we did not like:
- trail is difficult to follow (thank you stranger for putting up your orange hints)
- bugs and mosquitoes all the time (take repellent with you during this time of year)
- gun fire can be heard all the time

PS: quite often you will have no network coverage, so downloading the track beforehand is a good idea.

Did 11 miles out and back since I couldn’t get a ride home from the beach. Downhill helps but there are some climbs for sure. Take plenty of water.

Nice flat stroll through the forest at Sanborn County Park. Great for walking the dogs. Note there is very little parking at the Sanborn Rd trailhead.

Fun hike, good mix of sunny spots/shaded spots, great views along the way. Lots of different spots to take breaks and do additional exploring. The rock scrambles were fun, and if you like climbing, there’s also some opportunities to do so along the way.

Love it! Great for a quick trail run with a good elevation workout and lots of shade! Parking is super convenient and free!

20 days ago

Okay hike. Pretty steep with some shade here and there. Consistent incline throughout the whole thing.

It is a short sweet hike with a lot of elevation gain. Love it

Hubby and I went this morning!! Much more difficult than I expected, almost threw in the towel, but my competitiveness kept me going. The trail needs to be marked better the higher you go...had a blast, but should have taken my hiking boots..tennis shoes dont work!

A great hike with a lot of up and down hill. A decent amount of shaded areas with some sunny. Lot of things to look at along the way. A decent crowd of people walking around

Beautiful trail, nightmare parking. Get there early!

Had an awesome time on this hike, great lookouts, huge rocks and a waterfall(might be more water in the early months of the year). We took the short cut about 2 miles in to head on back which made the hike 3.5 miles and it took us about 2 hours just relaxing and exploring. Highly recommend!

Decent hike. Lots of inclines for a good workout. Saw some deer and butterflies, but not many views. Lots of shade though so good on a hot day.

Fun trail. Didn’t have my hiking boots, so bouldering was difficult. Areas of the trail require you to climb over rocks so be prepared.

Also parking in the parking lot is $8 cash. You can park on the side of the road but be warned that there is a ditch and I saw a car get stuck. Not hard to park, just be safe!

backpacking
1 month ago

Perfect Beginner Backpacker 3-Day Trip.

Don’t camp in your car the night before hitting the trail. Ranger Rick didn’t like that at all. Otherwise the trail follows a highway for the first two days. The second day you stop by Big Basin HQ where you can reload on any food or gear you may need. Even have showers. Third day you leave the highway sounds and follow a creek that leads to the ocean. This is the most rewarding and beautiful day. (Camped at Waterman Gap and Jay Camp)

Apparently the shuttle no longer exists. We hitchhiked to downtown Santa Cruz and then 50$ Uber’d to our car at Castle Rock State Park.

Weather was never permitting long sleeves, even at night. The shade under the tree groves was perfect, no chance of getting sunburned. Mosquitoes were heavy though and had to remain in our tents any time we weren’t moving.

trail running
1 month ago

Nicely shaded out and back. Not a lot of parking and seems to be a popular trail with mountain bikers. Initial steep climb for the first 1.5ish miles but steady gradient with lots of switchbacks after. A challenge if you push for speed on the uphill, but also not too difficult to maintain a 10min mile pace for the entirety if you’re just in the mood for an easy run.

Nice shade throughout. Beautiful change in climate and landscape between Sanborn and Castle Rock. Very hard hike but one of my favorites. Exhausted at the end of it.

nature trips
1 month ago

Nice sunset view

hiking
1 month ago

Great workout, good steady climb, with the majority of the hike thankfully in the shade. Went on a hot day so the sun was brutal in the exposed sections. We took the Loghry Woods trail instead of the service road and it was shaded and scenic. Took about 3-3.5 hours with a few breaks.

We started at 6:45 am and got done before it became too hot. Good hike for starters - not much elevation. Distance may not be comfortable for kids or dogs.

This is definitely a difficult loop. I would not recommend it to people who cannot handle slopes or the heat. The path is also not paved, and may require some climbing over large rocks and boulders. I finished it in close to 2.5 hours, but I stopped a lot for photos and to snack. The views are absolutely gorgeous!

The only con I have is that it's a very popular place, so parking can get difficult to find.

The hike is between easy to moderate. I went clockwise and found it enjoyable. The views of ocean and pine trees of rangers there are very blissful to see. Sometimes, the trail totally vanishes and all you have to do is to get past the boulder or rock covering it. Please carry bug repellent as there are lot of blood sucking insects and they will keep swarming you. Most of the time I could only only hear them. This trail would be very beautiful in raining season.

Did this again on weekend of 6-29-18. Has become my early season Sierra stretch out. Really nice and bugs not bad. No trail hassle with deadfalls, but make sure you get into your trail camps early to get a decent pitch area. Not a solitude destination with road noise and weekend campers at Big Basin, but a great trek nonetheless.

We hiked twice in the last two weeks. First time we stopped at Skyline, because the mist was getting heavier; The second time we were sort of lost as the sign wasn’t quite clear after Skyline. There were many bugs flying around and it was not pleasant at all. We hiked 14.5 miles but only gained 2700 ft of elevation. We liked the first part, the bugs could be due to the hot and humidity.

Great hike with nice variety of views, rocks, and a stream. Took us 3hrs.

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