About two thirds of the hike is exposed, the rest is shaded. Poison oak is rare for the vast majority of the trail, but is heavy and overhangs small portions of the trail, especially near where Fish Trail crosses the Little Fork Coyote Creek. Hike is hard on the "Wimble Scale".
Plan on at least 3 large water bottlesmore if it is very warm. Definitely take snacks along. Consider using a water purifier and replenishing your water at Frog Lake, at a water trough above Frog Lake, or at the Little Fork Coyote Creek.
There is one moderate, long climb in the beginning from the Park Headquarters and a long descent to Frog Lake. The trail rolls along from Frog Lake to the Fish Trail with a very short, steep climb about 1/4 or 1/2 mile before you join up with the Fish Trail. From the Fish Trail, there is a long, easy descent to the Little Fork Coyote Creek, and a moderate climb back up through a pass in Pine Ridge. Then the trail has an easy descent followed by a long, moderate climb next to a stream bed back to the Park Headquarters.
The trail is about 6 or 7 miles long. Climb was difficult to asses, but it felt like 800 feet to 1000 feet, perhaps less. Plan on taking at least 4 hours for the hike.
- Pay $5 to park at one of the three parking lots. On most good weather weekends, the lots nearest the Park Headquarters fill up early, adding another 1/2 mile (one-way) to the hike. You may want to purchase a map.
- Begin at the Park Headquarters and head north along the paved road until you see the trail head to Frog Lake. Alternatively, you can stay on the paved road and take Hobbs Road, a fire road, all the way to Frog Lake. That way is harder, long, and has fewer views.
- There is an intersection near the top of the ridge. For an interesting view, take a left for a short hike to the lookout vista point, then return and continue until you intersect Hobbs Road.
- Go left on Hobbs Road and descend to Frog Lake. This is a steep descent. Hiking sticks are advisable.
- There is a shorter, optional return path at Frog Laketake the Flat Frog Trail back to Park Headquarters. This loop is under 6 miles total and avoids climbinb up to the Middle Ridge and back down again.
- Otherwise, just past Frog Lake, take the middle trail which heads uphill towards the Middle Ridge. It may be labeled as the trail to Poverty Flat.
- Climb gradually to the top of the ridge. There is an intersection with a trail to a campgrounddo not take that trail.
- At the ridge point, there is another intersectionveer right along the ridge.
- The trail mostly climbs gradually from here, with some ups and downs. About 2/3 of the way along the trail, there is a very short, steep section. Continue on until you come to the Fish Trail intersection.
- Take a right along Fish Trail and begin a gradual descent down to the Little Fork Coyote Creek. As you cut back along the trail and approach the creek, the poison oak will become much more prevalent and begin to encroach on the trail.
- Cross the creek and begin a moderate, zig-zag ascent up to a pass in the Pine Ridge. The poison oak thins out again as you climb.
- Once you reach the pass, the trail opens into meadow and you gently descend until you come to a stream bed where you veer right, heading back towards the Park Headquarters under shading trees.
- As you leave the shade of the trees, you will come to the Manzanita Point Road. You can take the road back to Park Headquarters, but it's easier, shorter, and much more scenic to cross the road and take the Corral Trail.
- Return to Park Headquarters. There are several picnic tables in the area.
- [Manyto be filled in yet]
Saturday, April 29, 2000
Click on pictures below to view 1024 x 768 versions (approximately 1 MB in size).
Dirk, Nancy, Kathy and Mike began the hike at 10 AM. We returned to Park Headquarters at 2 PM and had a birthday picnic for Kathy.
Copyright © 2000-2002 by Michael Wimble, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED