What? : This is very large and popular park for hiking & running. The large park trail system covering the mountain range, some are easy and paved some are going up the hills and surrounding mountains.
Deu note: The park is very crowded
during weekends with major parking problems.
Families with small kids are strolling along the main valley and paved road and visiting the Deer Hollow Animal Farm, this section is the most crowded in the park.
As you walk up the trails you will see less and less people but overall during sunny weekends it is a very busy
From the main parking lots there are few paved trails and road that you can take into the park main valley. Here you can continue walking along the paved road without any hill climb all the way to the nice Deer Hollow Animal Farm.
Deu note: Biking is allowed only on the main paved roads in the park.
Recommended hiking/running Trails:
·Stephen E. Abbors Trail (PG&E
Trail) – Popular trail climbing sharply up the hills on the south side. At the end of this trail
it connects to Upper High Meadow Trail that will take you back down.
·Upper High Meadow Trail – Nice loop
trail that is following the ridge line and create a loop trail on going back in the directions of the parking lots on the north side of the creek. There are few connectors trails that can lead you to the creek and the main park road.
·Chamise Trail – This is a very long loop hike up the
north ridge, it will connect you to Black Mountain trail on the far west side of the park, Black Mountain trail keeps climbing up the ridge line. After 3
mils on Black Mountain trail there is a left turn into Quarry Trail that will
take you down back into the Rancho section trails. if you will keep climbing up on Black Mountain trail you will reach the Black mountain preserve and the viewing point.
Once you start to hike back down on Quarry Trail you will reach a trail junction: If you take the Stephen E.
Abbors Trail to the right you will go all the way down, if you turn left into
Upper High Meadow trail you will have option to go down in the creek or on the ridge’s
My thoughts: Although this is a large nature park with long trails going into the mountains I tend not to visit this park so often, it is just too crowded for me especially over weekends.
I prefer to visit the park during rainy days when it is less crowded or if i have time mid-week day afternoon (if i have time).