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Old 06-02-2013, 05:31 PM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 2
Smile Trails in Northern California ?

Does anyone know of any trails within say an hour of San Rafael ? Easy trails are fine ? I know we have the Rubicon trail but that's too far away to get to for a quick day trip ......

Any ideas for locations ?

Many thanks.

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Old 06-17-2013, 09:05 PM   #2
tom h's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: San Diego
Posts: 134
Originally Posted by Avee8r View Post
Does anyone know of any trails within say an hour of San Rafael ? Easy trails are fine ? I know we have the Rubicon trail but that's too far away to get to for a quick day trip ......

Any ideas for locations ?

Many thanks.
Tom H hailing from San Diego ... I used to live in the South Bay, before I had my jeep.

There are probably a million trails north of you but one area has always fascinated me, south of you, the area east of San Jose in the mountains. You'll need to consult Google maps and Google satellite to check it out.

Take Mt Hamilton (CA-130) road east from San Jose up to the top, and past, Mt Hamilton. It's paved but the views are stupendous and it's very windy, so you'll be a long time getting to the top. Even though paved, it still feels like a jeep road. Take the top off and enjoy the ride. I think you can take 130 all the way to I-5.

But if you're really up for adventure, pass by Mt Ham and explore the jeep roads north and south of 130. They will not be on highway maps so you'll have to plot them out on Google Earth and download to your Kindle or iPad. Some might have gates so you will not have access. But that's part of the adventure. Frankly, the remoter the area the less likely there will be for a gate.

About 6-7 miles east of Mt Ham there is major jeep road running south, probably access for ranchers or miners or something else. It runs south to the northern edge of Henry Coe State Park. Again, assuming there are no gates, it looks like a there will be a lot of jeep playing in some beautiful mountain meadows and oak ranges. It'll probably be a lot cooler up there in summer as well.

I've been intrigued because it looks like the jeep trails run all the way south to CA-152 east of Gilroy. I've wanted to check this area out once I have a chance to get my jeep 400 miles north. I'd be surprised if there weren't some gates along the way but .... that's part of the adventure.

If you do this, be sure and download the maps (converted to jpegs) because there are a lot of trails out there and you don't want to get lost. I'd guarantee there is no cell service.

I'm feeling guilty now, so below is an annotated Google map so you aren't confused about where to start.

Finally, if you try this out, sent me a private message with what you learned, even if you just tell me there are gates everywhere.

"A woman is only a woman, but a good cigar is a smoke." Rudyard Kipling

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Old 06-27-2013, 06:52 PM   #3
Rickw20's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 3
Hollister OHV park has jeep trails

Frank Raines park near Patterson

Cow Mountain in Lake County

Check out
It is geared towards motorcycle and atv riding but it will tell you if the places have jeep trails
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