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blueBlack Rock Garden Trail

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2.3 mile 3.7 kilometer point to point


Ascent: 687' 209 m
Descent: -78' -24 m
High: 3,409' 1,039 m
Low: 2,800' 854 m


Avg Grade: 6% (4°)
Max Grade: 35% (19°)


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A steady climb with tight switchbacks, broken up with occasional rolling sections.

Bracken Christensen

Features Views


Look for the trailhead on the east side of the road shortly south of the Sunflower trailhead. Head up and wind through large boulders, working your way up to the top of the canyon. There are some really nice views along the way and from the top.

At the top, there's a fork in the trail. Go right at this fork to continue on Rock Garden Trail that ends shortly at Rylander Fortress Cliff Trail, a dirt road. Going left at the fork takes one to a second fork. At this second fork, going left dead ends at a great overlook, great place for snacking and lunch. Going right at the second fork (after going left at the first fork) puts one on Rock Garden/Fortress Cliff Connector, a short, narrow singlepath trail that also leads to Rylander Fortress Cliff Trail.

Drop back down from whence you came. The combination of loose trail, tight switchbacks and more climbing than you may expect, could make the way back challenging.


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Feb 17, 2019
Joan Pendleton
Nov 24, 2018
Beau Jennings
2.5 one way. 2.5mi
Nov 23, 2018
Sara Jennings
Distance is there and back 5mi
Oct 21, 2018
David McCormick
Jan 27, 2018
Michelle Swadling
Kicking off the mother son 2018 challenge 9.5mi
Dec 17, 2017
Cash Ficke
May 17, 2017
Bruce Hope
A great trail up to the rim; a little vague after that. But we found a use trail right along the rim with great views!

Trail Ratings

  4.2 from 6 votes


  4.2 from 6 votes
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47 Views Last Month
528 Since Oct 2, 2017
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult

Bruce Hope
Medford, OR
Bruce Hope   Medford, OR
When you reach the top of the rim on the Rock Garden Trail, you'll find a clear use trail going west right along the edge of the cliffs. This is not the Rylander trail which is an old road further inland from the cliffs. Follow this use trail for excellent views of the canyon below. You can follow it al the way to Fortress Cliff. Feb 22, 2018
Joan Pendleton
Almaden Valley, San Jose, CA
Joan Pendleton   Almaden Valley, San Jose, CA
This trail is on the park trail map now (February 2019) Feb 7, 2019

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