Hiking Project Logo

Coyote Lake and Ridge Hike

Intermediate
 4.0 (1) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

Hike through hills, meadows, woods and along a ridge top, with Coyote Lake and rugged Palassou Ridge as the backdrop.


Your Rating:      Clear Rating
Your Difficulty:
Your Favorites: Add to Favorites · Your List
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

6.8

Miles

11.0

KM

Loop

1,349' 411 m

High

906' 276 m

Low

797' 243 m

Up

797' 243 m

Down

4%

Avg Grade (3°)

23%

Max Grade (13°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Birding · Lake · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Family Friendly Good length and variety, especially with spring wildflowers. Pick up a pamphlet at the start and try to identify. Spot wildlife. Several picnic tables and viewpoints. Short side spurs to toilets.

Open 8am to sunset.

Overview

This is a beautiful route in Coyote Lake - Harvey Bear Ranch County Park that samples the woods, meadows, grass hills, Coyote Lake and high ridge views from Coyote Ridge. The golden grasses of summer and autumn turn bright green in the winter and spring. Spring also brings an abundance of wild flowers, MANY types of wildflowers. Wildlife, especially deer and soaring birds emerge in the quieter hours such as early morning and late afternoon.

Description

The Coyote Lake and Ridge Hike begins and ends at the parking area of the Mendoza Ranch Entrance to Coyote Lake - Harvey Bear Ranch County Park on Roop Road.

Coyote Ridge Trail (start - mile 2.5)
From the parking area take the Access Trail to its trail junction with Coyote Ridge Trail and Mendoza Trail. Go right here onto Coyote Ridge Trail.

For the first 1.1 miles on Coyote Ridge Trail, this route runs through grass meadows on the east side of Coyote Ridge. Trees, mostly oaks, border these meadows. Mummy Mountain, part of Coyote Ridge, rises to the left of the trail. Coyote Lake is to the right, below the trail, but hidden. However, Palassou Ridge on the far side of Coyote Lake can be seen.

At the 1.1 mile mark of Coyote Ridge Trail, a saddle in Coyote Ridge at the north end of Mummy Mountain is reached. A series of trail junctions are here—Mendoza Trail, Campground Trail, and finally Gaviota Trail. Views to the west open up, as Santa Clara Valley below and the Santa Cruz Mountains can be seen from this saddle.

After passing Gaviota Trail, this hike continues on Coyote Ridge Trail going through grass meadows with stands of oaks. Coyote Lake can now be seen below, to the right. The trail is still on the east side of the ridge but very close to the ridge top now, providing occasional views of Santa Clara Valley and the Santa Cruz Mountains to the west.

Valley Oak Trail (mile 2.5 - 3.7)
Calaveras Trail is reached at the 2.4 mile mark of Coyote Ridge Trail, Go right here onto Calaveras Trail. Calaveras Trail crosses a grassy meadow where the Valley Oak Trail junction is found. Coyote Lake can be seen below. Go right onto Valley Oak Trail.

Valley Oak Trail parallels the road but is far enough from the road to not see or hear it. It is a very pretty trail through the woods and meadows with wildflowers in the spring. Basically flat, it is very easy to navigate. Starting off in a meadow, Valley Oak Trail enters the sunlit woods and passes Ohlone Trail after .1 miles.

After about another .2 miles on Valley Oak Trail, the woods thin and an open meadow with views of Coyote Lake is reached. The trail crosses the meadow to re-enter woods, only to come out of them again at another meadow at the Campground Trail junction where Valley Oak Trail ends.

Campground Trail to Mummy Mountain Trail (mile 3.7 - 4.1)
Turn right onto Campground Trail and climb through a meadow for .15 miles to reach Coyote Ridge Trail and the saddle in Coyote Ridge at the north end of Mummy Mountain. At this trail junction, turn left onto Coyote Ridge Trail, followed almost immediately by a right onto Mendoza Trail, and then a left onto Mummy Mountain Trail.

Mummy Mountain Trail (mile 4.1 - end)
Mummy Mountain Trail enters the woods and begins climbing the steep north end of Mummy Mountain on a few switchbacks. Coyote Lake can be seen below, through breaks in the trees. The trail emerges from the woods on the eastern side of Coyote Ridge as the climb eases... temporarily. After another short uphill section through more woods, the woods thin and the climb ends as the top of Mummy Mountain is reached.

The top of Mummy Mountain is all broad flat meadows with spring wildflowers. There are views beyond the edges of this "table-top", but the immediate beauty is in these high meadows. Take your time to enjoy ambling through them for over 0.5 miles. There is a picnic table and viewpoint bench along the way.

After enjoying the meadows and views, Mummy Mountain Trail winds through woods and open sections as it descends the southern end of Mummy Mountain on the eastern side of Coyote Ridge. Emerging for good from the woods into the grassy hills, Mummy Mountain Trail ends at a trail junction with Mendoza Trail.

From Mummy Mountain Trail, go left onto Mendoza Trail for 0.35 miles to the Coyote Ridge Trail and Access Trail junction. Continue straight here, onto the Access Trail to return to the parking area.

Flora & Fauna

You'll find oak-studded grass hills, woods dominated by oaks, and a large variety and abundance of spring wildflowers. Deer, wild turkeys, and many bird types can be found here.

Contacts

Land Manager: Santa Clara County Parks

Shared By:

Joan Pendleton

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 1 vote

#3576

Overall
  4.0 from 1 vote
5 Star
0%
4 Star
100%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#536

in California

#3,576

Overall
68 Views Last Month
656 Since Jun 3, 2018
Intermediate

0%
0%
100%
0%
0%
0%

Photos

Palassou Ridge is in the distance on the east side of Coyote Lake (below), as Mummy Mountain Trail travels through purple smooth vetch wildflowers.
Apr 15, 2018 near San Martin, CA
Purple smooth vetch and other spring wildflowers along Mummy Mountain Trail.
Apr 15, 2018 near San Martin, CA
Valley Oak Trail goes through the sunlit oak woods.
Apr 13, 2018 near San Martin, CA
The hills in April of Coyote Lake - Harvey Bear Ranch County Park, with the Santa Cruz Mountains in the distance, seen from Mummy Mountain Trail.
Apr 15, 2018 near San Martin, CA
Lupine along Mummy Mountain Trail
Apr 15, 2018 near San Martin, CA
Ithuriel's Spear along Coyote Ridge Trail
Apr 14, 2018 near San Martin, CA

0 Comments

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
All Clear 17 days ago See History
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

May 11, 2020
Wan Chen
Hiked by myself for the 2nd time in Coyote Lake Mendoza Entrance. Saw the lake and returned before walking into Harvey Bear Ranch. Lonely. Energized! 6.8mi
Apr 25, 2020
Ana Montalbano
Feb 8, 2019
Susan Suesser
Dec 30, 2018
Michelle Kiang
Apr 14, 2018
Joan Pendleton