Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Elevation Gain
3,686.00 ft (1,123.49 m)
Trail type
15.30 mi (24.62 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Mount Sizer isn't as much of a mountain as it is just a slightly higher knoll in a series of knolls along a ridge. It's still worth your attention because of the beautiful views, the solitude you'll get on the trail, and, if you time your hike well, wildflowers. During this hike, you'll be traveling along fire roads as well as single trails. "The Shortcut" is a loveable nickname for about a mile-long stretch of Hobbs Road, which you'll walk and climb during this hike. Don't let the name fool you—according to locals, it's the steepest trail in the entire Bay Area.

From the parking site, follow the road back up and get on Monument Trail. After 0.4 mile of a steep climb with already beautiful views, you'll get to a path crossing. Take a right turn there and after another 0.1 mile, you'll reach Hobbs Road. Take a left and follow the road downhill for 0.8 mile and join Frog Lake Trail. Be cautious there not to mistake it for Flat Frog Trail which also turns off Hobbs Road.

After 0.2 mile, you'll reach Frog Lake. Depending on the season, it might be either mostly dry or overflowing. Continue on Frog Lake Trail for another 0.8 mile until you reach Middle Ridge Trail. You'll take a left there and enjoy a little bit of shade for the next 0.1 mile before re-joining Hobbs Road again and taking a right turn. From there, it's downhill all the way to Middle Fork Coyote Creek, 1.6 miles and mostly shaded. Cross the creek. Depending on the time of the year, you might be able to rock-hop or you might have to take your shoes off and wade through the current. On the other side, "The Shortcut" will be waiting for you: one mile of a not-so-shady steep climb.

Fortunately, there's a treat waiting for you at the top. You can sit down on a bench and enjoy the views on the other side of the ridge. Depending on how clear the air is, you might be able to see as far as the Sierra Nevada.

After taking a break, continue right on Blue Ridge Road. Follow this fire road for 1 mile. Do not take any of the tempting downhill paths and fire roads. When you encounter a crossing of Blue Ridge Trail and Mount Sizer Road, you're almost there. Turn left on Mount Sizer Road and climb the last short almost invisible path to the very top.

On your way back, retrace your steps back to Blue Ridge Trail and keep following the trail in your original direction (coming from Mount Sizer Road, you'll be turning left) for 2 miles. Be cautious; after 0.7 mile, there's a turn to Black Oak Spring Trail that will lead you down the wrong side of the mountain.

Stay on Blue Ridge Trail until you see the beginning of Jackass Trail on your right. It's easy to miss, so stay alert when you know you're getting closer. This trail will lead you 1.4 miles down the mountain, where you'll be able to see the remnants of a fire that burnt this area down several years ago. This is a very joyous and runnable part of the trail.

Follow the trail until you reach Poverty Flat Road, then take a right. After following this fire road for 1 mile, you'll be back at Middle Fork Coyote Creek. There's a campground and a pit toilet there. Cross the creek—be very cautious at this part of the creek, which is more treacherous than your first crossing—and join Cougar Trail. Follow this shaded trail for 0.6 mile before turning right on China Hole Trail and following it for 1 mile.

Turn right on Manzanita Point Road and follow it for 1.6 miles. You'll pass a few picnic sites and pit toilets on this fire road. Your last turn of this hike will be a left turn onto Corral Trail. Follow this trail for 0.7 mile, and it will lead you back to your car.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

General Day Use Fee

Open Year-round



Gets very little traffic. Wildflowers.


Steep grades. Exposed parts.

Trailhead Elevation

1,802.00 ft (549.25 m)

Highest point

3,216.00 ft (980.24 m)


Vault toilet

Typically multi-day


Permit required



Nearby Adventures

Nearby Lodging + Camping


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