Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
400.00 ft (121.92 m)
Trail type
Loop
Distance
1.60 mi (2.57 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.

Of the several hikes inside Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park, the Ridgeline Loop Trail tends to stand apart from the others in that it has a separate trailhead and is the only trail that weaves through the park's natural environment without passing any of its historical features.

At a length of 1.6 miles, it begins by descending quickly down to Willow Creek and a small wooden bridge over the cool water. From here, it parallels the creek before splitting with the Riparian Loop Trail and heading up into the juniper forest on the landscape's ridgeline. 

All of the trail's wide views are along the creek. Once it hits the juniper climb, the trail tends to be boxed in by the stout groves of trees. While hardly scenic, it is also likely that hikers will be able cover its course without encountering a single other person. 

The trail soon drops to the south fork of Willow Creek and leaves the shade for the dry high desert environment. The beginning and ending portion of the trail are along the Riparian Loop Trail, and hikers looking add some distance and scenery to their hike can consider following the Riparian Loop as well.

There are no amenities of any kind at the trailhead, though vault toilets, park pay stations and water are located in the park's day-use area and campground en route to the Ridgeline Loop Trailhead.

Though it may not be incredibly scenic, the this trail provides the opportunity to hike into the high desert landscape and feel far away from anyone else.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

Park entrance fee

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Possible to combine with other hikes. Scenic in sections.

Cons

None.

Trailhead Elevation

7,242.00 ft (2,207.36 m)

Highest point

7,303.00 ft (2,225.95 m)

Net Elevation Gain

140.00 ft (42.67 m)

Features

Wildlife
Fishing
Big vistas
Wildflowers

Typically multi-day

No

Suitable for

Biking
Horseback

Permit required

No

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Adventures

Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park
Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park

Nearby Lodging + Camping

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