Hike Log

Mount Sizer – Spring Training First Attempt


Monument Trail near Visitor center

Type of Hike:

Day hike

Trail Conditions:

Trail in good condition


Road suitable for all vehicles


Bugs were not too bad


Snow free

I did the clockwise loop. My time stamps:
12:15 pm Start Clockwise loop at Monument Trail
2:30 pm Crossed Middle Fork Creek, Started “The Shortcut”
3:38 pm Finished shortcut, Started Blue Ridge
5:13 pm Started Jackass Trail
5:59 pm Finished jackass, Turned on to Poverty Flat
6:43 pm Creek Sign Post Saying China Hole 0.5mi and Coe HW 3.7mi
8:41 pm Finished at Visitor Center
= 8 hours, 26 minutes with several small breaks throughout.

A tough trail for me, but can be done by anyone. I am unexperienced and in below average shape. Other than “The shortcut”, trail is mostly along well maintained dirt roads so easy to follow and you can cover ground at a decent pace. This trail has a “big” feel that is exciting for novices such as myself but I imagine has enough to offer more experienced hikers as well.  I have seen conflicting data about exact details of “The Shortcut” but some Strava data from various users showed 1,436 ft gain over 1.5 miles with 22% grade. In any case, consensus is that it's 1,000+ feet of elevation gain per mile for a little over a mile. The home stretch after the Jackass Trail on Poverty Flat also requires a bit of push so those were two areas that stuck out in my mind as requiring some effort while the rest was just walking along a dirt road. I think difficulty of this trail goes up a lot with temperature – would not want to try this in August.

There were two creek crossings: Middle Fork Creek after the climb up Hobbs Road and then Middle Fork Creek again on Poverty Flat. Creek height at the crossing was approx 18-24 inches as per Park staff that day. Approx 3 weeks ago it was over 3 feet. First crossing is short and shallow. Second crossing is a bit longer and deeper. Rock hopping can go wrong and you can end up with wet feet.

Temperature: High of low 60's F, Low of 46 F local temperature, trail was few degrees cooler (by end of trail of sundown, was 42 F with wind and it was getting cold).

For fellow first timers: leave plenty of time, at check in the park staff said I may be cutting it a bit close for a first time timer (in terms of hours of daylight left). They were right and with sunset at approx 7:45 pm, I needed a flashlight for my last 30 minutes once the twilight started to fade. I would suggest an earlier start.

After the first 90 minutes, I did not see anyone on the trail. It's park land as far as the eye can see so it has much more of a “big nature” feel than other local bay area trails – no city to be seen. And since it's only approx 1 hour from San Jose and the biggest state park in norther California ( 87,000 acres), it is definitely worth seeing. The view from the ridge was lovely and golden hour was stunning. I look forward to exploring more of the park. My favorite of the Six Pack of Peaks Challenge so far (having completed Umunhum, Mission, Black Mountain).


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.