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China Hole Hike - Henry Coe State Park

The essential Henry Coe Hike: 10 arduous miles through the park's demanding mountainous terrain.
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Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Strenuous
Length: 10 miles
Duration: Full day
Family Friendly

Overview :  China Hole is one of the most popular destinations at Henry Coe State Park. Spring rains create a picturesque swimming hole at the... more »

Tips:  China Hole helped cement Henry Coe's reputation for butt-kicker hikes. Don't go unless you know you can handle 10 miles with over... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Dunne Avenue HQ: Start on Corral Trail

Start at the Park HQ to pay for parking and ask the rangers if there are any trail closures or blockages along this route.

Find the Corral Trail, just behind the park HQ. Take the trail through the woods for about a half-mile till it intersects with the Springs Trail.

2. Springs Trail

Bear right on Springs Trail - a very nice single-track that is one of the prime wildlife and wildflower areas at Henry Coe (I once spotted a coyote here not 20 yards from the trail).

Stay on the Springs Trail for 1.3 miles till it intersects with Manzanita Point Road.

3. Manzanita Point Road

Turn right on Manzanita Point Road and stay on it for about .8 mile.

You'll pass through the Manzanita Point Campgrounds, where the next major trail junction is near a privy.

4. Junction: China Hole Trail/Madrone Soda Springs Trail

Bear Right on the Madrone Soda Springs Trail. This is a steep, one-mile descent with awesome views of the nearby hills. It bottoms out at a creek near the old Madrone Soda Springs.

(Don't be tempted to head straight for the China Hole Trail -- you'll use that trail on your return route; it's far better to descend along Madrone Soda Springs Trail ... More

5. Madrone Soda Springs/Mile Trail

The trail turns left into the Mile Trail. Along the way you'll pass the ruins of an old cabin and an abandoned root cellar carved into the hillside.

Mile Trail crosses the creek several times - watch your step or you'll end up with wet feet.

6. China Hole

Mile Trail leads to China Hole at the bottom of a large canyon.

The China Hole campsite is on the other side of the creek - unless you're camping out at China Hole, there's really no need to cross the creek; consider it optional depending on how adventurous you feel.

If you go for a swim, don't forget to save your energy for the five-mile... More

7. Return trip: China Hole Trail

Look for the sign post for China Hole Trail on the west bank of the creek. The trail starts climbing steeply from the beginning.

Take your time and enjoy the view on the way up -- this is the hardest part of the hike, but the trail's switchbacks ease the strain.

After 1.3 miles you'll come to the intersection with the Cougar Trail. Stay on... More

8. Corral Trail turnoff

Manzanita Point Road - you'll see the Springs Trail on your left after .8 mile. If you're still feeling strong, retracing your steps on Springs Trail is a nice alternative.

If, however, you're more in a mood for getting your hike over with, hike on for about another three-quarters of a mile till you see a sign post reading "Coe HDQRTS. 0.7... More