The Cerro Vista trailhead, is located on private land
that lies along the ridgeline, adjacent to Cerro Vista road.
Trails leading from this trailhead are under constant
pressure from four-wheelers and dirt bikers. Concerned about liability
issues, fire hazards and trash problems, the property owner has attempted over
the years to block entry to motorized users. All efforts, including gates,
posts and concrete barriers, have been largely ineffective -- the targeted
users have simply forged new paths around every barrier.
Most recently, very large No-Trespassing signs have been
erected near the main entry points. In conversations with the lawyers
representing the landowner, it is apparent that walkers, mountain bikers and
equestrians are not considered to be part of the problem. Accordingly, the best
advice MVTA can offer is that legitimate recreational, non-motorized use will
not prompt an enforcement action.
Recreational use of this trail, as with all others listed
on this website, is at the user's own risk. If you encounter anyone who claims
you are trespassing or suggests you should not use the trail, please report the
incident at once to the
Features: The Cerro Vista Ridgeline Trail in the Applegate
area is a loop that passes through a variety of terrain and vegetation: Canyon
rim vistas and natural meadows, oak forests and Manzanita groves, and a wagon
road beside a seasonal creek with a cascade among boulders.
Map Notes: Click on map shown to view the detailed version.
There are two parking locations near the northern side of the loop trail.
Access to Boole Road and Cerro Vista Road is from the Applegate exit from I-80,
Availability: Cerro Vista Ridgeline Trail is multi-use:
Mountain bikers and hikers are asked to use special caution on single track
sections with blind corners to avoid spooking horses you may encounter. The
trail is generally usable year round, but some sections may become boggy during
the November-April wet season.
Equestrians Note: Using this trail as a full loop is no
longer possible. The "Portuguese gate" that was formerly available to skirt the
cattle guard on Boole Road has been removed by the property owner. Parking for
your trailer is still available at both parking areas.
Difficulty: The trail covers about 3.25 miles in all, round
trip. The route is generally easy to hike or ride, with some moderate, but
short grades. The footing is good and mostly free of rocks. The circuit uses
some sections of paved road (shown on the map as black dots.) There is very
little vehicle traffic to contend with.
This trail traverses "Cougar
Habitat." Cougar sightings are rare; use good sense: Do not walk or
ride this trail alone. Keep small children and pets close at hand.
Poison Oak grows
along parts of this trail and may hang out into the trail in places.
Drinking Water must be carried with you. Trailside water
is not safe for human consumption, no matter
how clean it looks. Drink it only in an emergency and consult a doctor
You can use either of two parking areas as your trailhead, one
on Boole Road, the other on Cerro Vista Road. See "Equestrians Note,"
Take the I-80 Applegate exit and follow the overpass road East
to where it T's into Applegate Road. Go left; the road passes through a narrow
tunnel under the railroad. Take an immediate right after the tunnel onto Boole
Road. Boole Road is narrow and has poor shoulders, so drive with care.
Continue on Boole Road for about 1.8 miles to where the pavement
forks. Boole Road continues to your right; Cerro Vista Road to your left.
- Cerro Vista Road: Less than a quarter mile up the hill from
where Cerro Vista Road branches off from Boole Road, as the road curves to the
right, there is a large dirt area to your left. There is room for several cars
or a couple of horse trailers on the flat area. From here, you pick up the
trail on the opposite side of Cerro Vista, heading south (clockwise route.)
NOTE: The first 1/4 mile of the trail crosses property that in
2013 was cleared of most vegetation for fire control purposes. Keep the roadway
in sight if the trail course is hard to follow.)
- Boole Road: About 1/2 mile down from the junction with Cerro
Vista Road you will cross a cattle guard. About 100 yards farther is a large
triangular area between where the roadway sweeps to the right and a dirt road
continues straight. This is private property, but the ranch owners are
friendly. Horse trailers are Ok, but be sure to cleanup and carry away any
"leavings." Also, if riding horses, you will be letting yourself through the
"Portuguese" gate on one side of the cattle guard as you proceed along the
Trail Loop Description
This description starts from Cerro Vista trailhead and
proceeds in a counter-clockwise direction. If using the Boole Road
trailhead, start with Steps 2 thru 12 and finish up with Step
- Proceed to the Boole Road parking by following the paved road
downhill to the corner of Boole Road and turn left. (Along the way, you will
come to a cattle guard. As noted above, there is no longer a way around for
equestrians.) Follow Boole Road for 1/4 mile to the triangular parking area.
- From the Boole Road parking area, take the dirt road heading
south. This wagon road is an old county easement that follows Clipper Creek to
where it passes through a ranch gate (leave it open/closed, as you found it)
and joins the far end of Cerro Vista Road. Enroute you will pass beside the
seasonal waterfall on your right.
- Follow the graded roadway for about 100 yards and turn left
onto the paved roadway leading uphill. At the top of the hill, about a quarter
of a mile, you will be back to Cerro Vista Road again. Bear off left for a few
yards and then cross out into the meadow on the other side.
- Follow the trail eastward through the meadow and look for a
trail cut into the buck brush to your right. It is marked with yellow survey
ribbon. Note: You may see ribbons of other colors along the trail, but these
are survey-related and do not apply to the trail course.
- The trail section through the brush follows an old wagon road
that meanders in a southerly direction. There are two side trails along this
section that turn uphill to your left. Each one will shortcut the route you are
following, taking you to the northbound side of the loop.
- After a gentle climb, the trail will enter a small clearing.
The loop trail continues on the eastern (opposite) edge of the clearing,
following a winding, single track course downhill through a stand of oaks and
Manzanita. Again, the trail is marked with yellow ribbons. There is also a spur
trail that heads south from the clearing and goes about 300 yards before dead
- The downhill trail crosses a boggy open area and proceeds
uphill along a wagon road through more oaks and Manzanita. Look for a branch
trail to your left about 100 yards up. The road that continues straight dead
ends after a short distance, but there is a nice view to the south from there,
if you like to explore.
- The trail now heading northward, climbs sharply for a short
distance, the only fairly steep slope you will encounter on the entire
- After leveling out, the trail crosses a series of small natural
meadows. The shortcut trails mentioned in #4 above rejoin in this area.
Continuing north, the trail re-enters a wooded area. Watch carefully for the
yellow marker ribbons.
- The trail will then follow a wagon road over a small hill and
down to Cerro Vista Road. As it approaches the pavement, look for a single
track continuation of the trail on your right. Following the yellow ribbons,
the trail will meander downgrade and away from the road and then back up
- The trail will approach the paved road a second time. This time
you will cross the road and pick it up again on the other side. The trail used
to pass through a grove of Manzanita, but that has been cleared for fire safety
reasons. The trail is now flagged, but you may prefer to simply follow the
- Along this section there are wonderful views across the North
Fork canyon. When the trail comes out again beside the roadway, the Cerro Vista
parking area is directly across the way.
- There are a number of shortcut trails along the basic trail
course that can be taken to shorten the loop or provide some variety on a
subsequent visit. Consult the map for their locations.
- On the east side of the loop, you can turn onto the
Boole Training Hill trail, taking you steeply down into the canyon to
join the Upper Clementine trail. Returning
by that trail, you will add about three miles to your route and several hundred
feet of elevation change.