Stebbins Cold Canyon Reserve – Solano County

Posted on 21 March 2010

Stebbins Cold Canyon Reserve is a popular and beautiful hiking site. This land is part of the Bureau of Land Management and under the diligent care of UC Davis. Snuggled between Yolo and Napa County, this reserve, also known as the Putah Creek Wildlife Area, and is right off of Highway 128, below Berryessa Dam. Shortly after crossing the bridge, you will find a couple of dirt parking areas. Across the bend in the road are two gated entrances.

One entrance will lead you to a fork of two trails. To the left is the dog friendly in and out Pleasants Ridge Trail. The elevation is steep. It begins around 200′ and immediately ascends to 1656′. The trail to the right of the fork is known as the Homestead Trail. This trail runs parallel to the creek and a one point, you will need to cross the shallow creek across rocks and boulders. The initial trail is easy to traverse. If you continue to hike up to the ruins of an old homestead, the elevation will rise to 1114′. The trail to the homestead branches off the main trail to a little in and out crossing the creek once again.

The Blue Ridge Loop entrance is approximately 25′ to the right from the first gate. The gate is tucked adjacent to the mountain and is absolutely beautiful. There are switch backs that lead you to the ridge overlooking Berryessa.

Avid hikers will enjoy continuing along the Homestead Trail as it merges into the Blue Ridge Loop Trail after the Homestead site. The highest elevation along the Blue Ridge Loop is at 1535′, but it has panoramic views of Lake Berryessa and the surrounding mountains. If you follow the Blue Ridge Loop, prepare to navigate about a half mile of rocks. They can be demanding. This is a stunning trail and UC Davis hosts docent lead nature outings that are interesting and informative. They also feature Nature’s Theater – a special program to engage children with stories and history of the park and indigenous floral and animal species.

Look to the Link and Map pages for more information about this special reserve and their calendar of events.

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