Bike Rides & Hikes

Your Weekend Hike: Stebbins Cold Canyon Reserve

Stebbins Cold Creek Canyon Reserve in the Vaca Mountains.
Stebbins Cold Creek Canyon Reserve in the Vaca Mountains.

When’s the last time you headed to Solano County to take a hike?

Too long, probably. It’s not that far from Sacramento, especially northern Solano County, where our latest weekend hike recommendation takes us.

Your weekend hike: Stebbins Cold Canyon Reserve, west of Winters on Highway 128.

Distance: 5 miles

Directions: From Sacramento, take Interstate 80 west to Interstate 505 north. Take the Winters exit, which becomes Highway 128. Travel nine miles to the trailhead, about 200 yards after a small bridge at the Putah Creek crossing. Or, Take I-5 to Highway 113 west and exit at Russell Boulevard in Davis. Travel 14 miles on Russell over I-505. It turns into Highway 128.

Highlights: The Blue Ridge Loop takes you through the the University of California Natural Reserve System, with many species of flora identified. You’ll climb stairs, ogling big rocks, even climb over some big rocks to a summit with gorgeous views of Lake Berryessa.

Route: To start the 5-mile Blue Ridge Loop, veer right at the trailhead. First, go 0.6 mile on the Homestead Trail. When the trail ends, cross Cold Creek on the large boulders. Careful, it could be slippery. The trail resumes after you climb a small embankment. The Homestead Trail ends at Mile 1, mostly uphill, with stairs. Veer right to start the Blue Ridge Trail. There are no signs, but watch for the small “31” nature trail marker on the left. You’ll see stairs and a skimpy single-track trail leading to the summit at 1,535 feet. Follow the trail northwest. At the switchbacks near Mile 4, the descent is pronounced. The loop ends at a gate abutting Highway 128, about 100 yards from the original trailhead.

Call The Bee’s Sam McManis, (916) 321-1145. Follow him on Twitter @SamMcManis.