Blue Ridge Cross Country Trek
How to Get There
From Yolo County, take Highway 128 toward Lake Berryessa. At the Turtle Rock Bar, turn right onto Berryessa/Knoxville Road. Continue on Berryessa/Knoxville Road, past the lake, over both Pope Creek and Putah Creek bridges at the North End of the lake, and up into the mountains beyond. The road will narrow, roughen, and you will eventually wind up at the public lands. There are presently no signs or developed parking areas. Use caution when parking on the highway.
The Hike Itself
There are no officially developed trails on the Knoxville Wildlife Area public lands, yet, but there are old firebreaks and ranch roads you can use to explore this vast area. There are a number of options for exploring the area. Take a compass or other direction finder with you as it is very easy to get lost on the public lands. If you find yourself lost, head downhill and you’ll eventually end up at Eticurea Creek and/or Knoxville Road. The entire area slopes up from the road and creek to Blue Ridge.
One hike is shown on the map and heads up a steep firebreak to the top of the Blue Ridge. The views are spectacular.
One other hike that is less taxing on the legs is a hike up Long Canyon on the old jeep trail. There are also old ranch roads on the rest of the property, mostly on the northern end. You can follow any of these for a nice hike.
The real attraction of the area is Blue Ridge. On this side of Blue Ridge, the cliffs are vertical, and home to Prarie Falcons (Falco mexicanus) and Peregrine Falcons (Falco peregrinus) who like to nest in the cliffs. Also, once you get to the top of the ridge, you can see all of Casey Flats above the Capay Valley, Berryessa Peak, Sutter Buttes, and Mt. Lassen.
The green trails on the PDF map are trails we haven’t taken or plotted yet. They are a bit easier than the trail up to the ridge. Note that the 10,000 acres of the Knoxville Wildlife Area public lands are due south of the Blue Ridge Trail south parking area. The ridge is administered by Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and the lower part of the area is overseen by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW). Areas within the blue boundary are public. Explore!
Since this is a cross country trek with no single trail to take, the mileage will vary. It all depends on how far you want to walk. The hike up to the ridge itself is about 2.5 miles round trip.
- Fitness: difficult
- Visible Signage:
- Mountain Biking:
- Overnight Camping: