Cache Creek Ridge Trail
How to Get There
Take 2 cars. From Yolo county, Woodland and Davis, take Highway 16 through the Capay Valley. Park the first car at the confluence of Cache Creek and Bear Creek, on a dirt pullout on the left side of the road. The confluence is just a few hundred feet from the Yolo County line. Then take the second car all the way to the Highway 16/ Highway 20 intersection. Turn left on Highway 20, and drive about 6 miles, past the vista point. The parking area, known as the Judge Davis parking area, is several miles past the vista point. After you pass the hairpin turn continue up the hill, and over the summit. About 1 mile after the road has been going downhill, look for the tops of the restrooms on the left side of the road. They will come up fast, so be prepared to slow down and pull over. The Judge Davis Trail trailhead is marked, and there is a restroom facility there if you need one.
The Hike Itself
Start at the Judge Davis Trail trailhead and hike up the fire road on the east side of the parking area. You can’t miss the firebreak; it’s that broad band cut into the hill in front of you. You initially start uphill, and then reach a fairly steep area. Don’t worry, it is only a small climb, and once you reach the top of the ridge is is fairly gentle. You stay on the ridge the entire way, heading south, and eventually drop down to Cache Creek at the confluence of Cache Creek and Bear Creek at Highway 16. You may have to wade across Bear Creek, depending on the season and how much water is in the creek. A fabulous one-way hike!
Meet up with where you left the first car, and drive it back to the trailhead to pick up the second car.
The distance varies depending on how far you want to go: 9.5 miles from Highway 20 to Highway 16 at Bear Creek, and a total elevation gain of about 1500 feet. If you do the hike from Bear Creek and Highway 16 at the Cache Creek Confluence, up to the pond on the ridge, it is 2.5 miles, one way, to the pond. This hike has a total elevation gain of 1080 feet.
Round trip, it’s 20 miles of hiking if you do the whole route on foot. If you use cars to shuttle you back and forth, the round trip trail route in about 10 miles.