The Pine Ridge Association at Henry W. Coe State Park

Distance, elevation gain/loss
One way, via Flat Frog trail: 3.1 miles, +0/-200 feet / one way, via Monument trail:1.5 miles, +400/-600 feet

2 days


Park Headquarters, at the end of East Dunne Avenue

Backpacking permit and parking fees required; register at visitor center when open or self-register for Frog Lake or Two Oaks

Trip highlights

• Camping near a scenic forest lake

• Memorial to Henry W. Coe

• Variety of flora and terrain

• Rich wildflowers display in spring

• Great vistas from the Monument and Flat Frog trails

• Plenty of shade along the way

• Wildlife watching - quail, frogs, woodpeckers

• Great for families with children

• Optional hike to Middle Ridge

• Optional Ponderosa Trail loop

• Fishing (bass, bluegill)

Elevation - roundtrip


Frog Lake can be reached via the Monument Trail (short and steep) or Flat Frog Trail (long and fairly level). 

This trip is recommended as a loop, in a clockwise direction (total distance 4.6 miles with elevation gain/loss 600/-600 feet).

The Monument Trail ascends steeply through meadows, bay tree and oak groves, towards stands of large ponderosa pines near the ridge crest. As you climb, enjoy vistas of the distant ranges and valley below.

Near the top, at the 4-way junction with the Ponderosa Trail, turn right to visit the Henry W. Coe monument, or continue straight. Either way, in a less than 1/4 mile you will get to Hobbs Road near its highest point at 3000 feet. On clear winter day you can see snow-capped Sierra mountains.  

Alternative Route

To reduce amount of climbing, you can use Corral and Flat Frog trails both ways (total distance 6.2 miles with elevation gain/loss 200/-200 feet).

Both Hobbs Road and the Flat Frog Trail are excellent for viewing spring wildflowers.

Drop your pack here and take a left turn at this junction to explore the Ponderosa Trail Loop. There are great Ponderosa pines, excellent views of the Santa Clara Valley, and woodpecker granaries for acorns in the bark of the pines.

After descending 0.8 miles, you will reach Little Fork Coyote Creek. Before crossing it, note the north end of Flat Frog Trail, your return route.

Cross the stream (you may need to wade in wet season), and in 0.2 miles of moderate climb, on the right side of the road you will see an outhouse, the camp, and the lake just below it. 

Camping at Frog Lake Camp

The Frog Lake Camp is accessed from Hobbs Road. There is a flat area above the lake, among oak trees that is spacious enough for a couple of tents. An vault toilet is nearby.

Camping at Two Oaks Camp

To reach Two Oaks Camp, start on the Frog Lake Trail towards Middle Ridge. At about 0.3 miles, near Pajahuello Spring, turn right onto a spur trail. In 0.1 mile you will reach a grassy opening among blue oaks with the post marking the camp.

Day hike to Middle Ridge

Once you have set up camp and still have time and energy, consider a 3-mile loop hike to the crest of Middle Ridge.

Start on the Frog Lake Trail. In 1.7 miles of fairly strenuous climb, turn left onto the Middle Ridge Trail, and in 0.1 mile you will get to a picnic table with spectacular view to the east - deep canyon of the Middle Fork of Coyote Creek with Blue Ridge towering above it.

Take Hobbs Road to return to your camp,  enjoying vistas of distant Mount Hamilton and large ponderosa pines.

Water Sources

• Frog Lake

• Little Fork Coyote Creek (seasonal)

• Pajahuello Spring (all but driest years)