November 20, 2015 8:16 PM MST - Subscription purchasing, account maintenance, forum profile maintenance, new account registration, and forum posting have been disabled
as we prepare our databases for the final migration to our new server next week. Stay tuned here for more details.
Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
What's the best way to get to Kelly Lake in Henry Coe?
Display Avatars Sort By:
michael huynh
(radlations) - F
What's the best way to get to Kelly Lake in Henry Coe? on 02/04/2010 01:34:57 MST Print View

I'm planning on heading down to henry coe in Mid March or April. I will be entering from either the coyote creek entrance or the hunting hollow entrance.

I plan on fishing, taking photographs of wildlife, and having a great time.

But the thing is I've never been to kelly lake. I've only been to Henry Coe once and that was to camp at Frog Lake.

So I would like a route to take. I'm trying to avoid long routes that involve continuous steep slopes. I know this is hard to do but I'm sure there are certain trails that are better than others.

Which trails should I take. I want to get there as quick and easy as possible.

Edited by radlations on 02/04/2010 01:37:45 MST.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: What's the best way to get to Kelly Lake in Henry Coe? on 02/04/2010 02:22:49 MST Print View

> I want to get there as quick and easy as possible.


Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Kelly Lake on 02/04/2010 02:48:31 MST Print View

Roger is a bit removed from this park, so let me interpret for him.

First of all, I have a color trail map overlay, but I don't have the actual topo map in front of me. So, what I give you for directions will get you directly to Kelly Lake, but it may not be the very best route. The lake is in the south central part of the park, so start from the Coyote Creek Entrance. You start on the Spike Jones Trail, and immediately turn off left onto the Grizzly Gulch Trail. It goes east and passes some side trails. Then turn left onto the short Dexter Trail. After 0.6 mile, you intersect the Wasno Road, and you turn left. Within a few tenths of a mile, you intersect the Kelly Lake Trail, turn right on it, and after about a mile or so on it, you should walk up on a lake on your right. That's Kelly Lake. I don't have any accurate mileages on this overlay, but it shouldn't be too much more than six miles. Somebody correct me if this is radically wrong, or if you know a better route. I've never been to that lake before, but I can read a map overlay.

Robert Blean
(blean) - MLife

Locale: San Jose -- too far from Sierras
Re: Kelly Lake on 02/04/2010 04:26:17 MST Print View

There is a gotcha with starting from the Coyote Creek entrance -- you cannot park there. The nearest approved parking is at Hunting Hollow entrance, 2 miles away. That is a boring road -- blacktop, I think.

I just added up the mileages from the park map for Bob's route -- it adds to 4.3 miles (plus the 2 miles from parking your car).

When a bunch of us BPL folks went last spring, we started at Hunting Hollow and went up the Lyman Willson Ridge Trail and the Wagon Road. It was about 9.5 miles in to Coit Lake that way. Kelly Lake would be a bit shorter.

I have read that Kelly Lake is prettier than Coit Lake; some people in our group had been to both and preferred Coit Lake. If you are feeling energetic, it's not much of a hop over & down to Pacheco Falls from the Coit Lake area.

-- Bob

P.S. note the recent forum postings about a trip there again this year, the third week of March.

Edited by blean on 02/04/2010 04:30:56 MST.

michael huynh
(radlations) - F
Route on 02/04/2010 10:02:41 MST Print View

Thanks for your replies(except roger):)

I happen to have a map with the topography. Took me a while to find one off the net.


Could you give me your color map?

Edited by radlations on 02/04/2010 10:04:25 MST.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Kelly Lake on 02/04/2010 14:14:04 MST Print View

Your b&w map shows everything clearly that I had described from my color overlay. The only problem is that you might want to see the Hunting Hollow area which is just south and off your map.
I don't believe that any of the other entrances are relevant, or else you will be driving around a lot more and then hiking a lot more.


michael huynh
(radlations) - F
reply on 02/04/2010 16:38:30 MST Print View

Right bob. I was planning on parking at the Hunting Hollow entrance and walking to the coyote creek entrance.

I wanted your map because I wanted to see creeks/ponds better.

michael huynh
(radlations) - F
question on 02/04/2010 17:00:59 MST Print View

Sorry for the double post.

But am I stupid for not bringing a tent?

I'm planning on bringing a sleepingbag with a fleece bag as a liner. And a Tarp. All the trip reports Ive seen involve people with tents.

I also don't plan on bringing a GPS device. Bringing a compass and a map. Along with my two good buddies. We won't be going off trail.

Edited by radlations on 02/04/2010 17:16:23 MST.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
reply to Michael on 02/04/2010 18:12:56 MST Print View

"I wanted your map because I wanted to see creeks/ponds better."

My color map overlay does not show creeks. Your b&w topo map does show creeks/ponds, although not very clearly.


Amy Lauterbach
(drongobird) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Henry Coe Park info on 02/10/2010 16:26:27 MST Print View

You are lucky that there is a most excellent map of Coe Park.
It's worth the $7 (paper) or $10.25 (plastic) investment to get the map.
There are many minor variations you can take in your routing, but any way you slice it you will have a 1600+' gain in elevation.
Also, if you are interested in fire ecology you might find this interesting:
Winslow Briggs and a boat-load of volunteers are conducting a very interesting post-fire plant study in the park.
Good luck, Amy


Locale: East Bay
Tent on 02/10/2010 16:50:07 MST Print View

"But am I stupid for not bringing a tent"

It's El Nino here in California this year. Even if it doesn't rain, the mosquito's will suck you dry by morning.

michael huynh
(radlations) - F
No mosquitos on 02/10/2010 20:28:29 MST Print View

I don't plan on going until theres good weather in April.

So I shouldnt have to worry about rain(I will bring a tarp anyways)

And the mosquitos won't get me because I'll be in my sleeping bag.

michael huynh
(radlations) - F
Re: Henry Coe Park info on 02/10/2010 20:29:34 MST Print View

What is the map like?

Is it colored with streams and watersources and is it a topographic map?

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: No mosquitos on 02/11/2010 08:12:34 MST Print View

Michael wrote: "And the mosquitos won't get me because I'll be in my sleeping bag."

GOOD LUCK! If you are in the bag, it will at least give them something to hang onto while flying you back to the nest to feed the little ones :)

Lori P
(lori999) - F

Locale: Central Valley
Re: What's the best way to get to Kelly Lake in Henry Coe? on 02/11/2010 08:22:00 MST Print View

The trail map at headquarters is what you need - all the topos I've seen from USGS have none of the trails on them. It's a good map, with the usual coloration of a topo - shows all the water features in blue.

Edited by lori999 on 02/11/2010 08:22:47 MST.

Bob Summers
(SM498) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: What's the best way to get to Kelly Lake in Henry Coe? on 02/14/2010 11:19:15 MST Print View

I take my Scout troop to Henry Coe frequently.

Easy at Henry Coe is hard to find once you get out of the Headquarters, Manzanita Point, Frog Lake triangle.

For Coyote Creek to Kelly Lake, my usual route is:
Coyote Creek->Grizzly Gulch Trail->Dexter Trail->Wasno Road->Kelly Lake Trail

Though this route is a little bit flatter and a little longer.
Coyote Creek->Grizzly Gulch Trail->Rock Tower->Jackson Road->Wasno Road->Kelly Lake Trail

The Dexter or Tower trails (depending on the route you choose) are the steepest part of that hike. Both are memorably steep.

There's an iron ranger at Hunting Hollow where you pay.

You can park along the road between the Hunting Hollow entrance and the Coyote Creek Entrance ... I know, the signs say no parking but that's misleading. You can park as long as all four wheels of your car are off of the pavement. You'll see people parking like that and I even asked a ranger about it.

The other thing to remember about parking is that they really want enough space to get a fire trucks and heavy equipment into the Coyote Creek entrance, so don't park anywhere where you might be construed as blocking the entrance. People do park at the gate but I try to park along the road when I'm using the Coyote Creek entrance.

Water management is an important skill at Coe but on that hike, it's not too hard - plenty of water at Kelly Lake but not much between the entrance and Kelly Lake.

The trails and roads are virtually all well-marked and obvious.

The roads at Henry Coe double as fire breaks, so they tend to ignore the topography go straight along the ridge lines.

I don't think I've ever seen a mosquito at Henry Coe, irritating little flys yes, but mosquitoes have never been a problem for me. I use a hammock, so I don't have bug netting to protect me and don't worry about it.

Sometimes it gets a little crowded at Coe during the spring. Flat spots are rare at Henry Coe, especially as you go north and west. At Kelly Lake there are several flat spots that you can set up on but you could also consider camping near one of the numerous ponds.

April is a little early for sticker season, but some short gaiters, like REI desert gaiters can make life more comfortable in May.

michael huynh
(radlations) - F
streams on 02/14/2010 20:32:40 MST Print View

I hear about people crossing streams and creeks on their way to henry coe.

I'd like to see a few. Will the route you suggest lead me pass some streams?

Robert Blean
(blean) - MLife

Locale: San Jose -- too far from Sierras
Re: streams on 02/15/2010 00:56:49 MST Print View


You really ought to get the Henry Coe park map that was mentioned earlier in this thread. You will want it when you do go, and in the meantime it will answer a lot of your questions.

-- MV

michael huynh
(radlations) - F
Same map as the free maps there? on 02/15/2010 19:15:09 MST Print View

Is that map the same one that you get for free at the henry coe headquarters?

Bob Summers
(SM498) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: streams on 02/15/2010 19:18:40 MST Print View

You need to get the park map. Plastic is better.
There aren't that many streams at Henry Coe. Most of the time they aren't flowing.

You'll walk near Coyote Creek at the entrance and cross a creek bed at the beginning of the Grizzly Gulch Trail. Those may or may not be flowing - they probably won't be flowing - They clearly flow sometimes but I've never seen water in them.