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Saratoga Gap

Saratoga Gap Open Space Preserve

Saratoga Gap Open Space Preserve Links:

November 9th, 1996

8.2 miles
800 vertical feet
Total Time: 3:43

Rating: 6/10

Directions:   View Driving Map

Amy, Annie, Elaine, Jenny K, Landa, Tuan, Weihaw, Wilson, and I hiked in the Saratoga Gap Open Space Preserve at Highway 9/Skyline near Saratoga. It had been very cold for a couple weeks before the hike, but mother nature was nice to us, and it was shorts and t-shirt weather for the hike.

We started out along the Saratoga Gap trail, which parallels Skyline for 1.7 miles. It's heavily wooded, but also heavily trafficked by mountain bikers. The trail at this point is relatively narrow, so we had to stop and let them pass many times. We then turned right onto Charcoal Road. The hike is less wooded here; we descended down to Table Mountain. At some point we made a wrong turn. We were supposed to climb back up via Grizzly Flat Trail. I suspect that, 0.7 miles from the turn, we turned right instead of left (we tried to turn left, but there was a gate there which we thought meant that was the wrong way). We ended up going back up Charcoal Road. This is probably a good thing, because if we had followed the described Saratoga Gap Loop trail, the hike would have been about 12 miles instead of the advertised 9. We stopped for lunch shortly after realizing our mistake, then started the steep climb back up. To summarize, about half the hike is relatively flat, a quarter steep downhill, and a quarter steep uphill. The forest is nice, but the mountain bikers and the nearby traffic from Skyline (for the first and last 1.7 miles) detract from the hike. And if it's views you want, this isn't the hike for you.

Lunch stop

Heading back home. I thought the leaves looked nice.

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