10 Best Backpacking Canister Stove

Updated on: September 2020

Best Backpacking Canister Stove in 2020


AOTU Portable Camping Stoves Backpacking Stove with Piezo Ignition ,Stable Support Wind-Resistance Camp Stove for Outdoor Camping Hiking Cooking

AOTU Portable Camping Stoves Backpacking Stove with Piezo Ignition ,Stable Support Wind-Resistance Camp Stove for Outdoor Camping Hiking Cooking
BESTSELLER NO. 1 in 2020
  • 1. the burner base is an integrated high-bright aluminum alloy, light weight, high strength; honeycomb high-temperature aluminum alloy windproof net, polyethylene flame increases oxygen circulation, improve combustion utilization. The furnace body is made of refined aluminum alloy, which is resistant to high temperature, rust and radiation. Repeated outdoor use is not a concern for air and rain, and is durable. Four-dimensional support
  • 2.Flame control: Adjustable control valve for fast maximum heat output all the way down to a simmer quickly and efficiently,Rated rate: 3000w.
  • 3. Fire board specifications: 9.5 * 9.5CM (suitable for setting a 20CM diameter basin, suitable for 1~3 people),Compatible with any 7/16 thread single butane/butane-propane mixed fuel canisters (EN 417). does NOT fit into propane canisters.
  • 4. Packing specification: 4x5x8Cm, light and small, easy to carry, with plastic box, easy to store, available anywhere. Go camping with friends, go hiking, fishing, and after swimming, use the hot food on the stove to make the food more delicious. It is healthy and safe after heating, which can better relieve the feeling of fatigue.
  • 5. Broad compatibility: 100% satisfaction guarantee: camping stove has 100% satisfaction guarantee. We are committed to solving any product/service issues and are committed to providing a five-star experience for all buyers. Buy it with confidence!

MSR PocketRocket 2 Ultralight Backpacking, Camping, and Travel Stove

MSR PocketRocket 2 Ultralight Backpacking, Camping, and Travel Stove
BESTSELLER NO. 2 in 2020
  • Ultralight (2.6 oz) and compact (2x2x3 in) folding canister stove for minimalist adventures, backpacking, hiking, trekking, camping, and global travel
  • Boils one liter of water in just 3.5 minutes and flame easily adjusts from a simmer to a rolling boil for gourmet cooking in the outdoors
  • Fueled by high-performance isobutane-propane fuel canister (not included); self-sealing threaded canister fuel is available in most countries
  • Easy to setup and operate—no priming, preheating, or pressurizing is required; serrated pot-supports accommodate a wide range of pot sizes and styles
  • Lightweight protective case included; stove weighs 2.6 oz (4.2 oz with case), measures 4.8x4.8x3.6 inches open, collapses to 2x2x3 inches; made in USA

Camp Stove,Petforu Outdoor Camping Stove Cookware Hiking Backpacking Picnic Cookware Cooking Tool Set Pot Pan + Piezo Ignition Canister Stove Propane Canister

Camp Stove,Petforu Outdoor Camping Stove Cookware Hiking Backpacking Picnic Cookware Cooking Tool Set Pot Pan + Piezo Ignition Canister Stove Propane Canister
BESTSELLER NO. 3 in 2020
  • PERFECT OUTDOOR COOKING UTENSILS: 1 non stick pan pot bowl set + 1 collapsible piezoelectric ignition canister stove (No Gas). Designed perfectly for 1-2 person.
  • EXTREMELY DURABLE MATERIAL: The lightweight high-temperature resistant cooking pan pot bowl set is made of FDA approved Non Toxic anodized aluminum, which makes it solid and durable.
  • EASY PACKING AND TAKING: If you are tired of those huge, clunky cooking wares, you can try out our Cookware. Both the cooking set /stove have foldable handles for space saving and compactness.
  • CONVENIENT AND SAFE: High-energy ceramic piezoelectric ignition system makes the stove very convenient for outside camping or hiking, picnic, BBQ (Barbecue). Cookware compact and collapsible designs of combined with the carrying case or bag for enhanced portability. Excellent equipments for camping, hiking, overnight trips or any other outdoor activities.
  • PETFORU IS A REGISTERED BRAND: If there are any quality problems about our products, please do not hesitate to contact our customer service agents for help, thanks for your attention.

Primus - Classic Trail Stove

Primus - Classic Trail Stove
BESTSELLER NO. 4 in 2020
  • PORTABLE - The Trail Stove comes supplied with a nylon bag, making it trail ready whenever you are.
  • LIGHTWEIGHT - At only 8 ounces, this travel stove is perfect for all of your outdoor adventures.
  • WINDSCREEN - The crosswise pot support acts as a built-in windscreen, making cooking both fast and reliable.
  • ENDURANCE - This Classic Trail Stove can operate for 70 minutes on a 230g gas cartridge (cartridge not included).
  • FLAME CONTROL - Adjustable control valve for quick and efficient heating: from simmering to boiling and everything in between.

GasOne Camping Fuel Blend Isobutane Fuel Canister 100g (4 Pack)

GasOne Camping Fuel Blend Isobutane Fuel Canister 100g (4 Pack)
BESTSELLER NO. 5 in 2020
  • 4 Pack - Comes 4 pc of Gas One's Isobutane fuel
  • HIGH PERFORMANCE - Gas One ISOBUTANE, a four season blend of butane and propane, guarantees a high-quality performance for cooking, backpacking, and other outdoor activity needs Isobutane, unlike other fuel sources can maintain consistent cooking press
  • SCREW-ON UNIVERSAL FITTING - Built with a screw-on style fitting, Gas One’s Isobutane canister fits with a large variety of standardized isobutane stoves, burners, and other outdoor equipment
  • CONVENIENT AND COMPACT - Measuring at 3.5 x 2.8 inches, Gas One’s Isobutane is convenient to store and easy to use. Comes with a snug plastic cap to ensure your can is leak free and stored properly when not in use
  • ALL SEASON FUEL- Mixed with propane that provides a higher vapor pressure, Gas One’s Isobutane is able to perform in diverse, colder weather conditions

Bisgear 16 Pcs Camping Cookware Stove Carabiner Canister Stand Tripod Folding Spork Set Outdoor Camping Hiking Backpacking Non-Stick Cooking Picnic Knife Spoon

Bisgear 16 Pcs Camping Cookware Stove Carabiner Canister Stand Tripod Folding Spork Set Outdoor Camping Hiking Backpacking Non-Stick Cooking Picnic Knife Spoon
BESTSELLER NO. 6 in 2020
  • HIGHEST QUALITY/EASY CLEAN-FDA approved anodized aluminum pot and frying pan make it non-stick ,easy to clean.
  • BEST PRICE/SAVE MONEY-Bisgear 16pcs camping cookware set includes FOLDING STAINLESS STEEL SPORK/SPOON + SPOON + SPORK + KNIFE (expand is 6" x 1.5" x 0.04" , folding is 3.46" x1.5" x0.04"(approx.))+ MINI STOVE WITH PIEZO IGNITION + Anodized Aluminum Nonstick Pot(5.70"x 3.14"(approx.))+ Nonstick Frying Pan(6.10"x1.37"(approx.) ) + Pan Cover(5.43"(approx.)) + 2 BPA Free Bowls(4.33"x1.57"(approx.)) + BPA Free Soup Spoon((approx.) )+ Rice Ladle+ Loofah Sponge+ Carabiner+Nylon Bag
  • SPACE SAVING/EASY TO CARRY- All the objects in this cooking set can be stored together in a mesh bag for space saving and convenient carry.
  • PERFECT Christmas Gift FOR YOURSELF/ FAMILY- It is suitable for camping, hiking, backpacking, picnic and other outdoor activities. Lightweight and extremely durable anodized aluminum perfect for camping backpacking, buy 1 Bisgear camping cookware set, you get everything that you or your family need.
  • 100% GUARANTEE: Your purchase will be backed by a 100% money-back guarantee.

MSR WhisperLite Universal Canister and Liquid Fuel Stove

MSR WhisperLite Universal Canister and Liquid Fuel Stove
BESTSELLER NO. 7 in 2020
  • Hybrid-Fuel Performance: Patent pending AirControl technology creates the optimal fuel/air mix for top-notch performance with canister fuel, white gas, kerosene and unleaded gasoline
  • Lightweight: Aluminum mixer tube, extra-stable stainless steel legs and refined design keep weight to a minimum.
  • Canister Liquid Feed: Delivers better cold weather and low-fuel performance with a more consistent output over the life of each canister. Canister stand Included
  • Field Maintainable: Self-cleaning Shaker Jet technology and redesigned leg assembly facilitate fast cleaning and even easier maintenance in the field
  • Includes: Fuel pump, windscreen, heat reflector, small-parts kit, instructions, and stuff sack. (Fuel bottle not included)/Made in Seattle, USA

Bisgear 12pcs Camping Cookware Stove Canister Stand Tripod Folding Spork Wine Opener Carabiner Set Outdoor Camping Hiking Backpacking Non-Stick Cooking Non-Stick Picnic Knife Spoon Dishcloth

Bisgear 12pcs Camping Cookware Stove Canister Stand Tripod Folding Spork Wine Opener Carabiner Set Outdoor Camping Hiking Backpacking Non-Stick Cooking Non-Stick Picnic Knife Spoon Dishcloth
BESTSELLER NO. 8 in 2020
  • HIGHEST QUALITY/EASY CLEAN - FDA approved anodized aluminum pot and frying pan make it non-stick ,easy to clean.
  • BEST PRICE/SAVE MONEY - Bisgear 12pcs camping cookware set includes Stainless Steel Foldable Knife/Fork/Spoon(expand is 6" x 1.5" x 0.04" , folding is 3.46" x1.5" x0.04"(approx.)) + Mini Stove With Piezo Ignition + Stove Pocket + Medium Anodized Aluminum Pot(4.8" *4.1"(approx.) )+ Small Anodized Aluminum Pot(2.4" * 4.5"(approx.) ) + Canister Stand Tripod(expand is 8.46"*0.8", folding is 4.25"*0.8"(approx.))+ Dishcloth + Wine opener + Carabiner + Mesh Bag
  • SPACE SAVING/EASY TO CARRY- All the objects in this cooking set can be stored together in a mesh bag for space saving and convenient carry.
  • PERFECT CHRISTMAS GIFT FOR YOURSELF/ FAMILY- It is suitable for camping, hiking, backpacking, picnic and other outdoor activities. Lightweight and extremely durable anodized aluminum perfect for camping backpacking, buy 1 Bisgear camping cookware set, you get everything that you or your family need.
  • 100% GUARANTEE: Your purchase will be backed by a 100% money-back guarantee.

MSR Liquid Fuel Bottle, 20 Ounce

MSR Liquid Fuel Bottle, 20 Ounce
BESTSELLER NO. 9 in 2020
  • Empty, 20-ounce liquid fuel bottle for use with MSR liquid fuel stoves, or for carrying spare gas for motorcycles, scooters, chainsaws, and emergencies
  • Child-resistant, push-and-twist bottle caps are leak-proof and accept threads on all MSR liquid fuel stove pumps
  • Made from a single piece of aluminum to prevent leaks, minimize fuel degradation, and handle pressurization required to operate liquid fuel stoves
  • Can carry any fuel that works with an MSR stove including white gas, kerosene, diesel, automobile gas, mineral spirits, and aviation gas (jet fuel); fuel sold separately
  • 20-ounce bottle weighs 0.25 pounds and measures 2.75 x 2.75 x 9.5 inches; manufacturer’s limited 3-year warranty

Etekcity Ultralight Portable Outdoor Backpacking Camping Stove with Piezo Ignition (Orange, 1 Pack)

Etekcity Ultralight Portable Outdoor Backpacking Camping Stove with Piezo Ignition (Orange, 1 Pack)
BESTSELLER NO. 10 in 2020
  • Durable material: made of aluminum alloy and stainless steel which can stand high temperature and weight
  • Compact and collapsible: portable design (with small dimensions: 1. 81"X 2. 36" X 3. 15") is perfect for ultralight camping and backpacking. Fit for pots or pans with diameter up to 7". Come with carrying case for enhanced portability
  • Broad compatibility: Compatible with any 7/16 thread single butane/butane-propane mixed Fuel canisters (EN 417)
  • Flame control: Adjustable control valve for fast maximum heat output all the way down to a simmer quickly and efficiently
  • Leave no trace: adhere to “leave no trace” principles set forth by the US forest Service, bureau of land management, and national park service. Burns clean, with no debris or smooth left behind. 1 year

Henry Coe State Park in Northern California - Backpacking in the Orestimba Wilderness

Hike rugged ridge lines, pastoral back country streams, and visit some of the most scenic lakes and ponds in a remote 87,000 acre wilderness less than an hour away from San Jose.

I shook my head automatically as I started to reply, but my wife nodded before I could deny it. Everyone chuckled. That conversation still makes me think. I don't consider the kind of trekking I do marathon hiking, perse . Though my longer excursions may be upwards of 30-50 miles, I rarely hike more than 10-12 miles in a single day. On the other hand, the through hikers that plow through the Appalachian Trail, or the Continental Divide Trail, or the Pacific Crest Trail in a single season routinely hike more than 20 miles per day. And they maintain that pace for months on end. That's marathon hiking to me, and that's just plain crazy. But I guess that only proves that crazy is relative.

My latest bout with insanity was a 42 mile, solo backpack trip at the end of April. I was returning to enjoy some of Henry Coe State Park's 87,000 acres of terrain and 400 miles of trails. My first visit was far too short to see everything, so this trek would take me to some of the park's less accessible sights.

Day 1 of my 5 day, 4 night adventure took me through the Western Zone and into the Blue Ridge Zone. As I did on my last hike in Henry Coe, I followed the single track Corral Trail to its junction with Springs Trail 0.6 miles south east of the park headquarters. Then I continued along the pleasantly graded Springs Trail to its junction withManzanita Point Road at 1.8 miles. Broad and sunny Manzanita Point Road carried me past the Manzanita Point Group Camps and Bass Pond (and a very handsome wild turkey who posed for a photo) before I turned northeast onto China Hole Trail at 2.7 miles. I met one other backpacker on her way out of the park as I descended through 1000 feet of elevation along the chaparral perfumed switchbacks of China Hole Trail. While I sat on the shore of picturesque China Hole for lunch at 5.2 miles, two other backpackers passed through on their way to LosCruceros camp.

This is one of the best parts about Henry Coe. After these three friendly greetings, I didn't see another human for four days. I literally felt like I had the entire park to myself, and it was glorious. After lunch, I turned my back on China Hole's inviting swimming holes, and headed into the Narrows, a one mile long meander along the east fork of Coyote Creek. The Narrows doesn't have a maintained trail, but following the creek's path through the stone walled valley isn't challenging, as long as you're up for a little rock hopping along the way.

I turned my feet northward along Coyote Creek after leaving the Narrows, waving to the two backpackers who were setting up their camp for the night at LosCruceros. I crossed over into the Blue Ridge Zone at 6.5 miles as I passed the intersection of Narrows and Shafer Corral trails. The rest of my hike for the day was a leisurely stroll along the grassy banks of Coyote Creek. At 8.6 miles I passed the turn-off for Blue Ridge Road and Rock House Canyon Road to the west as I continued northward along Bear Mountain Road. This trail is an old jeep road, which crosses and recrosses Coyote Creek as it wends its way northwest toward Bear Mountain. I continued steadily along the dusty gravel path, enjoying the spring wildflower blooms that carpeted the valley floor as I passed turn-offs for Little Long Canyon Road and a couple of private property holdings. At 10 miles, Bear Mountain Road leaves Coyote Creek and the level valley floor behind as it begins a steep ascent into the park's Interior Zone. I found a nice level spot near the babbling creek at the foot of the first climb and set up camp for the night. I spent the rest of the evening making notes in my journal and enjoying a tasty dinner. That was Day 1 of myOrestimba Adventure: 10 miles, 1700 feet of elevation loss, 3 hikers, and one tom turkey.

I awoke on Day 2 to find a thick layer of silvery frost on my bivy, and a shelf of ice in my water bottles. The temperature had dipped below freezing for much of the night, and I hadn't even noticed. After a quick breakfast, I packed up and hit the trail. Unlike the single track trails throughout the park, Bear Mountain Road was graded more for vehicles than for mere mortals. The first ascent of the morning was a grueling 1000 feet in less than a mile. After crossing over into the Interior Zone and attaining the ridge at 1.2 miles (11.2 trip miles), Bear Mountain Road continues northwest toward the 2604 foot summit of its namesake. This entire area is still recovering from the Lick Fire that burned over 47,000 acres in 2020. New tufts of green are sprouting around the charred black branches of chaparral and color is marching its way across the dry hills. There is no shade to be had on this leg of the hike, but the views are unobstructed for miles. So bring your sunglasses, a hat, sunscreen, water, and take plenty of breaks if you decide to make the trip.

I reached the summit of Bear Mountain at 2.8 miles (12.8 trip miles), passing Bear Mountain Peak Trail and two branches of Bear Spring Trail that wound south through the Interior Zone toward Mississippi Lake. After the strenuous climb up to the ridge, the summit itself was a bit anticlimactic. But it did mean that I had completed most of my climbing for the day. Just beyond the summit I reached County Line Road, an wide jeep trail that marks the border between Stanislaus and Santa Clara counties, and also the divide between the Pacheco Creek and Coyote Creek watersheds.

Here I turned north, which took me through a gated fence at 3 miles (13 trip miles) onto one of the private property carve-outs in the park. If you travel this high ridge, be sure to respect the land owner by sticking to the road and not lingering. Not that I had much choice but to stay on the road. This northern part of the Interior Zone if sliced up by steep sided ridges. County Line Road teeters along a knife-edge, the only viable route for miles around. Again the views are magnificent, but you wouldn't want to be there too long under a relentless late summer sun, so plan accordingly.

At 4.1 miles (14.1 trip miles), just after crossing out of the private property, I turned east at an overturned trail marker, and officially entered theOrestimba Wilderness Zone. The Chaparral Trail, or Old Hayseed Road as I came to think of it, is another unmaintained jeep road, steep and rugged. Thechapparal hasn't grown back after the fires yet, and the trail is filling in with tall, dry grasses. These wild grasses are laden with seedpods eagerly awaiting any opportunity to burrow their pointy way through socks and the linings of hiking boots. The 1.8 mile long trail descends through 1000 feet into the broad valley of Red Creek. The last half mile features a daunting 20% grade, so tighten up your laces before the final descent.

At 6 miles (16 trip miles) I crossed over the dry stream bed of Red Creek onto Red Creek Road. I sat on the creekbank to rest and remove the hayseeds from my socks and shoes. 45 minutes later I finally gave up the effort and turned southeast along Red Creek Road. Like my walk through the Blue Ridge Zone on Day 1, this was a pleasantly level stroll along the floor of a wide river valley carpeted in wild grasses and the occasional burst of wildflower color. But unlike Coyote Creek, Red Creek was mostly dry along this 4 mile stretch. There were still standing pools water to be found stranded near the undercut boulders along the stream bank or sheltering in the partial shade of rocky cliff faces. But running water was scarce. If you're headed this way, pack accordingly.

At 7.8 miles I passed the unmarked Grass Trail to the north. I continued southwest, following Red Creak Road as it veered northeast away from Red Creek and into the low hills at the western end of Paradise Flat. A little lizard was there to greet me, basking in the afternoon sun. This mile long valley is bordered to the north and south by creek beds and was once the site of a airstrip. (I wasn't able to find any remaining sign of it though.) The valley is a broad sea of rippling golden grains that sway in the breeze like waves, complete with green islands of venerable, wizened oak. Red Creek Road hugs the northern edge of this idyllic savanna. At 9.5 miles (19.5 trip miles) I reached the turn-off for Paradise Lake, a man-made water feature penned into a narrow valley at the southern foot of Robinson Mountain. The lake is tucked into the surrounding mountains such that you can't see it from anywhere in Paradise Flat. You just turn off Red Creek Road on a dusty trail that winds north into the hills, and scramble down a short but steep descent to find yourself on this gorgeous little piece of... well... of paradise. This was my camp for the night, so I had reached the end of Day 2: 10.2 miles (20.2 trip miles), 1700 feet of elevation gain, 1800 feet of elevation lost, miles of views, and one lizard.

Day 3 was a rest day for me. I slept in, swam in the lake, stayed for lunch, and spent several hours working on plot lines and character descriptions for my next writing project. It was a relaxing day, spent in the company of the lake's resident population ofamerican coots and red-winged blackbirds. But in the interest of making my return trip a little easier, I packed up my camp in the early afternoon and left Paradise Lake behind me. I returned to Red Creek Road and continued east. I reached Orestimba Creek Road at 1.2 miles (21.4 trip miles), where I turned south. Much like Red Creek, Orestimba Creek was mostly dry, with occasional standing pools of stranded water on the sunny valley floor. At 1.5 miles (21.7 trip miles) I passed a signed turn-off for the Long Ridge Road, which leads east to Jackrabbit Lake. My destination was further south.

Unfortunately, the Mustang Pond Trail was not signed or marked in any way. But I did find it, a narrow side canyon with a trickling rivulet of water at 2.2 miles (22.4 trip miles). This route wasn't so much a trail as it was a wild game path, leading to the dam of Mustang Pond at 2.7 miles (22.9 trip miles). Like Paradise Lake, Mustang Pond is a man made reservoir, with its own captive population of large mouth bass. But where Paradise Lake is surrounded by the steep walled ridges of Mount Robinson, Mustang Pond is cupped in gently rolling hills in the northern part of the Mustang Peak Zone. The banks of the pond are much more accessible, with foot paths all the way around its shoreline. The bass were bigger and much more active while I was camping here than at Paradise Lake, striking the surface regularly to dine on the evening's bugs. Of the two sites, Mustang Pond is probably the better destination for fishermen. (Too bad I didn't bring my pole.) But it wasn't quite as scenic as Paradise.

At 2.7 miles (22.9 trip miles), 200 feet of elevation gain and 300 feet of elevation lost, Day 3 wasn't much of a hike for me. But it put me in a good position for the return trip I had planned.

I was up early on Day 4, and had eaten, cleaned up, and broken camp by 7:30. The southern branch of the Mustang Pond Trail was much more open and easy to follow than the northern route. There had clearly been horses through the area recently and someone had left helpful tape flags on tree limbs along the trail to mark the way. At 0.4 miles (23.3 trip miles) I rejoined theOrestimba Creek Road and continued southwest. The road returned to the banks of Orestimba Creek at 1 mile (23.9 trip miles) and followed the dry gravel of the stream bed to the junction with Hartman Trail at 1.9 miles (24.8 trip miles), where I crossed back into theOrestimba Wilderness Zone. Hartman Trail is not maintained, but wasn't difficult to follow as it climbed west through the valley of a small tributary ofOrestimba Creek.

At 2.4 miles (25.3 trip miles) the Hartman Trail leaves the wooded stream bed behind and begins a steep, mile-long ascent through mixed chaparral andchamise. I stopped after climbing through 1000 feet of elevation to reach a small promontory at 2210 feet with excellent views of the Orestimba and Robinson Mountains. Then I pressed on, dropping through a saddle before climbing back up to County Line Road at 4 miles (26.9 trip miles).

I followed County Line Road north for 0.1 miles before turning west again into the Mississippi Zone at the road that crosses Mississippi Lake's dam. The hills surrounding this large man-made lake are lush and green, but water access is limited. I climbed down to the water's edge near the western end of the dam, where I stopped for a short rest at 4.4 miles (27.3 trip miles). Rather than continue west when I reached the junction with Willow Ridge Road 0.2 miles later, I followed the jeep road that contours along the lake's western shore. This well traveled, fully wooded road wends northward within constant sight of the lake's blue waters, but never actually gets down to the shoreline until it reaches a picnic area on the northern cove at 5.7 miles (28.6 trip miles).

I stopped at the picnic area to eat lunch, wait out a brief but cooling rain shower, and to refill my water bottles. Then I continued north until I reached an unmarked branch of Bear Mountain Peak Trail, which I ascended to a scenicridgeline overlooking the entire lake. The rain showers returned during this leg of the trip, but it was a light mist that cooled the air and brought out the fresh smells of chaparral andchamise, so I didn't mind. I put a raincover on my pack and continued south on the Peak Trail to it's junction with Willow Ridge Road at 7 miles (29.9 trip miles), where I turned southwest once again.

The rain continued throughout the rest of Day 4, which was very agreeable during the hike. Willow Ridge Road and the single track Willow Ridge Trail are sometimes called the roller coaster, and with good reason. The southern section of the Interior Zone is banded with steep ridges, much like the northern section. This jeep road climbs up and down as it traverses a narrow, often knife-edged ridge, with views that stretch forever. Most of the walk is shadeless, and would have been hot and sweaty on a sunny day. But the light rain and the high clouds made for cool,plesant hiking and views that stretched for miles. I startled a black-tailed deer and shared the road with an inquisitive jack rabbit, passingCaviata Spring Trail, Pacheco Ridge Road, and Pacheco Creek Trail along the way. Near the turn-off for Rat Spring Trail at 10.2 miles (33.1 trip miles) I found a curious landmark, a large, worn wrecking ball lying forgotten in a field of wildflowers.

At 11 miles (33.9 trip miles) I reached the signed intersection with single track Willow Ridge Trail. Here I turned northwest to descend through heavy oak trees whose wet leaves dripped quietly in the spring rain and whispered serenely in the mountain breeze. Half a mile into the Western Zone, after slogging through rain soaked grasses and passing by a decidedly green Willow Ridge Spring, I arrived at my camp site for the night. The light rain, which had been such a boon during the hike, intensified as the evening wore on, falling in sheets that I watched marching across the ridges to the west. The rain didn't let up until after midnight, so that brought my Day 4 to a rather waterlogged end with 11.6 miles (34.5 trip miles), 3000 feet of elevation gained, 1900 feet of elevation lost, one black-tailed deer and one jackrabbit. (I warned you that Willow Ridge Road was a roller coaster, didn't I?)

Day 5 dawned cool and partly cloudy, but free of rain. I changed back into my wet gear to preserve some dry clothes for the drive home, and broke camp after breakfast. I returned to the Willow Ridge Trail and turned east, descending through alternating black oak and chaparral. The single track trail descends through switchbacks across former ranch lands, losing 1000 feet of elevation in a little over a mile on its way to LosCruceros at 1.7 miles (36.2 trip miles).

Back on familiar ground again, I crossed through the Narrows to China Hole. But instead of returning up China Hole Trail, I turned southwest down Coyote Creek on the Mile Trail. This densely forested single track trail follows the Soda Springs tributary of Coyote Creek west from China Hole. I crossed and recrossed the merrily flowing stream several times along the Mile Trail, passing a thick stone walled rootceller set into the hillside on the northern edge of the stream and a collapsed hunting lodge straddling the stream just before reaching theMadrone Soda Springs trail camp at 4 miles (38.5 trip miles). Here I turned north onto the Madrone Soda Springs Trail, which ascends 800 feet up a steep ridge through switchbacks.

I stopped for lunch at the Manzanita Point Group Camps at 5 miles (39.5 trip miles) where I ran into the first campers I had seen in four days. I lost count of the day hikers and wild flower viewers I ran into on this final leg of the trip. After lunch I continued northwest alongManzanita Point Road to its intersection with the shaded Forest Trail at 5.7 miles (40.2 trip miles). This countour hugging single track trail is a pleasant alternative to the sunny Manzanita Point Road and took me back to the Corral Trail at 6.9 miles (41.4 trip miles). I ended Day 5 back at park headquarters: 7.5 miles (42 trip miles), 1900 feet of elevation gain, 1400 feet of elevation lost, and a return to civilization.

This trek was a wonderful escape for me, and a great return to nature for a few days. But it was definitely strenuous, and not for the faint of heart or the out of shape. There are many ways to enjoy HenryCoe State Park. If you live in the Bay area, I invite you to plan a trip as soon as you can get away. Go ahead, find your own wild side.

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