The content on this page is from William Sherrard's e-book
Hiker’s Guide to the Trails of Dixon Lake and Daley Ranch.

The East Ridge Trail is 1.12 miles in length and traverses between the Sage Trail on the east and the Ranch House Road Trail on the west. It is a moderately difficult hike rising from an altitude of 1,226 feet at the trailhead to 1,390 feet at its highest point.

Getting to the southeastern trailhead of the East Ridge Trail requires a 0.83 mile hike from the La Honda entrance to Daley Ranch.
The first leg of our hike is 0.66 miles on the Creek Crossing Trail to its junction with East Ridge, and thence a short distance (0.17 miles) on the East Ridge Trail to its terminus at the Sage Trail. When we leave the southeastern trailhead, we will head northwest, repeating the 0.17 miles we covered getting to the trailhead.
Once one gets to the East Ridge Trailhead be sure and set your GPS unit back to 0.00. All distances displayed on the slides assume your GPS unit’s odometer has been set to zero at the beginning of the trail.
From the East Ridge trailhead one climbs up about 50 feet in the first 0.13 miles to a bench beside the trail. From here one gets a view of an expanse of sage brush and a water tank atop a knoll in the distance.
A short distance beyond the bench is the junction of East Ridge and the Creek Crossing Trails. We saw this portion of the trail on our hike to the East Ridge trailhead.
At this juncture the Cross Creek Trail branches to the left and follows the southern border of Daley Ranch, whereas the East Ridge Trail branches to the right and continues on to its junction with the Ranch House Road Trail.
Much of the incline in the East Ridge Trail begins as one leaves the intersection of the Cross Creek and East Ridge Trails. At 0.20 miles an excellent view of the East Ridge Trail can be gotten by looking over ones shoulder. The trail cuts a winding path from here to its trailhead at the Sage Trail.
The southern trailhead for the Coyote Run Trail is 0.34 miles from the East Ridge trailhead. It is 0.7 miles in length spanning the distance between East Ridge and the Sage Trail.
The East Ridge Trail makes a slight incline as it leaves its junction with the Coyote Run Trail. The photos in the slideshow (at right) depict one of the flowering bushes (Laurel Sumac, Malosma laurina) along the trail.
At 0.37 miles by looking left one gets a view of Escondido. The photo shown here was taken on a hazy day.
At 0.49 miles the trail starts a decline from the elevation gained since we left the Creek Crossing Trail.
At the bottom of this decline is a small pond on the right side of the trail. The pond doesn’t carry a name, but could be considered as an upper pond of the larger Middle Pond on the left side of the trail. (Click on the image at right for a brief slideshow!)
In many instances the plant life along the trail rivals the lake in beauty. The yellow/gold plant shown is called Dodder. It is a parasite living off the plant to which it is attached.
The dead plant life offers a certain beauty. Dead trees and bushes make an excellent silhouette against a blue sky. The silhouette shown here along with the green bush and yellow flower are from the northwestern end of the pond. (Click on the image at right for a brief slideshow!)
Shortly beyond the small pond on the right side of the trail is the Middle Pond Trail that takes one along the eastern and southern border of Middle Pond. Middle Pond is much larger than the small pond we have just passed.
Just beyond the Middle Pond trailhead is a large tree along the right side of the trail. It is 0.35 miles from this tree to the end of the trail.
At 1.12 miles on your GPS odometer you should reach the Ranch House Road Trail. It is only a short hike from here to the cool water fountain in front of one of the sheds at the ranch.