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 Crest Trail is 1.25 miles in length and traverses between the north loop of the Boulder Loop Trail and the Cougar Ridge Trail. It is a difficult hike rising from an altitude of 1,363 feet at the trailhead to 1,704 feet at the trails end.
Getting to the trailhead requires a 0.82 mile hike from the trailhead for Ranch House Road. One hikes for 0.72 miles on Ranch House Road to reach the trailhead for the northern terminus of the Boulder Loop Trail. A tenth of a mile west on the Boulder Loop Trail brings one to the trailhead for the Crest Trail.
Once one gets to the Crest Trailhead be sure and set your GPS unit back to 0.00. All distances displayed on the slides assume your GPS unit has been set at zero at the beginning of the trail.
The trail begins its incline right from the trailhead. Much of the incline is over a trail containing deep ruts and loose gravel. The ruts have been gradually filling in since they were created during the heavy rains of a few years ago.
From a standpoint of slipping, the trail is most treacherous when declining the steep portions of the trail, particularly on the S-curves and switchbacks in the southern end. The loose gravel and small rocks easily rolls under ones foot (or hooves or bike tires).
I took the hike in the summer of 2007 after most of the flowers were no longer in bloom. However a few flowers on the bushes along the trail were still in bloom and although they do not provide spectacular colors they offer photo opportunities. (Click on the image at right for a brief slideshow!)
The most notable part of the trail from a scenic perspective is the great views afforded of the valley below. The first good view is to the east of the trail at 0.40 miles from the trailhead.
A few feet beyond the first scenic view the trail winds among low lying brush along the trail. The incline is very gradual over this portion of the trail, a pleasant respite from the steeper portions of the trail one encountered earlier in the hike.
At 0.68 miles from the trailhead is a large rock outcropping. You must look sharply for the entrance to the outcropping or you will pass it by. This is an excellent place to rest after climbing some of the most difficult parts of the trail. (Click on the image at right for a brief slideshow!)
After leaving the outcropping rest area the trail slopes down showing a hill with some small rock outcroppings. The trail is fairly level from here to the trails end at the Cougar Ridge Trail.
The trail can be viewed in the distance as one makes their way along the last half mile of the trail. The heavy work of climbing up from the trail head to the crest of the ridge is over and it is an easy walk to the trails end at its intersection with the Cougar Ridge Trail.
If one goes left on Cougar Ridge they will intersect the northern loop of the Boulder Loop Trail. If you turn right and stay on the Cougar Ridge Trail you end up at Cougar Pass, the northern entrance to the Daley Ranch.
The trailhead marker for the Crest Trail and my GPS unit were a perfect match, showing the trail length to be 1.25 miles. Keep in mind that hiking the trail from north to south involves going down some steep sections in the trail. It is easy to slip on this trail due to the many small rocks on the surface of the trail.