Finally FINALLY hiked all of the Dove Mt. trails. When I was here a couple years ago, I was not able to locate the turnoff for the Cochie Spring Trail. It's now (and perhaps was) clearly signed, making this a really easy trail to follow. And with the new swanky trailhead at the Ritz, the hike is now, I believe, 9 miles RT.
I was operating on maybe four hours of sleep and Korean food that didn't give me the oomph I expected, so I felt like I was dragging a bit. However, the undulating trail provided enough variety to keep my feet and head occupied. I didn't find the hike through Cochie Canyon (which starts at the gate) to be very nice, I'm not sure I would do this leg of the trail again unless I was looking to do some sort of training hike.
There was lots of new growth evident. I plan to go back in the spring to catch what I'm hoping will be an awesome display of wildflowers. I also think that if I do this again, I'll go toward evening and stop at the gate, trying to catch the sunset on the way back. I would also consider combining this with the first half of the Alamo Springs trail, which I find to be quite pretty.