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High Ridge Loop is either a relatively easy hike up to the ridgeline and back down or a tough slog up to the ridgeline and back down... depends on whether you do it counterclockwise or unwise.
In the past, this was more of a social trail up as far as the mine. As of 2020, the trail was improved, and some of the more rigorous bits were re-routed or smoothed out to accommodate mountain bikes. As such, the entire trail is quite serpentine and generally free of large rocks. If walking counterclockwise, the route features some downhill sections that would be of interest to those on two wheels but mostly make the walker's knees ache.
Parking can be found at the parking lot to the east of the road at the Bulldog Canyon gate or on the shoulder to the west of the road where the large wash comes down from the Usery Mountains. The loop starts on the Alp D'Huez Trail that takes you up to a saddle just below the Usery Mountains high point. The trail splits at the old mine, with this loop continuing to the south, over to a ridge. The trail continues along the ridge with fine views of the East Valley. Eventually, the trail begins switchbacking down the north face of the ridge. This section is quite steep and a good reason to consider walking the trail in a counterclockwise fashion. Eventually, the trail joins back with the Alp D'Huez Trail to make a nice loop.
Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.
Gate Policy: If a gate is closed upon arrival, leave it closed after you go through. If it is open, leave it open. Leaving a closed gate open may put cattle in danger. Closing an open gate may cut them off from water. Please be respectful, leave gates as found.