Brandon Gulch to Volcano Point & Riley Ridge
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|trail:||This is a loop trail that is appropriate for mountain bikers, hikers and horseback riders. Motorized vehicles are not permitted the year around.|
|difficulty:||Moderately difficult due to its length and elevation change.|
|length:||8 miles and 2031 feet|
|elevation:||From 196 feet to 997 feet|
Volcano is a remote campsite, located on Riley Ridge above Brandon Gulch at approximately 1000 feet elevation. This is the highest point and most northern border of Jackson. It offers a picnic table and benches, a fire pit, outhouse, and an ingenious one person hut. Brandon Gulch, a favorite among visitors, is lined with raspberries, thimbleberries and blackberries, along with all the other typical plants of the redwood forest. A contributory of the Noyo River parallels the trail in Brandon Gulch.
To reach the trailhead, drive to milepost 5.8 on highway 20. On the north side is road 350 (road marker is to right of road). This is the entrance to the majority of the campgrounds and the Egg Taking Station. Drive approximately 3 miles on 350 until you come to a bridge. Cross the bridge and follow the sign for road 360 for one mile. Here you will cross another bridge and find an intersection of three roads. (#1) The road on the let blocked by a massive boulder, is the trailhead for Brandon Gulch. Park on the right side of the intersection and begin the trailhead. This is Road 360 but is not marked. Walk this trail for 3/4 mile, or until just before the road turns to the left. On the right is a stream crossing. (#2) Cross the stream and follow trail north to the top of the gulch, to approximately mile 2.4 or until you arrive at a "T" (#3). Go left to continue on 360 to Volcano. Avoid all spurs / roads to the right by taking the left fork when options appear (#4). At mile 4.9 (from the beginning of the hike) on the left is a short trail to Volcano campsite (#5). From Volcano head west along Riley Ridge (Road 1000) for approximately 1.8 miles. Road 362 (#6) is on the left and takes you back down to Brandon Gulch and then the parking area.
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