Be sure to bring plenty of water since this trail is exposed and remote.
The Salt Basin Overlook Trail can be completed as a loop or as a simple and short out-and-back that offers amazing views.
From the Williams Ranch parking area, take the El Capitan Trail
to get to the start of this loop. Salt Basin Overlook Trail connects off of El Capitan Trail
to the south. This trail forms a loop with the El Capitan Trail
; the first junction is about five miles along the El Capitan Trail
, and the second is almost six miles in.
When running the loop counterclockwise (as mapped), the trail heads south from El Capitan Trail
and starts with a steady descent that lasts for the first 0.8 miles. Be sure not to miss the short Salt Basin Overlook Spur
, which takes you to a nice viewpoint at the top of a bluff.
From this spur, the trail follows along a ridgeline and then passes around a small hill before turning back to the north. The open landscape provides many great views in all directions.
The second half of the trail is flatter with only one small climb near the end as the trail rejoins the El Capitan Trail