“A lollipop loop that travels into the hills above Hidden Valley.”
— Eric Ashley
Hidden Valley Regional Park is only open from dawn to dusk.
Some steeps and loose footing make this a challenging run.
This lollipop loop climbs the base of the hills for good views and a little challenge as it navigates a narrow and sometimes-loose tread. Fortunately, the exposure and difficulty is all manageable, making this a very enjoyable trail.
If traveling clockwise, find the start of the trail off of Parkway Drive and start heading up. Pretty soon, the return path can be seen making its way back above two tanks on the right. Keep straight to tackle the steepest portion of the trail (at least you get it out of the way at the start).
Once you're past the switchback etched into the tan patch on the hill, there's a quarter mile of near-level running, during which the trail heads past a viewpoint knoll and rounds the north end of the hill. The climbing starts up again and remains steady until the trail doubles back to the upper portion.
This is where things get narrower and looser. Take your time with the footing as necessary, but make sure to enjoy the broad views of the city, the mountains, and the hills beyond. Ahead, the trail does relax after crossing a drainage channel and the going remains easy for the remainder. As the trail continues to descend, the second viewpoint knoll makes an appearance on the right.
Past the knoll, descend to a wash crossing followed by a drainage crossing and then head back across the wash to circle around the hill and pass above the two tanks noted at the start of the description. In just a little bit, you'll be back to the "stem" of the lollipop and can make an easy exit to the road.