2020,  AllTrails,  California,  City Girl Hikes,  Friends,  Hiking,  Musings,  Vacaville

City Girl Hikes: Gates Canyon – Vacaville, CA

Sometimes you sign up for a hike knowing its gonna be rough…

Gates Canyon Lookout

I hike for the variety in my workouts, but the views and scenery are usually picturesque. Which obviously means I have some good IG content. I’ve enjoyed sharing my solo hiking adventures since it was a goal I accomplished. But, since hiking lends itself well to social distancing, I’ve had friends share an interest in joining me. And if you know me, you know I love doing things with friends (versus solo). All that being said, Ambriss joined me for the Gates Canyon hike.

We knew it was an out and back, which included all up-hill out and all down-hill back, but we were down for it. That was about as far into research as I did. I don’t like to know everything about a trail before I leave, especially when I am hiking with a friend.

However, there were some discrepancies from the AllTrails and what we actually did. I will say, I think it depends on where you park. We parked exactly where the app told us, but you could park earlier on in a very small, think four cars only, parking lot.

AllTrails StatsOur Actual Stats
Distance7.8 miles6.1 miles
Elevation2,007 feet1,263 feet

More than anything, this hike was really nice because I was able to finally hang out with Ambriss. It had been a while since we’ve all been sheltering in place. We drove separately and used the app location to meet. We both were a little hesitant to park there since it didn’t really look like a place one should park and it was very desolate. There was one other car, so I took that as an okay sign.

Thank goodness for the app, because as we continued down a regular road, we were a little uneasy about where we were hiking. Again, a road is usually not what I’d consider a hike. If I remember correctly, the road finally became more of a loose gravel/dirt road.

Gates Canyon Trail


My ass thanks this trail, because that is what it worked. All the way up, with a handful of switchbacks. It is a little sketchy because as you make your way up you pass random homes. Homes that don’t necessarily seem as if they enjoy hikers of any kind in their area. To be fair, no one accosted or yelled at us, and someone waved at us as they drove by. But let’s just say there is a lot of what seems to be abandoned stuff, rusty and old.

To distract ourselves from the incline, we chatted and caught up on life. I always enjoy our chats, because we both have been into self-growth and personal development. Really working through the hard stuff, which is nice to have someone who is experiencing similar things and has similar goals. Also, we have a lot of common interests, so our convos are never short of topics to discuss.

Gates Canyon View

The view was great and so was the accomplishment of getting up that incline. I made us keep going up, past the outlook, because I thought I was reading the app correctly, but I wasn’t HAHA. The road kept going, but there wasn’t really anything else to see, other than to torture our lungs with incline hiking. Even though we went further than the app had listed, we still didn’t hit the mileage that it has shown, so I’m kinda confused about why the discrepancies.

Just like the hurt going up, there is still hurt with steep downhill too. Just so very different. Luckily it was fairly shaded, so that was a bonus.

Just like my last hike, this hike didn’t have a breathtaking view, but it had a nice one. Would I recommend this to someone? Maybe, but overall I was able to connect with a good friend, laugh, sweat, and get a cute pic. I can’t ask for much more than that.

Who knew Vacaville had more to see than just the outlets?

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