Stebbins Cold Canyon Reserve is primarily dedicated to teaching and research; however, its trails are open to hikers year-round from sunrise to sunset. Stebbins Reserve trails are accessed from trails originating on the Putah Creek Wildlife Area (PCWA). UC Davis strongly discourages hiking in very hot weather and in periods of high risk of fire or flood.
Do not leave valuables in cars.
- Trails are rough, steep and strenuous. Some areas have cliffs and steep drop-offs; never allow children to run ahead unsupervised. Some trails departing from the PCWA trailheads onto other public lands are unmaintained and may pose additional hazards. Wear proper footgear.
- Avoid heat exhaustion and stroke - drink plenty of water and protect yourself from the sun. Avoid hiking in hot weather. No water is available on site.
- Avoid hiking during periods of high fire danger. Fires move very quickly on scrub-covered slopes. Wildfires can happen at any time, but warm days from May-October are highest risk (Cal Fire updates here).
- Do not attempt creek crossings during periods of high water.
- Rattlesnakes are common in rocky areas of the reserve. Watch your step, and look before sitting!
- Poison oak grows thickly along the trail; stay on the trail, and avoid brushing up against its foliage or bare branches.
- Deer ticks are potential carriers of Lyme disease. Stay on the trail, wear long pants and inspect and wash yourself carefully after your hike.
- Mountain lions are active in the area. Hike with a partner, and keep children in sight.
- Avoid contact with rodents or their nests or droppings, as they may be carriers of Hantavirus.
- Hunting may occur on neighboring lands: danger of stray bullets.
Cell phone service is not consistenly available in the area, although it is often better near ridgetops. It is always advisable to carry first aid equipment and extra water.
Please help ensure everyone's security by notifying the Reserve Director of any inappropriate uses of the reserve that you observe.
- Stay on trails.
- Pack out everything you bring in.
- Do not collect plants, animals or other organisms.
- Do not disturb research sites or management areas (indicated by colored tape, flags, or signs).
- No mountain bikes, guns, or campfires ANYWHERE on the reserve.
- Please, no dogs in the canyon along the Homestead Trail (the ridge trails are on-leash appropriate). Cold Creek is an important wildlife corridor, and dogs disturb native species more than hikers alone (relevant article).
View Putah Creek Wildlife Area/Stebbins Cold Canyon Area Trails in a larger map