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Get Outside: Hike the Monte Verde Loop Trail

LOCATED IN: El Dorado Hills; Google “Monte Vista Loop Trail.”

DISTANCE: 3.1 miles; 7,000 steps.

DIFFICULTY LEVEL: Easy; heavily trafficked.

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO: Extreme poison oak, so be mindful (especially with kids) and wear pants and long sleeves; dogs not recommended due to likelihood of contact with poison oak; free parking at south Monte Vista Trailhead, or $10/north trailhead parking.

FUEL UP: Grab zucchini bread and a latte before hitting the trail at Bakerie and Latte Chateau Arme. 

WHY WE LOVE IT: Easy half-day hike for the whole family with nice views and water access.

TRAIL NOTES: Parking lots are connected by a paved road; bring water (more water is available on the trail); wear sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses; practice “Leave No Trace” ethics (if you pack it in, pack it out); stay on existing trails.

Editor’s Note: as we went to press, this trail was closed due to covid-19. check website before heading out.



Our area is full of poison oak, but did you know the oil contained in the leaves is what creates the horribly itchy rash? This is what you need to know to avoid it.

Identification: Oval-shaped, green/red leaf with lobed/rounded border and a shiny coating; always grouped in threes (leaves of three, leave them be). 

Prevention:  Know how to identify/avoid the plant. Wear pants and long sleeves, remove/wash clothes after suspected contact.  Dogs will not get the rash; however, their fur will trap the oil, potentially contaminating you, so best to avoid taking your dog on trails with heavy poison oak.

Symptoms: Appear 24-48 hours after contact with oil. Creates itchy rash with raised blisters.

Treatment: Clean area with Tecnu Outdoor Skin Cleanser Original, then treat with calamine lotion, or hydrocortisone cream. A cool compress and/or a bath with baking soda can help ease the itch.

Do you have a favorite trail in the region you’d like to see featured? Tell us all about it at [email protected]

Words and Photos by Ryan Martinez.