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Smittle Creek Trail

Located NEAR:
Capay (Lake Berryessa Recreation Area).

4.7 miles (out and back).

Difficulty Level:

Photo by Nate Lillge


Know Before You Go:
This trail was unmaintained when I visited, and the bridges were down; there are rumored to be ticks, so bring bug spray and wear pants, long sleeves, and closed-toe shoes with traction. Don’t forget water; and, as always, Leave No Trace.

Why We Love It:
With beautiful views of Lake Berryessa, easy terrain for the whole family, lake access (in warmer temps), and tons of wildflowers come springtime, this trail is an under-the-radar favorite.

Photo courtesy of Tuleyome


Fuel Up:
There’s nothing better than a bowl of comforting curry and buttered naan to warm you up after a winter hike. Yeti Restaurant ( boasts a huge menu of classic and traditional Indian fare for vegetarians and omnivores alike—including Nepalese momo (steamed dumplings with meat or veggies mixed with Himalayan spices), “thali” (a sampling of different dishes), crispy samosas, sizzling tandoori chicken, and more.

Photos by @norcalhiker


Ticks & Lyme Disease
While ticks are arguably some of the grossest in the insect world (technically, though, they’re arachnids like spiders—not insects), they shouldn’t deter you from getting outside. Here’s what you need to know.
  • Lyme disease is caused by a bacteria carried by the deer tick.
  • A tick must feed for approximately 36 hours for the disease to be transferred.
  • The overall risk of infection is estimated at 1-3%, even in areas where the disease is present.
  • A rash, fever, facial paralysis, and arthritis indicate infection, usually appearing 3-30 days after exposure.


How to prevent tick bites:
  • Know where to expect ticks.
  • Use repellent on clothing.
  • Wear layers and appropriate outdoor attire.
  • Check thoroughly for ticks after hiking in areas where ticks may be present, especially between folds of skin and joints; have a partner help.

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

by Ryan Martinez