Scenic out and back to the historical heart of the park. The parking area is reached by driving up to the summit of Hicks Road, where your hike starts at an altitude of 1400'. The first 0.5 miles takes you through a wonderful variety of habitat, beginning under full cover of mostly live oaks, crossing a stretch of chaparral, then emerging into rolling grassy hills. About half way along, you will pass a very odd pointy rocky outcrop on your left. Things get interesting as you approach the rotary furnace. Note the bamboo and pampas grass left over from cultivated areas, and look for the "Hanging Tree" on your right. The rotary furnace itself is fenced off and is in bad shape, but still one of the most impressive structures in the park. Struggle up the steep but relatively short hill to the left, bear right at the top and left down the hill to English Camp, where you can read plaques about the time when thousands of people lived and worked in these hills. Return on the narrow Yellow Kid trail, which offers more plaques, views, and history as you climb gently back up to the Castillero trail. Follow the trail around back to the rotary furnace and on back to the parking area.
Wildflower tips: In early spring you can find the "red-white-and-blue" of Indian Warrior, Milk Maids, and Hound's Tongue along the shaded areas near the start. Look for Common Phacelia amongst the boulders just past the furnace.