Trails in Northern California

Trails in Northern California

Leave No Trace!

Visit for more information about Desolation Wilderness. Visit or call 1- 877-444-6777 to make park reservations. Visit Campfire Permits to get a permit online. More about Leave No Trace principles.

June 08, 2011

Grizzly Flat in El Dorado National Forest

 "MACHETE HIKE" is s term describing these bushwhacking hikes we come across.
Disclaimer: We did not carry a machete, but it would have come in handy!

This area is between Grizzly Flat and Fioni Meadows, (southeast of Placerville).  We turned right on the first forest road after crossing the Cosumnes River, 9N59, and parked beside the road about a quarter of a mile in. Some photos courtesy of Ken.

From there we hiked down to the creek, back up the steep area to the left of the fallen tree photographed below. The ground was extremely soft; our feet sank about a foot into the ground. 

Photo by Ken
Photo by Ken
Photo by Ken: This little guy was camouflaged as a rock on a boulder!  Ken's sharp eyes caught him and out came the camera! 

Photo by Ken
Courtesy of Ken

 We climbed here to the left of the photo.  It was very steep and soft and the wood was quite loose.

That's Ken!

 We were pleasantly surprised at the number of wildflowers blooming, and had fun capturing the minute bugs hidden in them.  Above is a spent dogwood, and below are bleeding hearts.

 A golf ball sized mushroom breaking through the debris and soil.  There was quite a bit of trash and at first I really thought it was a golf ball!

The debris was thick and caught on my gaiters and hiking poles.

 We hiked 7.54 miles, not counting my bushwhacking up to the waterfall, and turned back when we reached the private property boundary of Leoni Meadows.

There was not a trail, so we just crossed the forest and walked on a lot of this kind of tread.  Good hiking boots with support made it easier on our ankles! 

We read that there are mining remnants along the river, so one of our goals to to see some history!  The river area was so overgrown into the water that without taller gaiters, or a machete, or both, staying near the water became impossible.  The banks were too steep to keep climbing up and down from flat tread to the water.  We ended up hiking through the forest and away from the water.

We crossed the Cosumnes River back and forth using the fallen tree bridge.  A mining campsite made a nice resting area for a few minutes at at the end of the day. The weather being finally sunny and in the high 60's in that area made for an excellent outing day, so gather your boots and water and get some fresh air!