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.

July 03, 2011

Harvego Bear River Preserve Hike

Hikers being introduced to the ranch.

Working ranches are hosts.

We hiked 5.21 miles through part of the Harvego Bear River Preserve.  I found out about this hiking opportunity through a webpage, and decided to attend.  These are only available at this time by making reservations for docent led hikes.

The Harvego Bear River Preserve consists of  1,773 acres which are a part of the 2,300-acre Bruin Ranch,

located in the woodlands in the Auburn Valley-Bald Rock Mountain area. The ranch is west of Highway 49, past the Auburn Valley Golf Course, and south of the Bear River.

 This was a lucky shot I thought I missed because the dragonfly flew away when I moved.  Surprise for me when I downloaded my photos and there it was!  I think it is a Flame Skimmer.

 These are two fine docents for the Preserve, Andy and Anita, who volunteer to support the future of this project.  Great folks!!!

Poison oak was all over the hills, but avoidable only if you stay right on the trail. This photo provided by Steve V.

 These are hikers on this ranch tour, many from a Meetup group, and some registered on their own.  All were enthusiastic and fun participants.
Woodland the trail meanders through.
Clear-Winged Grasshopper, photo and identification provided by Steve V.

 The Bear River running far below our hike today.

We hiked off trail to the top of Bald Rock Mountain to enjoy the views.  From here, our docent leaders pointed out where the trails are being built and oriented us to other features of the area.  Beyond the golf course, for example, is Hidden Falls, and to the right is Bear River winding through the canyon.

View from the top of Bald Rock Mountain.

Downy Navarretia

 These were hard to photograph both because they are minute flowers and with a small breeze, it was hard to focus on such small gems.  They are much smaller than the tip of my pinky!
Steve V.  provided scientific names of flora we observed and photographed.

Heading up through the shady trees.
One of the several ponds we passed.
 Here I wanted to get in a boat and lazily float the day away, I had to persevere and hike onward.  The day was hot but not unbearable, and the hiking was moderate in difficulty.  Please check out the website for the preserve and support our public lands too.
Related Articles:
ASRA ~ Auburn State Recreation District
Peachy Hiker's Table of Contents