Trails in Northern California

Trails in Northern California

Leave No Trace!

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

August 11, 2012

Cardiac Bypass North Fork Trail

In Folsom Lake State Recreation Area ~

Distance: On this weeks Cardiac Bypass Loop I hiked 5.75 miles round trip.  Go much more or some less depending on your choices.
Difficulty:  Moderate to Strenuous also based on your choices of using the road or trails more and the speed of your gait.
Elevation Changes:  Over 2400 feet total
Driving Directions:
  • From Highway 80 East from Sacramento area, take Indian Hill Road east from the Newcastle area.
  • Turn left on Auburn Folsom Road.
  • Turn right on Maidu Drive.  Park.  If you pay, it is $10. I parked along the road for free beyond the paid parking on Maidu Drive in Auburn, CA. Photos of options are below.
Advisories:  There are restrooms at the trailhead.  Poison oak is abundant along the sides of the trails.  Some areas have rocky footing.  There are small creek crossings.
* If you click on a photo all photos can then be viewed enlarged.
UPDATED photos taken March 8, 2016
Blue Dicks along hillsides, with swallowtails fluttering about, but quite a few other wildflowers too.

The North Fork of the American River is flowing freely thanks to all this recent rain.

Poison oak is everywhere so beware.





I had not used this section before and it took us all the way back to the starting point near the paid parking.  Shady, pleasant, and good footing.


This is the paid parking.  On the right you pull in and self register.  

The side of the road where you can park for free, or go beyond the gate shown above and park alongside the road there to hike the Bypass Trail.



The original article below is based on a variation of the hike shown above.  There are a multitude of trail choices as you go.  I advise getting GPS tracks or a map of the park trails if you are not familiar with the area and not secure finding your way in new places.
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COUGAR SIGHTINGS ALERT!Yesterday, March 28th, 2013 a cougar was sighted near the "Y" along the trail.  There is some dense cover for it, so just be aware, be noisy, keep your eyes and ears open!  Bears have been sighted in the area in the past, so again, just be alert.



Distance: 7.2 miles using my GPS tracks, but more or less as you choose options.
Difficulty:  Moderate to Strenuous also based on your choices of using the road or trails more and the speed of your gait.
Elevation Changes:  Over 2400 feet total
Driving Directions: 
  • From Highway 80 East from Sacramento area, take Indian Hill Road east from the Newcastle area.
  • Turn left on Auburn Folsom Road.
  • Turn right on Maidu Drive.
  • You will see China Hill paid parking on the right with a restroom, or you can park along the roadway on the right also.  Walk through the closed park gate to begin the hike using the road as shown on the map below.
Notes:  There is paid parking available, or more recently I have been using Cardiac Hill Trail that is now well marked with park signs.  I park alongside Maidu Road at the gate marked for Cardiac Hill, just before a sign posting the entry to China Bar. There are restrooms at the trailhead posted on the GPS tracks, the icon for a bathroom in a large unused dirt parking area, and another at the car icon called "road end" which refers to an unused dirt road, small parking area. The trail that will take you winding mostly through trees along the river continues from there heading south.  Cardiac Hill is a vigorous hike or jog.  Its almost as steep as Training Hill, but prettier and shadier!









 Some volunteers have placed these small signs along the way to point you in the right direction.  (2016 update:  I did not see these signs anymore, but pretty well marked park signage)

 Going down to the river to rest and eat, maybe get wet, make the hike especially enjoyable for me.



 Some areas of the trails do get quite dry and full of stickers when the hills dry.  Gaiters over your boots or shoes help.  My hiking poles propel me uphill on the steep sections which unfortunately are the return trip!



Below is a graph to show you and give you a better idea of what to expect in elevation changes.

Related Area Hike Links:
ASRA ~ Auburn State Recreation District
BLM ~ Bureau of Land Management
Near Auburn, CA

Peachy Hiker's Table of Contents                                         

Updated March 10, 2016
Updated March 29th, 2013