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.

June 25, 2014

El Dorado Trail from Jacquier Road in Placerville

This is the first paved eastern section of the El Dorado Trail, designated for multiple uses including joggers, bicycles, dogs walking their people, and equestrians.  It is wheelchair and stroller accessible!

Hike through the Placerville hills with views of
vineyards, farms, a lake, rolling hills, and mountains. 
Distance: I hiked about 6 miles on this stretch of trail.
Difficulty:  It's up to you, but easy if you are simply taking a walk.  Put all the energy you want into it though, bicycling or jogging.
Important Notes: 
  • There is poison oak along the side of the trail so before you step off of the pavement, double check the plants!
  • Carry water.  It gets hot (in the 90's this month).
  • Always watch for rattlesnakes.
  • Sunscreen is advisable.  Perhaps a hat and sunglasses, too.
  • Two vault toilets available next to the parking area.
This parking lot has an exercise and stretching area for warm ups.
 It is large and designed to accommodate horse trailers.

Driving Directions:  Take Exit 49 off of Highway 50 in Placerville, CA, toward Point View Drive. Go north (under the freeway if you were heading east) and turn right into the El Dorado Trail parking (most suitable for horse trailers).

Enjoy the photos of The El Dorado Trail views: ( I recommend clicking on the first photo and then scrolling through.)




I tried to find access to the eastern end of the trail to no avail. It should be around the Camino Road area but it was all fenced private property.  My idea was to walk the entire length, described in various literature, in sections.  If you know more, please post a note on my Google+ page!




Look out for the poison oak which is turning red, is full and healthy, 
and growing right alongside the pavement!

Below are some of the wildflowers that are still in bloom along the way, 

despite this heat and drought, to brighten your day!


Thank you for taking the time to enjoy the displays of color, and just think, you don't have to pull weeds in a garden to enjoy the display!


Please refrain from picking any of these wild gems.  They are having a hard time with drought and need to be allowed to reproduce in such adverse conditions.



Still in bloom in June: monkey faces, bachelors buttons, blackberry blossoms,  gum plants, mustard, peas, chicory, morning-glories, dog fennel, Williams clarkia, and some unidentified ones.

This trail is located with parking conveniently near the freeway, and close to businesses in Placerville. This section is less shaded than the other two I have written about, but has better views.  I recommend getting an earlier start during the summer months for the best wrokouts and most pleasure.  You don't travel through any part of town although you do hear the freeway noise at times.  The hills are good for conditioning and lend to the "getting away from it all" feeling.

El Dorado Trail Chapter 2
El Dorado Trail Chapter 3

For more trails, see Trails By Location.

Happy Trails!