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.

July 06, 2015

Alta Sierra Biblical Garden in Grass Valley, CA

 has a waterfall, creek, gardens, outdoor chapel, and a historical 13th century prayer and meditation labyrinth.  

This walk is a privately owned daytime retreat located near Grass Valley, open sunrise to sunset daily.  The gardens are  closed in winter months.  They also have a quaint outdoor chapel for up to 150 persons and includes a PA system, and electricity available.  No reservations for a few people but if more than 5 of you are going please make reservations.

Difficulty:  Easy.  It is made to be a pleasant place to reflect and find some peace. They say allow 1 1/2 hours for a self-guided walk through the gardens. The trail is very short, but perfect to spend some time reflecting. There are uphill and downhill areas and rocks sticking out of the dirt, and some has wood chips making use by wheelchairs unavailable.
Driving Directions:  From I 80 take CA 49 east.  In approximately 17 miles turn left on Auburn Road.  The Biblical Gardens is located on your right in about .7 mile.  There is plenty of parking, even for buses for events!
Notes: I called two days ahead to say we were coming.  We were greeted sternly because people have been using their parking as a park and ride, leaving cars in the parking area for overnight even.  The woman also looked quite suspiciously at our small day packs and said we cannot take food or water on the trail.  She complained that people have been leaving trash.  We never made it to see the labyrinth, but did walk the trail.  It is indeed serene and beautiful.  Please use the picnic area to eat.  Take your water in a non-disposable container.  Please, please be considerate of the owners and of people who use this place.  Leave it cleaner than you find it.  Enjoy the view.  The restrooms are only open on week-ends due to the drought.

MapQuest

16343 Auburn Rd.
Grass Valley, CA 95949
You can call them at (530)272-1363.  

Below is their map of the gardens to give you an idea of the layout.  You walk from station to station within the garden. Benches are placed to pause and enjoy the garden, meditate, perhaps pray, reflect, or simply take it all in. On their website you can click on each number and see a photo of a spot in the garden.  Click the link below the photo.
http://biblicalgarden.org/HTMLS/mapofgarden.html
Notes of interest:  
  • A picnic area is available for reservation for bible studies, or other small group activities. A family picnic is fine too. Please take out your trash.  No BBQing is allowed.
  • The prayer labyrinth is a historical replica of a 13th century as a meditation or prayer path. Please don't let children run about or disturb the rocks that line the path.  It sits near Rattlesnake Creek and the gardens.  
  • Please, no wading or splashing around in the creek.
  • No pets allowed.
  • The outdoor chapel accommodates 150 people, and is available for memorials, weddings, and baptisms.
  • While the property is privately owned, the Grace Works Community Project has designed and constructed the interfaith nondenominational labyrinth.  (Donations are welcome and are tax deductible.)
The original owners and developers of the land have moved on and since 1996, Paula and Maskey Heath have continued the traditions of Alta Sierra Biblical Garden.
To learn more about the Gardens check out all of their website pages at Alta Sierra Biblical Garden.