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.

2. TRAILS by Locations, Miles, and Difficulty, and Other Related Articles

TABLE  OF CONTENTS

If you don't see something you are looking for, try using the search box.  Some posts may not show in this list, but searching by a specific lake or waterfall name may find the article you are looking for.  In my articles, some images were removed by Google, without notice to me.  All the photos are mine or are used with permission, so my apologies for missing images.

Miles are estimates
Auburn State Recreation Area (ASRA) and Surrounding Areas
Date
Trail
Miles
Difficulty
2016-02
2.4-4.7 mile keyhole
Moderate
2016-02
4.8
Very steep with poor footing.
2011-09
3 miles
Moderate-Strenuous
2011-05
1+ miles
Easy trail with minor creek crossing
2010-04
About 10 miles
Moderate due to distance and unclear markings
2011-05
3-7 miles
Easy with a minor creek crossing
2012-11
3+ (I did 9) miles
Easy
2012-08
2.8 miles
Easy-Moderate
2012-08
5.75 miles
Mod-Strenuous
2012-07
Up to 19 miles available trails
Easy +
2011-06
4.5 miles
Moderate
2012-04
4.3-18.9 available miles
Easy - Strenuous
2011-04
Mossy Rock Trail (starts at Stagecoach)
Under 2 miles
Easy
2011-07
5.21 mile loop on that day
Moderate
2013-06
Stevens Trail in Colfax
7.5-9 miles
Moderate-Difficult (steep canyon wall scares some people)
2011-04
Windy Point (wildflowers!) Colfax Iowa Hill
5.6 + or -
Steep canyon bugs some hikers, easy overall.
2012-11
.5 miles
Easy
2012-08
As far as you go; 5.9 posted tracks
Easy, fun for kids too.




Coloma
2013-06
Aprox 2 miles
Moderate
2012-08
1 mile loop
Easy; picnic tables too. Some WC & stroller accessibility.
2013-06
5 miles
Strenuous-Difficult
2010-04
5 miles
Trail unmaintained, skills needed.




 Placerville
2014-06
6+ miles
Moderate
2014-06
4.5 miles
Easy
2014-06
5.7 miles
Easy




El Dorado National Forest                            Restrictions

No longer open to the public.

2012-11
5 miles
Easy (forest roads)
2013-08
Aprox 8 miles; many other options
Easy
2012-07
4-20 or to Hell Hole Reservoir
Easy to Moderate
2011-06
7 miles more or less; your choices; Dru Barner req. permits now.
Moderate
2011-06
4.5 miles, again, you choose.
Easy
2011-06
7.5 miles
Moderate
2010-06
3 miles
Difficult
2014-06
Stifle Claim Trail (Traverse Botanical Special Interest Area)
0+ miles
Easy +
2010-04
7 miles with closed road, 6 when it is opened
Moderate
2012-11
5.1 miles
Moderate
2013-07
Cedar Park Trail near Sly Park
1 mile paved
Easy; Stroller and WC friendly




Grass Valley
2015-07
Short, meditative
Easy




South Yuba River
2013-07
Aprox 5 miles
Wheelchair friendly, not paved!
2010-05
Up to 25 miles
Moderate




Coastal
2015-08
Your choice
Stay safe!
2013-07
.5-2 accessible and longer for hikers
Easy
2013-04
Your choice
Easy, great for taking kids!
2012-06
3+ mile loop with options and benches
Easy
Desolation Wilderness
2015-07
10+ miles
Strenuous
2014-08
30 miles
Moderate to Strenuous/Difficult
2014-07
18 miles
Moderate-Difficult
2014-06
12+ miles
Moderate to Strenuous
2013-06
13+ miles
Moderate to Strenuous
2012-09
Umpa Lake & Enchanted Pools
8+ miles
Cross country ~ Moderate
2012-08
Horsetail Falls via Pyramid Creek TH
Aprox.  10 miles to lakes at the top of the falls
"Difficult, and potentially dangerous" miles
2012-07
10 miles
Moderate
2012-07
8 miles
Moderate-Strenuous
2012-06
Lyons Lake via Lyons Creek Trail
10+ miles
Strenuous
2012-08
9.2 miles
Moderate
2012-06
6+ miles
Strenuous
2011-07
Lyons Creek Trail with melting snow
9+ miles
Moderate
2011-02
3.8 miles
Moderate
2010-09 We hiked 12 days.
167 total
Moderate to Strenuous
Trinity Alps
2011-08
Coffee Creek Loop ***Best hike ever!
40 miles, give or take
Moderate-Strenuous-testy at Doe/Granite
2011-07
12 mile day hike
Strenuous
2010-06
You decide/ conditions matter
Moderate - Difficult




Tahoe National Forest
2014-07
6+ miles
Moderate (kids do it though)
2012-12
Snowshoeing PCT at Donner’s Castle Pass
9.3 mile loop
Strenuous
2012-12
3.5 miles
Easy
2014-07
1+ miles with many lakes and options
Easy to Moderate
2011-06
5+ miles this trip
Variable
2013-07
Whatever you choose
Easy
2012-11
1 mile each location
Easy
2012-09
Pioneer Trail near Spaulding Lake
Up to 25 miles; I did 5.7
Easy to Moderate
2012-10
Sierra Discovery Trail with Bear Creek Falls
½ mile est. interpretive loop & picnic area
Easy
2012-09
.7 mile
Stroller and WC friendly
2012-09
3+ miles
Easy - Moderate
2012-08
6 miles
Easy
2012-08
4 miles
Easy - Moderate
2014-05
Grouse Ridge Glacier Lake Trail Milk and Downey Lakes are closest.
.5+ many optional miles to many lakes, all pretty close to each other!
Easy to Moderate Car camping available near the trailhead.




Other:
The Botany Song  for folks who love botany!
2013-06
North Trail 1 mile; South Trail .5 mile
Easy
2012-04
5 miles + or -
Easy-Moderate


My guidelines for rating difficulty:

If I rate a trail from "one level - another" it is because you can make the choices that will determine the difficulty, such as whether to go farther or not.

Easy means no real technical skill or fantastic fitness required, good for beginners and kids.  May be up to 5 miles.

Moderate usually refers to added distance, adding elevation changes, and requiring a little experience for climbing over tree falls, small or short rock scrambles, maybe shallow creek crossings, or hiking along steeper areas.    May be up to 10 miles, or terrain issues.

Difficult requires technical skills like using already installed rope or cable to ascend and descend steep areas, navigate safely over and around obstacles like snow banks, wider and deeper creek crossings, and be prepared to hike along open views on steep hillsides and canyon walls.  It may require some rock scrambles, or navigating poorly maintained trail conditions.

Strenuous means it will be more of a cardiac challenge, steeper hills, more difficult rock scrambles, more miles, not necessarily requiring trail skills, but more determination and better fitness!

LINKS for current fees:
http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=23294 for CA park fees for day use and camping.

http://www.fs.fed.us/passespermits/rec-fee.shtml for National Parks map and fees


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:California_State_Recreation_Areas  has a list with links for CA State Recreation Areas.
Updated list of articles 6/2/2016
Park fees links added 10-9-2015
New articles added 6-10-2014