Comments: Well this trail is not for people with a fear of heights, narrow trails, or cliffs. Round trip is 8 miles with a 1300 ft of descent. The grade on this trail is not to bad… the beginning is the steepest and the lower cliffy sections have some of the mellower inclines. This trail is an old historic trail and a very narrow single track that ribbons down the American River Canyon to where the old toll bridge used to be. It's had trail markers put up recently and the berries and poison oak cleared. It gets roasting in the canyon in the summer but the swimming is excellent. The top end gets a little muddy and the rocks a little slippery in the rainy season but the trail is usually open most the winter. There are trail critters to watch for…the last time I was here I ran over a 2 ft yellow and black garder snake, saw a 3 ft rattlesnake, and a lot of fast lizards.
Access: This trail is located near Colfax Ca. off Hwy 80. If you are coming from Sacramento take Hwy 80 sixty miles east to Colfax. Take the main Colfax exit and take a left at the stop on N. Canyon Way. Kinda hard to see but look for the frontage road with the dead end sign next to the gas station. This road follows next to Hwy 80 on the south side heading east. Take N. Canyon Way for about a half-mile and you will see a parking lot on the left. There is a spot for about 25 cars here but its rarely full.
On The Trail: Stevens Trail starts on the east end of the parking area. This single track immediately drops on a fast grade. After about .7 miles you will pass a trail sign on a piece of railroad track and then in another tenth mile you will see another marker pointing to the right.
This section is a 2-track dirt road. The dirt road climbs and at 1.1 miles you crest the hill and take a left at the trail marker on to the single track. The trail now descends and at the "Y" keep to the right. There is a creek crossing at Robber's Ravine {1.5 miles} and you have to do a little scramble across the rocks. The trail narrows and gets rockier with a more vertical trail edge. There is a mineshaft {1.7 miles} on the left next to the trail punched into the hill. The rest of the trail is rather narrow with steep cliffy edges and awesome views…if you dare to look! The first good view you can look downstream and see the Iowa Hill Bridge. And the rest of the ride is a ribbon trail with views of the American River Canyon. There are a half a dozen rocks on the cliff edge section that are rather scary but are much less technical coming back After you pass some river access side trails you then come to a creek. This is pretty much the end of the ride although you can hike upstream farther. There used to be a toll bridge crossing here. On the way back up the hill you can take a left at the unmarked "Y" and cruse over to Burnt Flat and down to the Iowa Bridge if you want. If you miss the unmarked "Y" turn off, the section of trail that was a double track heads down there too. Kind of interesting area to check out if you needs a little more riding. Its all 4 wheel roads not single track though.
Enjoy the trail but don't risk your life on the cliffs... The Fish

Stevens Trail Pictures 1
Stevens Trail Pictures 2

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