Cardiac Hill - Hiking
Cardiac Hill, in Auburn, California lives up to its name as it drops sharply through a series of switchbacks to a rocky bend in the American River. The hike down is a breeze, but the haul back up, will get your heart pumping.
From the parking lot, the trail follows a canal for approximately three quarters of a mile to a sign marking the top of Cardiac Hill. There the trail heads down for nearly a mile to the American River. Overall, you can expect to hike a little over 3 miles round trip.
Destination Distance From Downtown
The trail starts out flat along a canal, but don't be fooled—cardiac hill lives up to its name as it drops sharply through a series of switchbacks to the American River. The walk down is a breeze, but the haul back up, will get your heart pumping.
Time To Complete
A small break beside the fast moving American River is hard to resist. If you are short on time, and in peak physical fitness, you could shave off 30-45 minutes.
Fall and Spring are optimal times to trek up cardiac hill with moderate temperatures and green hillsides. During summer months, temperatures can be brutal with full exposure on the switchbacks, so we recommend an early start. During the winter, after a recent rain, the trail is muddy and water run-off follows the trail.
Dogs on leash are allowed on the trail. Our two seasoned trail dogs regularly accompany us with their remote collars. They love the water features at the top and bottom of the trail. Post-hike be sure to check for deer ticks (notorious carriers of lyme) and wash up—poison oak is abundant year-round. The trailhead has signs posted for rattle snakes and mountain lions. We haven't witnessed either, but we exercise caution nonetheless.
There is a State operated parking lot at the trailhead that requires a $10.00 parking fee and self-registration. However, locals tend to park along the road slightly past the trailhead to avoid the fees. Always have a checkbook or cash on hand in case those free spots are filled.