Stevens Trail - Hiking
What was once a toll path connecting two gold rush communities is now a popular weekend trail to escape the city and get a taste of what made the West so wild.
Stevens Trail drops approximately four miles to a remote section of the northern fork of the American River. At the bottom you can extend your mileage by following the river for an extra half mile or turnaround and head back up the hillside.
Destination Distance From Downtown
Stevens Trail is a favorite for local hikers and trail runners due to the steady grade, destination waters, and American Canyon panoramic views. Yet, even with the steady grade, the eight mile round trip and haul out of the river canyon can be overwhelming for a beginner.
Time To Complete
With a seasonal waterfall, an old mining cave, and a few prized sandy beaches at the river, there is plenty to explore and discover on Stevens Trail. If you are a hardcore trail runner without time to spare you could do the trail in two to three hours. In contrast, the leisurely outdoorsman or hiking novice will want to reserve four to five hours to complete this trail.
Open all year-long and at 2,400 feet in elevation, this trail falls beneath the typical snow line. However, spring is the best time to visit when the hillsides are green and aglow with a spectrum of blossoming trees and wildflowers. In the summer months the waterfall dries to a trickle and the vegetation turns brown and crispy. Fall and winter seasons offer moderate temperatures. Although, after a solid winter rain, the waterfall is too dangerous to cross.
On Leash Only
Dogs are often seen on the trail. You'll only want to bring a pup when you know the waterfall is low so they can cross. Also, the narrow trails and steep canyon walls can make footing tricky. Only bring well-trained, trail-savvy pups, and keep them on leash for peace of mind.