Southern El Dorado County owns some of the best local hiking trails in California. The Grizzly Flats area makes an especially great jumping off point to many of these trails. This sleepy little community, only twenty miles from Placerville and almost completely surrounded by national forest, shares the best of both rural and community living.
Because of its close proximity to national forest land, the people of the area enjoy easy access to almost unlimited hiking. Some trails are within a short walk of community borders. Others are within driving distance. There’s a local hiking trail for everyone, so here are a few ideas:
Trails crisscross the landscape not far out of Grizzly Flats. Many of these are simply walking paths made by the residents of the area. These offer a slightly bigger challenge than just a “sidewalk” in the forest, and most residents can point you in the direction of these short but enjoyable hikes.
One trail which leads to an area residents simply call “The Bowls,” just off Leoni Road, is a great half-hour hike. Located about a mile east of Grizzly Flats, it’s an excellent trail for those with small children. At the bottom the creek has hollowed out large crevices that almost look like large bowls. It’s a wonderful, leisurely hike. However, be careful. The dirt road leading to this trail is restricted to foot traffic only.
This trail is a favorite of people living in Grizzly Flats, and just about any resident can point you in the direction of this family friendly walk.
Another more challenging trip, about a ten minute ride out of town, is Trestle Trail. A little steeper, this trail tends to cater more to young people and adults, but children could still make the trip with a little help. Located just off Capps Crossing Road, Trestle Trail offers easy access to the trail head, about a mile down from the main road.
Once you’ve spent a few minutes walking, you’ll probably notice chunks of wood embedded in the path. This trail is actually a reclaimed railroad route. It found its name because of the many trestles that line the path. Many of those trestles have since collapsed, but the remnants of its timbers still remain in piles littered along the way.
As a community maintained trail, this hike requires no use permits.
Capps Crossing Campground
Capps Crossing Campground is located a half mile north of where Capps Crossing Road meets North South Road. Just a few hundred feet north of the campground, just off to the left of North South Road, is Trail 10N83W. Although its name is very uninteresting, the hike that it furnishes is amazing.
The trail-head is a little difficult to locate at first, but a diligent search will turn up a well worn trail that leads to the north fork of the Consumnes River. Because of its steep grade, this path isn’t recommended for the faint of heart or the out of shape. However, for those who can make it, it provides a breathtaking waterfall at the end.
The hike itself takes about a half hour down and an hour back up. Don’t forget to figure in a good amount of extra time to explore the falls and rapids of the Consumnes River.
As always never hike these trails alone, no matter how “easy” a trail may be. If you’re careful you can find immense enjoyment hiking the trails of El Dorado County. Have fun!