Monroe Ridge Trail and the Monument Trail is a 3 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Coloma, CA that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Enjoy a 3-mile hike in the hills above historical Coloma in Marshall Gold Discovery Historical State Park. This nice hike starts on the other side of Hwy 49 from the parking lot ($8 for day use) and is a great introduction to some history of the area. The trail is fairly steep at the beginning but will soon level out and become more enjoyable. You can bring a lunch and stop at one of the two picnic tables along the trail to enjoy the views and listen to the sounds of nature. This trail ends at the Marshall Monument where you can learn more about the role Marshall played in Coloma while viewing his old cabin, a cemetery, church, and a number of other historical buildings in Coloma.
This is one of our family favs. Love stopping at the local cafe/deli. This trail is particularly special because of the history. Very enjoyable.
It was okay. There was tons of poison oak, we had to pay $8 for parking, and dogs are required to be on leash. The bathrooms are pristine and the park Rangers are nice and helpful. There are probably better trails in the same area.
Great trail for dogs!
Got 3.7 miles 1 hour 11 min. Nice short loop. Some pics for helping people find the trail head.
Monroe Ridge Trail to Monument. Seems to make the Coloma Loop. Gary Pinkley gives good advise on Trail.
Finding it was not fun. Look for the set of white buildings. Trail is to the right of the building.
Pretty nice in the winter. Wont go int the summer! to hot!
The Coloma Loop Trail is comprised of the Monroe Ridge trail and Monument trail.
Total combined is 3.7miles Pretty easy haul.
If you are coming from Placerville the GPS told me to go up hwy 49 then take a left on Church Street then a right on Hwy 153. If you are looking for the trail it is a hug waste of time and will take you to the actual monument that you'll hike up to. Hwy 49 takes a hair pin turn to the right. Church street goes left, stay on 49 to the right. Go into town and you will see two very large parking area on your right. Doesn't really matter which one you park at. The trail head is across the street. There is an area with several white buildings farm house looking structures and there must be 8 of them. Facing the buildings, the trail head is on the right side. Look for the big rock with metal plate. Its up in the field maybe 150yards Not on the road side.
Pretty easy walk. Spent more time looking for the trail head than hiking it. Look at the Coloma Loop Trail and Monument Trail.
The Monument Trail seems to be an attached trail coming off the Monroe Ridge Trail.
Total combined is 3.7miles Pretty easy haul.
If you are coming from Placerville the GPS told me to go up hwy 49 then take a left on Church Street then a right on Hwy 153. If you are looking for the trail it is a hug waste of time and will take you to the actual monument that you'll hike up to. Hwy 49 takes a hair pin turn to the right. Church street goes left, stay on 49 to the right. Go into town and you will see two very large parking area on your right. Doesn't really matter which one you park at. The trail head is across the street. There is an area with several white buildings farm house looking structures and there must be 8 small buildings. Facing the buildings, the trail head is on the right side of them. Look for the big rock with metal plate. Its up in the field maybe 150yards.
Summertime: not the greatest for hiking. Too hot, choking on dust, and looking at the greyness of the coated trees. I'm sure this hike would be tons better with the fall colors coming in, nice views of the valley below.
Lets wait for late October to hit.
Nice hike in the gold country.
Good shade most of the hike. Easy uphill grade if you go counter clockwise. Well maintained the first half up to the monument the Monroe part of the trail is cleared well
More like a walk but it was nice to see the spot where James Marshal found the gold nugget. Where the 49's name began. $6. For parking and restrooms.
Finished the Monument Trial as part of my loop back to the vehicle after doing the Monroe Ridge Trail, north to south. The southern trail head is in the Marshall Monument area of Marshal Gold Discovery SP. The trail head is north of the parking lot, and east of the residence that is north of the parking lot. The trail is downhill going north and is totally shaded. It takes about 15 minutes (0.4 miles) The northern trail head is in the main area of Marshall Gold Discovery SP behind the white building with the bathrooms in the wooded area just north of the museum. The trail is short and sweet and really should be done with the Monroe ridge trail in one big loop. There is a day use fee of $8 to park in Marshall Gold Discovery SP.
First trail ever, so here goes. The Monroe Ridge trail is steep up hill either way with a short flater section in the middle, but I think the better way to go is to start at the Northern trail head and go south and loop back to the vehicle using Monument Trail. I started at 2:45 pm and was back at the truck by 4:15 pm. Parking in Marshall Gold Discovery SP will cost you $8 for day pass. Trail heads are marked but there is no signage to get you to the trailheads. I parked by the museum (which is under construction) and walked through the park to the northern Monroe Ridge trail head. The best place to park is in the southern most parking area of the North Beach Parking Lot. Walk west out of the lot across HWY 49, across the pasture, and west towards the hills to the Monroe Home marker (big rock with placard on it) The north trail head is right behind the rock. Take note that you will come to a few forks in the trail. Always take the right path at each fork and you will stay on the Monroe Ridge Trail. The trail is steep going with a lot of switchbacks at first and levels out some by the first picnic area. The picnic area is really the only decent place to get some pictures of Coloma and the American River Valley. The trail then drops down and comes up again to another picnic area and Vista Point. Vista Point is really a misnomer since you really can't see anything . After this point it is all down hill via switchbacks again to the southern trail head at the Marshal Monument parking lot at the end of HWY 153 (Monument Road) This ends the Monroe Ridge Trail. From here you can take the Monument Trail, (southern trail head is on east side of the residence north of the parking lot), back to your vehicle. (About 15 minutes, 0.4 miles). I did this trip in the afternoon and found it very pleasant and peaceful. The temperature was just cool enough that I didn't need a hoodie and I really never got hot. The trail is very family friendly and Marshal Park is itself a beautiful place to walk around and soak up some history. I think its a great little trail and would do it again.
The surrounding area is great, but the trail is really steep going up from either direction and the views offered are not superb. The park as a whole is great for a family outing or something of that sort, but I feel there are much better trails in the area if you are trying to do a hike.
Took a day hike with my son. Nice to just do a quick trip and get out. We visited in Spring and enjoyed seeing all the flowers. Trail is fairly easy with a moderate uphill climb. We were there on a weekday and ran into possibly 4 other hikers that whole afternoon. We were able to take our time walking up the hill and then run down the hill to make it back home in time to make dinner.
The Coloma area offers many other activities, trails, rafting, and many historic sites to visit. Great for a family picnic or take in the local sites at the gold discovery park.