Olmstead Loop Trail is a 8.2 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Cool, CA that features a lake 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
It was harder than I thought with a baby on my back. We took the loop backwards, I think it made it easier to keep on the trail. Felt like walking through someone's field in the end, not very scenic. In the middle it was beautiful.
had a nice hike, but don't trust all the signs. it's easy to lose the trail. we ended up on a combination of trails. trail does not offer much shade, but is a nice hike with some hills to make you work.
Did a 6.5 mile hike yesterday. Primarily flat with dry grasslands and oak trees. Many different splintering paths to adjust the length of hike... Hikers share area with bikers and horses. Be ready for horse scat. I would recommend full length hiking pants. Lots of thorny grass in some parts along narrow paths. Overall, a good experience.
The actual Olmstead Loop trail is in the photos above taken from a trail guide book. The outline on this map is not the actual Olmstead Trail. Went this morning and it got HOT. Took 2.5 L of H2O. Trail is adequately marked if you take the actual Olmstead Loop. Nice hike, great workout.
I might have given it 5 stars if we made wildflower season or saw one of the lakes
A good workout. Glad I had this app to keep me from getting lost.
Great trail! Highly recommend it, bring a lot of water if you're thinking of going in the summer.
Nice mix of open rolling hills, local views and shade from oaks for the first 2 miles. West towards Salt Creek Loop and the river is very dry and shade-less. Would not hike to the river in summer unless you're prepared for a ton of sun.
Absolutely gorgeous and fairly low traffic. I would say this is a moderate trail, not easy, as there are quite a bit of hills and elevation changes. There is also relatively little shade, so bring a hat and load up on sunscreen.
Great trail! There are ponds and creeks and a little water fall. Towards the back half of the trail there is a cool view of the valley and the river. Make sure you use the map on here as there are a lot of side trails to get sidetracked on.
A few fee of parking should be invested onto making signs to know where to go, miles and witch trail is witch etc. for such a simple trail by that I mean easy access they should invest, beautiful land, but for walks like that, anyone can find a free trail.
Good moderate trail. Close to the highway for long sections, never too far from traffic sounds. Horse riding trail so looking down a lot. Some of the signage for the main loop could have been clearer, but always had phone service so was able to track via GPS.
Good trail with some challenging sections but the last 3-4 miles of the loop are much less so (if you go counterclockwise). There are a number of places where there are forks in the trail without markers so I followed one of the tracks for this hike to make sure I was heading the right direction - I would recommend that for first-timers.
This is my favorite hiking trail in the Auburn area. Beautiful rolling hills, meadows and oak trees. I have hiked the Olmstead Loop many times and I prefer going clockwise from the Cool trail head to get the boring part out of the way first. An alternative trail head is the confluence area, right before the mountain quarries railroad bridge. In that case you take Training Hill Trail (a real ass-kicker) and climb up to the Olmstead Loop, for some added miles and difficulty.
However, if this is your first time on the trail, then I would advise you to go counter clockwise from the Cool trail head. There are two reasons for this:
1. It's easy to lose the trail when you go clockwise. Tip: If you go clockwise and come across a lake around the 1 hr. mark, that means that you turned right (east) too early. Go back.
2. There is a year-round soggy area, about 15 minutes from the Cool trail head with a good chance of getting your feet wet. When you go counter clockwise, you'll hit this soggy area at the end of your hike.
See the link to the ASRA trail guide below:
Edit: Looking at the saved tracks, it's clear that most people are not actually doing the "official" Olmstead Loop. Follow Joel Morgan's tracks for the correct trail.
I run this trail sometimes. Great variability in topography. Lots of horses.
This trail is easy to get to and has plenty of parking area, unfortunately the trails are not clearly marked and much of the trail is adjacent to or on the roadways here, go to the left side of the road and through a fence to find the beginning of the trail.This park is more oriented to bicyclist and horses, however its still a good hike to take- and its nice to see some California oak woodland being set aside and preserved in its natural state.
Too much activity for my liking. It was also right in other's back yards in a few parts. I like my solitude when hiking. There were some nice views though.