Stevens Trail is a 8.6 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Colfax, California that features a river 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.
Stevens Trail is very scenic, rich in history and is on the National Register of Historic places. Built by Truman Allen Stevens it was used as a toll road for miners that needed to get from the mining town of Iowa Hill to the railroad town of Colfax. The trail was forgotten but then rediscovered in 1969 but a boy scout, Eric Kiel, and re-charted as part of his scouting project. Today it is maintained by the Bureau of Land Management.
We hike in every December (before any low snow), to see the bizzillions of lady bugs nesting in the foliage at the trails end. That's right, the red ground cover is alive!
Hiked with my 12 yr old. Long trail, lots of full sun. Cliff-side at times. Rough and rugged, with rocks to climb over, small spaces to squeeze through. But once we got to the water, it made up for it. Beautiful destination. My son's most difficult hike, but also one of his favorites. Bring lots of water and snacks.
Excellent hike. About 4.5 miles to get to the river. Lot's of creeks, water, wildlife, peaceful & not too busy. Plenty of parking when I got there. Excellent views from the top. Highly recommended 5/5 - Moderate difficulty.
UPDATE! I went back to the trail and found a note that someone had found my keys so I have them now! While I was out there I ran into Julie and Rob who saw my message below and reached out to the note writer/key finder to give them my info. Thank you so much, Julie! A nice community here on All Trails!
I lost my only car keys on the trail (towed my car)! Wednesday, November 2nd.
If found, please let me know: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The trail was GORGEOUS! Rigorous with amazing views! :)
My 10 year old son and I have done this trail multiple times. It's not that tough but you will be tired as its long. Climb is gradual but forgiving. Take plenty of water and stay on the train as poison oak is everywhere!
I've also hiked it with my bride and she didn't think it was that tough either.
If you go between April - June wild flowers are blooming beautifully.
We backpacked in, found a nice spot to set up camp for the night, and left the next morning.
Beautiful scenery on the way in
A fair amount of shade on the trail
At the end of Steven's Trail, near Secret Ravine, there's tons of trash. I'm going to guess it's miners who set up camp for a few days to pan for gold and then just take off and leave their garbage behind. Man this place needs to be cleaned up. We found 1 sleeping bag, 1 tent, 1 pan with lid, 1 pair of shorts, 1 jacket, 1 running shoe, some mining tools covered in rust, empty beer cans, snack wrappers, among other things.
TIps: There's no water until the end of the trail when you get to the American River. You can either haul in lots of water for the hike, or you can bring a water filter system and re-fill when you get to the river so you have something for the hike back.
Tough work out. Gets pretty hot so bring lots of H2O.
Trail was 11.5 miles to end, but beautiful!