Stevens Trail is a 8.6 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Colfax, CA 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.
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!
My sister and I went on this hike and really enjoyed it. Unfortunately, we were pretty exhausted from the ups and downs and the heat, so by the time we got to robber's ravine, we decided to turn back. We'll be doing it again in the future so we can go all the way to the river. Don't miss the rock outcrop that is about 50 feet before robber's ravine. It's just off the trail to the right and the views from the rocks are stunning!
This was a great day hike! Just challenging enough and some great views of the river.
This is one of my favorite trails. Some spots are a little precarious but my 9 year old was able to manage without much difficulty. There's a really neat cave you can explore if you're brave enough. My boys had fun checking it out. We brought lunch from home and hiked off trail a bit down to the river to eat. The trail follows the river as you get farther along and we could see it clearly so there was no fear of getting lost. It was a wonderful respite from the heat. The trail is rather sunny in spots so a hat and/or sunscreen is a good idea. Eight miles is a bit too far for my 9 year old so we didn't make it all the way to the end but this trail definitely had something for everyone to enjoy.
2nd time on this trail. hit the trailhead at 8:30 and made it down to the water by 10:15. the earlier the better as the hike back up gets very warm in the afternoon sun. take extra water because you'll need it. was back at the car by 12:30. It's a great workout and enjoyable scenery.
Great hike and just like everyone says easy down but a grind coming back up. The cave and little waterfall are nice. Some shade and some out in the open sun. A great mix and a great trail.
Don't be fooled by the downward hike in the beginning because you have to hike back and it's all uphill! The scenery is gorgeous, the trail is well marked and you get a great dose of flat and then rocky trail. Overall the only complaint is I wish there was more shade on an over 90 degree day.
Great hike. It was our first hike ever. The hike down was wonderful. We were excited about how easy it was going downhill, discovering caves, having incredible views, picked some blackberries and when we got down to the river, we ate lunch and swam for about an hour. The water was so clear and refreshing and the views were amazing.
The way back up was a different story. It was hot, uphill and very exhausting. We had to stop a lot to catch our breath and cool off. We underestimated our water supply too so if you decide to hike down and hike back up, bring PLENTY of water.
If we do this trail again, we will hike down and intertube or float down the river to Iowa (I think that's the name) bridge and drive back up to Stevens trail parking ( will have to take two cars)
Great trail, great hike down, great swimming spot, exhausting hiking back up.
Great trail! Backpacked down to the river and pitched a tent. Water is crystal clear with bed rock everywhere. Gorgeous views from all around! Would highly recommend.
Really beautiful and great to get away from everything. The way down to the river is mainly downhill and not too difficult. However the way back is uphill so plan and take your time. Great views along the trail and cliff.