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 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.
+ Gets away from road noise almost immediately
+ Beautiful swimming spots all along the trail, very bendy so can find privacy even when busy
+ Very shaded throughout large sections of the trail
+ Trail runs a couple hundred feet above river affording great views
- Difficult to get down to river in many spots
- If you have kids/pets the trail does have a very steep drop off
Trailhead is downhill on the way in, uphill on the way back, but didn't find the uphill too challenging. Easier side of moderate.
The hike was challenging with multiple uphill climbs near the end when you're exhausted. The water was cool and beautiful, it was crystal clear blue water! If you're exhausted stop in the cave, it feels 20 degrees cooler inside. Over all the hike was challenging and well marked, fun, and there was plenty to see. But do be careful of the cliffs! Some parts are dangerous and if you lose your footing you will fall off the narrow passage and it's a high fall.
lots to see. The walk back is 90% up hill so prepare for a difficult hike back to your car.
Absolutely beautiful and the views are amazing! Great for swimming on a hot day, and not a crowded trail at all. Only ran into 3 people. Tiring on the way back up as it is all uphill, but definitely worth it. Bring lots of water!