Explore Placerville/Pollock Pines - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Placerville/Pollock Pines Map

This is a rockhounders dream. This area is also known as Traverse Creek Special Interest area and is owned by the Forest Service.

This area has beautiful serpentine rocks, but they do contain asbestos, so don’t pulverize them (asbestos particles are harmful). There is free parking, but not a lot.

The road to this spot is super twisty, so be prepared for that.

11 days ago

I love this hike! although we went yesterday and all I can say is bring your snowshoes! guess we've got wait a couple of months to enjoy again.

bring something to cross the creek in.

It is a beautiful view. Don’t listen to the 7.7 miles it’s more like 10 miles but it’s fine still a nice view. My aunt went with me she was 8 months pregnant it was really easy for her.

I really like this trail. Good views and much of it is shaded.

If you’re doing the loop just know you’re going to have to walk on the street for like a half mile to get back to where you parked. It’s closer to 9 miles.

The real scoop... the west side of the loop, the long side, is interrupted by several camp sights. So it’ll be awesome and then you’ll walk the huge camp sights and finding the trail and getting back on track can be a pain. The east side, around a mile shorter, is amazing. Great trail. Ups and downs. My gf and I enjoyed it a lot.

The waterfall is awesome. You have to walk past the bridge, can’t miss it, and you’ll approach it. We sat and had our lunch here. For a man-made waterfall is amazing. Still beautiful and would go back to see it any time, but would only hike the east side and not do the loop.

Went on a beautiful Tuesday morning. Used it as a Photography hike. Beautiful views of the American River. Left at 9am. Didn’t see a soul until the school buses headed in to Coloma about 11am. Great views for an easy hike

Nice and pretty easy hike. It’s beautiful and this time of year, not many people on the trail.

mountain biking
1 month ago

This is a nice mellow ride with a lot of great views. I recommend going counter clockwise around the lake. make sure to stop and check out the water fall near the East part of the lake called the meadows area. There is a lot of pine needles on the camping side of the lake.
There a couple of Free to Park areas that are very small and a couple of $5 day use parking areas outside of the main gates. Just ask about them at the entrance of the lake.

1 month ago

A lot more people than expected. Also more road noise. Still, an enjoyable hike and we could bring the dog.

1 month ago

Loved this hike! Pretty easy but a great hike. lots of different terrains. The falls are fabulous!

Had a little trouble finding the trailhead, there's no signs until a little ways in. Gorgeous scenery though! The way back up is a little tough but totally doable. The spot at the creek is a perfect place to explore and have lunch before hiking back out. Also, once we got to the Otter Creek Trail sign, we weren't sure if we should go left or right, we picked left and were not disappointed in the slightest. We'll probably go right next time to check it out. Highly recommended spot!

decent for a beginner, such as myself. I will probably return in the spring the scenery will probably be better then.

This a great trail for kids, dogs, families, wheelchairs. Wheelchairs are accessible on the side of the trail closets to the bathroom. You can not take a wheelchair on the complete loop. Great river access. Always peaceful & quiet when I’ve been out there. You will find dinosaurs hiding along the trail that are not meant to take home but to move along the trail. It’s a great way to keep the kids interested in the hike without complaints.

1 month ago

There is no access to the parking lot until April so park on the side of Ice House Rd. and walk the rest of the way up to the trail access. A friend and I did this hike on Wednesday morning/afternoon in January and we did not encounter any other hikers along the way. It is really easy to get lost but there are trail markers on the trees on the way up. However, there are not as many trail markers on the way back so I highly recommend downloading the offline map. Easy hike with gorgeous views. will be back in the summer for a swim.

Quick and easy hike that takes under an hour. Checked it out to test the new dog on hikes... will return for leisure strolls often. We found a dinosaur hidden in the cracks of one of the rock walls and only then because the sunlight was hitting it just right. What a funny little treat!

2 months ago

Nice trail to bring your dog. Trail is well maintained.

Make extra time to enjoy the historical sites/buildings.

2 months ago

This trail was beautiful. You can take a short cut to get to the main trail, but I highly suggest you hike it from the trail marker. When you first drive up to the trail there is a very small parking lot (if you start your hike on the trail at that parking area, that’s the short cut). Off to the right there is a road that continues down the park. The real trail marker starts down that road. You can’t miss the sign.

2 months ago

A nice hike through portions of the El Dorado National Forest. Parking is available at the day use lot of the Dru Barner campground for $3. The trail departs south from the campground information kiosk. To get there, if you take a left turn at the sign for Dru Barner (a few hundred yards before the turn for Bottle Hill Road) you will have paved USFS access roads instead of a rutted dirt road. The trail is well marked with USFS markers.

2 months ago

This trail was great! It has beautiful views and it was fun climbing through the rocks at the end. Very little snow and only saw three groups of other hikers. Spent most the hike in solitude.

Great peaceful hike. Spotted two bald eagles. Including a baby.

Don't get me wrong with the three stars. It's pretty and well maintained. It's also very convenient location wise. Without having to drive at least an extra half hour more, this was as woodsy of an outing I was going to get of a hike in El Dorado that I saw right off the highway.

It's a GREAT place for kids and larger families. If you're looking for quiet and less people around this is not your place. Almost never had a clear photo shot without a human, auto or boat, or man made something in the shot. It was also kind of noisy with lots of talking and loud machinery on the north side. Even the waterfall is not natural it seems. The trail around the lake also makes you go on the paved road for quit a while which was a bit of a bummer. There was a bit more trash than I could pick up while walking but honestly for the amount of people that use this area I am surprised how clean it is.

I also think $12 for day use for a regular car is very high. I'll make sure to push to go out a little further next time.

3 months ago

North side of the lake isn’t well marked but south side is. Great views and good hike for older kids.

3 months ago

Very easy 2 mile stroll from the parking area. Minimal elevation gain/loss. Waterfall was quite full; there’s actually a smaller but still impressive fall about 2/3 of the way.

You can scramble up the side of the falls to get to the top with lovely views. I can see this area being quite popular in the summer, but as of this writing there were only about a dozen or so people on the trail and no snow yet.

As others have noted, there are places where the trail is easily lost, but if you’ve downloaded the map for offline use you can easily find your way again. There’s actually a pair of cell towers at the top of a nearby ridge; from the top of the falls I had a clear line of sight and nearly full bars on my mobile!

Lots of nearby lakes/reservoirs to explore. Happy trails!

Almost every section is either very steep downhill or very steep uphill, should be rated as hard there was some solid scenery which started to make up for it.

4 months ago

Beautiful hike. Sometime the trail was hard to stay on. Look for the hiking signs on the trees if you do get off the trail. Waterfall still going strong 11/12/17. Can’t wait to do it again

4 months ago

Perfect hike for kids. We were able to go down and play in the river in the middle of our hike. Well maintained and very easy to follow. Clean bathrooms.

Fog rising from the hills gives the place a spooky feel. Beautiful on rainy days. Dirt road there is a little iffy due to large puddles stretching from edge to edge on some sections of road. A little tough on the way back up because of the steep incline. Will hike again though.

great hike one day AFTER it rained no dust on the trail lots of bathrooms along the 8 mile trail water fall was flowing strong

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