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Bake Oven Trail is a 9 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Foresthill, California that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, camping, and backpacking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 9.0 miles Elevation Gain: 3,431 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

camping

hiking

running

river

views

Tue Dec 11 2018

ok probably won't do again might do tge main trail an see where it gos

hiking
Sat Mar 31 2018

This is from my March 2018 visit: Parking in Michigan Bluff (a short jog past Foresthill, CA), I read the historical markers then bound down the trail, and down and down. I was thinking after a while this could be a pretty good slog of an ascent back to the trailhead on the following day. Two water crossings this March (2018). Poor Man’s Canyon, a trickle, should run year round. The second, pretty El Dorado Creek, is bridged. It’s just across this bridge that the Bake Oven route leaves, to the south, the well maintained Western States Trail (which continues on northerly towards Deadwood and is quite popular with trail runners). Immediately after crossing the bridge, turning right at the signed junction, the Bake Oven Trail heads up and away from El Dorado Creek, traveling a mile south and 750’ up to a ridge marked 2,538’ on maps, where it turns east and back downhill again for 950' and 1.5 miles to the Bake Oven Site which sits on a flat right on the river. From the footbridge to the destination, the trail is not nearly as maintained. It’s very narrow, there’s some poison oak, some deadfall that currently (March 2018) needs to be overcome (none of it very difficult) and a lot of leaf litter, making the trail slippery on some steep slopes. Footwear should have traction - don’t do it in sneakers. Bake Oven is now apparently only a 13' round configuration of rocks. However, a mining town was once located here. I investigated the old stone shelter (a 4’ high circular wall with a stove - also constructed of rocks - opposite the door) after I made camp and suppose I forgot to take any pictures of it because I had a fishing rod in my hand and the river was looking so beautiful. There's several photos of it on All Trails, if your curious. The hike back to the ridge had some misleading spots. Game trails threw me twice. Rule of thumb: take the higher road every time. I ended up on the ridge well below the trail, and had to climb some 100’ feet straight up through manzanita and loose rock to regain the path. That slog back to the TH? I found it to be a decent grade once I hit my stride. However, it was also overcast and threatening rain. It would be far more trying in summertime afternoon heat. When I go again, I’ll budget my time to leave either much earlier in the morning or wait a few more hours into the evening. There’s plenty of time to kill fishing. Heads up: 
Be a hero: bring loppers and trim the poison oak here and there
 No ticks apparent
 Bear prints seen on trail 
Portions unkempt can be difficult to navigate 
Exposed portions can get pretty hot in afternoon
 Approx. 10 mile round trip

Fri Mar 16 2018

graffiti covered rocks everywhere ruined the whole experience

Tue Sep 12 2017

This was a tough trail, not many smooth spots. The views are amazing though, once you get to the lookouts.

hiking
Mon Apr 04 2016

Hiked this trail to try something new. I'm a pretty experience hiker but this trail was tough getting back to the trailhead. The whole way consisted of climbing uphill or down. There is a beautiful creek or River in the middle where you cross a bridge. The trail turns to the right after that and begins going uphill and around the cliff and back down ending at a smaller creek or River. The bake oven is on the left and wasn't too exciting, but was still fun to reach and explore. The trail changed quite a bit after the bridge with a few beautiful views off the right side. Saw a lot of lizards and a few banana slugs. The water felt great! Wasn't my favorite hike but I might revisit it again someday :) Was definitely a good workout!

hiking
Wed Oct 16 2013

If you are like me, then you saw the name of this trail and wondered what, exactly, a Bake Oven is. Maybe you searched the internet and saw some other sites which said it was a REAL Bake Oven. This thing must be pretty special, you think, if it has it's own trail and people trek all the way out there to see it. So yesterday we set out to unravel the mystery of the Bake Oven. Let me say that if you want to see this thing then you definitely have to earn it. According to my watch, from the trailhead to the end (one-way) it was 2560 feet cumulative descent, and 740 feet ascent, much of that is in short nigh-vertical sections on either side of the trail "summit" just after the footbridge, where it branches off from the Western States trail. After this point the whole trail is covered in deep leaves and is in many places eroded down to about 6 inches wide. This whole section is also partly exposed to the sun on this south-facing slope so I wouldn't even try it if it's more than like 75F out. We dayhiked it but maybe it would be better to spend the night there (packing very light) - there was one campsite on the river next to the Oven. The swimming might be OK, although it's mostly gravel bars and not much in the way of interesting granite stuff. There were a couple good views of the canyon, tons of lizards, probably a lot of rattlesnakes, but not much else. As for the Bake Oven itself, it wasn't just an Easy Bake Oven™ someone had left out there like we thought it would be. It's just an unusually well preserved version of one of those stone miner's huts that has a stone fireplace-slash-Oven in it, see the picture.

hiking
7 months ago

hiking
Sat Apr 20 2019

hiking
Sat Dec 08 2018