East Ridge - Long Valley Trail Loop

MODERATE 102 reviews

East Ridge - Long Valley Trail Loop is a 4.2 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Pilot Hill, 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 but must be kept on leash.

4.2 miles
515 feet

dogs on leash



horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running




wild flowers


Take State Route 49 from Auburn and drive about 10 1/2 miles east down to the middle fork of the American River, up through the community of Cool, then drive another six miles to the Pedro Hill Road intersection, turn right to the parking lot.

1 month ago

Very nice groomed trail, river is nice and able to swim in

3 months ago

Not sure why this was rated as a hard trail, pretty level and easy hike and great swimming spot if you venture down to the river , however did not get 5 starts because two reasons. First it was very dusty my shoes were super dirty at the end mostly due to all the construction they have been doing on the road across and on the older buildings. I’ll definitely be back when they Finish the construction

5 months ago

Fantastic little trail. Big open spaces, rolling hills, river access, great spots for a picnic with a view. Definitely an easy trail for two adults who are relatively fit. Did it in about 1.5 hours with stopping and short picnic. Did this at the end of December, no mud, no blazing sun.

8 months ago

not sure why this is rated as 'hard'...it was actually more like 'easy'. Wide well kept dirt roads for trails, could tread with running shoes. Only saw one other person (I went Wednesday late afternoon in November) who also had their dog. Lots of horse poop, but there are nice bathrooms (sans water) at the trailhead and where the trail meets the river.

9 months ago

Easy hike for Sunday walk. Started from Cronan Ranch Trailhead to West Ridge Trail, headed to American River picnic area. Continued the hike via West Ravine Trail, with total of 6.8 miles. Nice view of hills and beware of shits on the trail. Overall, the trails have sign boards and map that easily to follow. It's open trail, need hat or umbrella on the hot day.

11 months ago

Fun hike to the river (which has tons of tables and seating). The trail is mostly sunny, hot and dusty with horses but very quiet! This was a relatively easy hike other than the heat.

Saturday, July 01, 2017

Just as other said . Watch out for rattlers ! Beautiful hike !

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Moderate would be a better rating, but it was a beautiful day out and the River is moving well this year. A nice loop!

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Beautiful, lots of wildlife, river access & lots of free parking. BRING SUNSCREEN - got very sunburnt even though it was not hot. Not a lot of shade.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Ok. Trial was pretty but not sure who rates the difficulty because it was not hard at all. It was borderline Easy-Moderate. Was excited for the challenge but ending up being lack luster.

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Love this trail. It's a beautiful walk in and a pretty strenuous hike out !!!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

I would recommend this trail during spring or maybe autumn.
Here is my summer afternoon experience:
- First leg (from trail head to river access). No shade - except for a handful of trees. The scenery is a bit lackluster unless you are able to appreciate the dry golden hills in high temperatures. Don't get me wrong, I love to sink into calm, less dramatic scenery, but this time I did not want to pause a lot in the heat.
- Second leg (along the river). The river is accessible almost all along this section. So you can chose your own spot. There are a couple of wider beach-like places with benches, toilets. The canvas/tarp shade above some of the bench tables is a nice thought. I can't say a lot about swimming, I wasn't prepared for that, but it was nice to walk in the water and cool down. The current seemed to be pretty fast for a summer.
Be aware of rattlesnakes, I spotted one at the first place where I wanted to go in the water. It was coming from the water, luckily it paused in the middle of the path, so I could react in time.
- Third leg (from river to trail's end). We took the Long Valley Trail here, not the one marked with red on the map here, that I believe is Cronan Ranch road.) This was the most rewarding part. By then the sun already sunk under the hills to the west and the vegetation, due to the seasonal stream, was much more diverse. The birds and bees also came back to life, which added to the atmosphere.
Unfortunately I had to star-rate it to submit my review. I did not want to, because it is a bit unfair based only on a high heat summer afternoon. I'm sure a walk during springtime makes it deserve the average 4 stars that the trail got.
As for difficulty: easy. Not ADA, but I think the pitches are a bit overrated.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Great walk. I wouldn't call it moderate. The river was great. New bathrooms down by the roger are nice to have.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Beautiful well marked trail. Lots of wild flowers and everything is still green. Good trail for beginners as well as seasoned hikers. Not a lot of shade so might be a bit too hot in another month unless you get out there early.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Great trail! Went two weekends ago when it was sunny with a slight breeze. While there are trees and shade along the way the majority of the trail is exposed so sunscreen and/or a hat is definitely a good idea. A couple of nice spots to stop and eat lunch as well. Saw a few snakes along the way including one rattlesnake so definitely stay alert and be smart! There are plenty of opportunities to bird watch and some lovely wildflowers as well. My favorite part about this trail was how empty it was, even on a Saturday afternoon. I arrived around 12pm and explored the different trails for a few hours, will definitely be back to explore some more.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Such a beautiful hike! The views were incredible! Make sure to bring a hat and plenty of water. My only regret is not starting earlier in the morning before he heat set in.

Monday, May 02, 2016

Truly fun trail. i loved that it has a very good river access points. Not so shaded but very picturesque . we saw the set of "Love comes softly" movie on the trail. Went back home and watched the movie and the movie turned out pretty good. It has bit of a challenge on the down and up trail. i wouldn't recommend this for beginners. Intermediate and above hikers will love this trail. above all, its California people.. so enjoy the weather before summer hits and go hiking !!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

It was great hiking trail but a bit confusing. Being it was our first time on this trail there wasn't any clear markers on the trail indicating this was a loop so we ended up turning around before we reached the end of it.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

This trail is beautiful during the Spring and one of my favorites during the springtime. Great panoramic views and wild flowers everywhere! It's a pretty easy trail, there are a few climbs here and there, but nothing too crazy. There are nice spots by the river if you want to take a dip. I would recommend bringing plenty of water especially hitting the trail on a hot day, there's very few shade. If you take The Long Valley Trail you'll come across the movie set of Love Comes Softly and towards the end of the trail you'll be walking along side a sheep herd.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Nice long hike. A few steep areas that are a bit hard if you're out of shape. River was beautiful as well as the windflowers. Bathrooms are kept up and placed perfectly throughout the trail. A few shady areas to rest but mostly sunny with no cover. Bring a hat.

Sunday, April 03, 2016

Great park in the spring. Lots of green and wildflowers. Not too many people before 10 am on a Saturday. I drove by the exit to the trail head so make sure you have that in your GPS. Trail head signs need replacing as they are very faded. There were horses on this trail so watch your step. Mountain bikers use this area too. And off leash dogs. I did a counterclockwise loop. Started down the main trail (Cronan Ranch Trail). Then I took Long Valley Trail to get off the main trail. Near the structure I made a mistake trying to get to the river. I corrected myself and took the trail right next to the structure (not South Fork Trail) though I think it swings back. Cronan Ranch Trail takes hikers to the river too. I explored the river a bit but I didn't find any good spots to take pictures of the river from above. I continued my loop from the river via the East Ridge Trail because I wanted to sit at the benches. But those looked rotten and about to collapse. I made it back to my car after hiking 4.76 miles. Not too bad. I'll be back.

Sunday, April 03, 2016

Awsome views and easy to find trails, if you're looking for a shady walk though this isn't the place. Lots of options for different routes, well maintained and fairly level all-round. Beautiful landscape

Friday, April 01, 2016

Great hike, bathrooms and benches along the way. Butterfly's were floating around following you around the trails. River sounded and felt great

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Great for a walk, see and hear the river

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Lovely walk, beautiful green hills and river walk!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Beautiful trail system with great water access (including restrooms). We took the Long Valley Trail down to the river, returning on the Down & Up trail which is a short, but tough climb with wonderful views at the top. Highly recommended for a quick getaway!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

The trails are nice, but the horse poop is a bit much.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Awesome trail, I uploaded a picture of the trail map and we took the Down & Up Trail to the Connector Trail to the Gerle Loop Trail and then back out. So it was different from the loop shown here. It was pretty moderate with lots of ups and downs throughout. Made it to the peak and had a beautiful view of the river. There was a sign posted near Gerle Loop trail head that is marked "no horses" that detour will give you access to the river. Cool spot to cool down half way through the hike. This particular route was probably half shade, half exposed. This route was probably 7-9 miles I would guess....but you could cut out Gerle Loop if you're tired and it's still awesome.

trail running
Saturday, July 04, 2015

There are lots of options for planning hikes here, the tracks are very well maintained and it's a fun spot to run. The map for this posting shows a short loop trail that is pretty flat and shaded above the river but in full sun for mostly the rest of the trail. There is a nice spot with a picnic bench on that trail. If you are on the Down & Up trail I think they are still grazing sheep there to control the thistle. You can really see the impact. There's a shepherd's trailer along the trail.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Nice trails, no parking fee, friendly people. Bring sunscreen and go early to avoid the heat. Virtually no shade, but a beautiful area and easy access to the river. Been here twice.

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