Point Mariah and Sterling's Canyon Trail

EASY 77 reviews
#42 of 195 trails in

Point Mariah and Sterling's Canyon Trail is a 4.8 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Soda Springs, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 4.8 miles Elevation Gain: 580 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly

kid friendly

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

Great trail at the Royal Gorge Ski Area in Soda Springs, Ca. The trail is managed by the Tahoe Donner Land Trust. It's a pretty short trail and not too much incline. The most challenging aspect is the elevation if you're not used to it. The best part of this trail is the view at Point Mariah. It's amazing- to the east is the Sierra crest, and to the west is the North Fork of the North Fork of the American River and Snow Mountain. It's incredible, and the wildflowers along the way are great, too! During the winter you can cross country ski here. Highly recommend this trail, it's a great one!

hiking
2 days ago

Beautiful and well traveled trail. I will do it again.

hiking
3 months ago

Don't let Instagram find out about that swing at the top of the peak. That is one of the most incredible feelings swinging into the valley... and one of the most Instagrammable shots we've seen in a while.

hiking
3 months ago

Well maintained trails, beautiful flowers and butterflies, and good shade coverage for most of the way. There’s a nice swing at the overlook as well.

hiking
3 months ago

Great walk through the forest and varied terrain. Lots of wildflowers and butterflies. Outstanding overlook.

hiking
4 months ago

Shade with some sun Easy trail Not overgrown Great view especially at end at Point Mariah Family friendly Saw a few bikers and hikers on July 4 but not too many No snow No streams to hike through

hiking
4 months ago

Nice shady walk with numerous flowers and birds, extremely well sign-posted. I loved the view from Point Mariah. While sitting there we saw a mountain lion a couple of hundred yards away down the ridge.

Excellent hike with lots of wildflowers. Some snow at beginning of hike but it clears and is firm dirt most of the way. Lots of shade, with clear directions of where to go . Trail has up’s and down’s and at the top there’s a fun surprise!

hiking
snow
4 months ago

beautiful hike! started around 9:30am and had snow on the trail that was slushy for the first 1/3 of a mile and then it was just normal trail dirt. awesome hike and not crowded at all.

hiking
Sat Nov 03 2018

Great easy hike out to Point Mariah and back. Only negative thing was all the gun fire we could hear in the distance. Sounded like target practice but no ranges nearby so not sure what was going on. Definitely heard machine gun fire too so not the quiet peaceful hike we had hoped for.

hiking
Mon Oct 29 2018

Great weather for October 29th. The hike is easy on Royal Gorge trails mostly. The view at point Mariah is amazing.

mountain biking
Sun Oct 21 2018

Awesome place to mountain bike! My 11yr old loves it. Start at Hoelter hall trail head to add some exciting downhill thru the trees, then one you cross the gate the trail seems like equal parts up and down thru out. Excellent beginner trail for sure with beautiful views at the end. On way back you can get on dirt road to skip going uphill thru the trees if you want.

Sun Sep 16 2018

The view at the end is everything.

hiking
Thu Sep 06 2018

Short hike with a rewarding finish, beautiful canyon views. Hiked it in late summer so it was a bit dusty, but there's enough tree cover that you don't get too baked. During the spring I'm guessing this is aflame with wildflowers!

hiking
Mon Sep 03 2018

The other reviewers were right, the view at the end is stunning! There isn't much to see on the rest of the trail (except for another viewpoint about a mile in) but the view at the end made it worth it. We went on Labor Day weekend and saw a few other groups and dogs. Park your car right where the dirt road begins and walk down to the gate to begin the trail.

Sun Jun 24 2018

The view at the end at Point Mariah is stunning, almost rivaling something you’d see at Yellowstone. There is also a great bluff overlook approx 1 mile into the trail that makes for a good stop and a 2 mile out and back if traveling with kids who can’t go the full 5 miles. The trail has a surprising amount of elevation climbing so bring a good walking stick. Great great great hike!

hiking
Mon Jun 18 2018

Great view at the end. Bring a hammock or type of chair.

hiking
Wed May 30 2018

Beautiful trail! Really feels remote even though it’s very easily accessible. The view at Mariah Point was just stunning. I could’ve stayed there all day. There were some parts of the hike that were challenging for me but I’m totally out of shape, I imagine it’s a snap for a more fit person. I plan to go back very soon, this was a great way to escape the 97 degree heat in Sacramento.

hiking
Fri Dec 29 2017

My new favorite hike in Tahoe. Easy to find TH. Did not need snow shoes but haven’t had much snow the last few weeks. Very peaceful hike with very few people on the trail. As others mentioned - the views at the end were amazing

hiking
Wed Oct 18 2017

Probably the easiest way to see the North Fork around there, at least while still qualifying as a hike. The view both upriver to the headwaters and downriver to Royal Gorge is something you can't get anywhere else.

hiking
Sat Jul 01 2017

Staying at Serene lakes, so it was a quick walk to the trail head. Jim-jim, Chippie, Kelly, and I hiked the trail, and all of us, except for Jim who had hot mud butt, had a great experience. Great view once we hit the point! I picked a beautiful bouquet of wild flowers on the way back to the house, and we were done in about two hours total. Good stuff.

hiking
Sat Jul 23 2016

Great trail at the Royal Gorge Ski Area in Soda Springs, Ca. The trail is managed by the Tahoe Donner Land Trust. It's a pretty short trail and not too much incline. The most challenging aspect is the elevation if you're not used to it. The best part of this trail is the view at Point Mariah. It's amazing- to the east is the Sierra crest, and to the west is the North Fork of the North Fork of the American River and Snow Mountain. It's incredible, and the wildflowers along the way are great, too! During the winter you can cross country ski here. Highly recommend this trail, it's a great one! Directions from Sacramento: Take I-80 east towards Reno and get off on the Soda Springs/Norden exit. Make a right onto Donner Pass Rd/Highway 40. Make a right on Soda Springs Road. Drive until you see a small "trail" sign on the right- there's a small dirt road that leads to the trailhead. From the trailhead, hike straight past the kiosk and rocks at the end of the parking area. In about a hundred yards, you will be on the dirt section of Soda Springs Rd. About a quarter mile down Soda Springs Road you’ll see a brown locked gate- go around the right side of the gate where some rough steps have been cut into the embankment and continue down to the bridge across Serena Creek. About 1.5 miles in there's a small warming hut to the right and the trail forks- take the left trail to Point Mariah.

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