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Rancho Seco Lake is a 4.6 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Herald, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

Length 4.6 mi Elevation gain 114 ft Route type Loop

Kid friendly

Camping

Fishing

Hiking

Nature trips

Bird watching

Running

Lake

Views

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Bugs

No shade

No dogs

Description
Waypoints (0)
Facilities

$12 for daily parking The entrance gate is open from 7am-3:30pm between November and March. It is open 7am-6pm between April-October.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (58)
Photos (24)
Recordings (32)
Completed (104)
Lori Keiser Usher
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSat Jul 04 2020
Hiking

I will adjust my review when I am able to go back. Went this morning to go hike, but the area is closed to day use due to a covid diagnosis.

Pick Les
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarWed May 13 2020
Hiking

Maybe I missed the trail, I don’t see how though half the lake is closed off. We started out at the boat dock and went south following the lake. Saw a lot of fish close to the bank. Walked past all the Rv camping. Smud has the street closed off. Turned around and went home. Not the greatest hiking but it looked rad for fishing.

Breeanna Meunier
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun May 10 2020
HikingFeeNo shade

Good trail but not shaded so plan accordingly. Fee to get in and no swimming allowed (not sure if it’s always closed for swimming or due to COVID19)

Nicole Jacot
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMon Feb 17 2020
Hiking

Nice easy trail, no shade but good for a nice 70's day. Cool view of the old nuclear towers.

View Nicole's Recording
Lizzy Hummel
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Feb 17 2020
HikingNo shade

02/14/2020: We completed the Rancho Seco Lake and Howard Ranch trail combo. The trails are very easy, just a little longer. Seeing all of the cows and vast nothingness was a nice change of pace. Would not attempt the hike in the summer as there is no shade. Lots of cow patties to dodge but overall a cool, chill trail.

Gaby Maier
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Dec 28 2019
HikingBugsNo shade
View Gaby's Recording
Jose Aguilar
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSat Jun 29 2019
Hiking

the trail is good , no shade areas there's a lot of black berries out on the side of the trail. dont recommend doing during hot summer days. kid friendly even for a stroller a little bumpy with the stroller but not to bad. 1 restroom near the trailhead but there's a few amenities on the other side of the lake.

Mary M.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMon Jun 10 2019
Hiking

I dont think the trail is worth the $12 fee you pay, but it was nice to do once.

Al Cordova
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Mar 08 2019
HikingMuddyNo shadePrivate propertyWashed out

Nice trail, bit muddy! Unable to cross streams due to rain, otherwise would have been longer trail! Recommend for winter or spring due to no shade!! Enjoy!!

View Al's Recording
Debbi Hart
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon Oct 29 2018
Hiking

Whew. What a nice hike. Took the longer route and hiked thu the ranch. For a first timer at Rancho Seco I was pleased to see the path marked with Orange painted rocks.

Mark Hales
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon Jul 23 2018

Took a. Our Cub Scouts on this hike, very warm day and you hike in and out of shade. A cool dip in the lake makes it worthwhile, nice campgrounds, too. We stayed the night and made a great weekend of it!

Nikki James
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSat Apr 07 2018
Hiking

We did this hike a few years ago. Perhaps if we had gone at a different time of the year it might have been better, but it was dry and too hot and cows.

Oleg Kibalko
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarWed Nov 29 2017

Not as scenic as I expected but an alright walk. The loop is closed.

Shrina Firestone Zaldivar
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Sep 30 2017
Hiking

Great little hike, although not moderate..definitely easy. We had a great time. It was quiet and pretty. I could do a few loops here for an easy trail training run. There is also a lollipop 7ish miles I plan on doinga

Jeff Powrozek
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMon Apr 17 2017

While on the trail, I was told by a Foothill Conservancy associate that the landowners (loop portion of the trail) may close their portion indefinitely due to misuse by the public. That is sad because this is a great training trail, flat with beautiful vernal pools in the spring. The loop gives a grand view of the foothills. Without the loop it is less than 4 miles.

Robert McCracken
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSat Mar 18 2017

Not very scenic. Actual hike trail is only 2 miles due to disputes with neighboring land owners. Ok day hike.

Danielle S.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSun May 22 2016
Hiking

It was a good day to go. Cloudy and cool. Otherwise there wouldn't have been much shade. Beautiful views but not a lot of diversity. Would like to check out in other seasons.

Yvette Hall
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon Mar 21 2016

I was happy that there were no mosquitos ! The spring wildflowers are blooming and it looks like a sea of yellow! Only complaint is that some of the trail was hidden under a vernal pool. Be prepared to get your shoes wet. This is a great, easy walk on mostly flat ground with lovely views of cows grazing and wildflowers.

Jean S.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarTue Feb 16 2016

Swarms of mosquitos. No dogs on the trail.

Karen Roybal
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Dec 19 2015

Nice loop. I parked on 104 (twin cities) and ran 1 mile up, then almost 1 mile to the trail head. Total run back to my car was 10.2. Nice flat run but pretty boring as far as scenery. It was a clear day so I could see snowy mountains off in the distance. Not dog friendly. A good place to access a trail since I live about 45 minutes from the american river.

Shaun Roney
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSat Jun 06 2015
Cross Country Skiing

Easy trail, flat. The parts by the lake were pretty. Dirt road/field portion not too exciting. Saw rabbits and birds along the way.

Megan Kilgore
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat May 02 2015

it has some minor hills. great place for running. it's a bit of a drive to get there but it's a fun place

Nancy S.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSat Feb 28 2015
Nature trips

If California ever has a good rain season, this trail may be worth it. But if you just want to get exercise, this walk will do it.

Jared Willis
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri Nov 28 2014
Running

This is a beautiful trail that is flat and accessible by just about everyone. Wonderful for Fall, Winter, Spring trail running and early morning in the summer. I just started running (2, 5k's under my belt) but I ran this in 1.5 hours. This is one that you can keep coming back to.

Rob Aadland
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSun Aug 31 2014
Hiking

Fun hike, it was a tad warm and dry today but I look forward to returning to this spot in the fall or spring. Trail is marked out very well. Saw a huge coyote!

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