Rancho Seco Lake

MODERATE 25 reviews
#1 of 1 trails in

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.

4.6 miles
157 feet

kid friendly



nature trips

trail running




wild flowers


no dogs

$10 for daily parking

3 months ago

4 months ago

4 months ago

5 months ago

5 months ago

Loop closed due to land disputes

5 months ago

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.

6 months ago

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

Monday, June 13, 2016

Sunday, May 22, 2016

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.

Monday, March 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.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Swarms of mosquitos. No dogs on the trail.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Swarms of mosquitos!

Saturday, December 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.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

cross country skiing
Saturday, June 06, 2015

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

Saturday, 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

nature trips
Saturday, February 28, 2015

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.

trail running
Friday, November 28, 2014

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.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

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!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Quite beautiful in the spring, green grasses, flowers blooming. The first mile or so (also the last mile) next to the lake is especially beautiful. Lots of birds. Once you get out past the lake, the rest of the trail is through cow pasture. The map shown here is not correct; this map shows the road that goes around the lake. Here is a link to a trail map: https://www.smud.org/en/about-smud/community/recreational-areas/documents/0073-12-howard-ranch-factsheet.pdf. The trail is seven miles, making a loop through cow pastures of a working ranch, and then back by the lake where you started. There are vernal pools which can be filled with wildflowers, but not so much this time. They even have guided walks with naturalists in the spring. I would rate this as easy, best in the spring and maybe the fall. It costs $10 to park.