River of Skulls Trail is a 0.9 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Valley Springs, California that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, trail running, and birding and is accessible year-round.

Distance: 0.9 miles Elevation Gain: 88 feet Route Type: Loop

kid friendly



bird watching




wild flowers



no dogs

9 months ago

nice trail for a short hike.

11 months ago

Great trail but the bridge over the water has been washed out. Other then that a beautiful trail

Tue Nov 27 2018

nice little walk, peaceful and clean

Sun Jul 01 2018

Watch out there are snakes on the trail. We saw one hidden in the bushes and one on the trail. Kept warning people to watch out.

Fri Jun 08 2018

This trail is good if you want a short walk and easy water access. There were benches along the trail for resting or just enjoying the scenery. Make sure you read the signs posted in the parking lot. There is a Tick Warning! We ended up bringing ticks home. I would suggest bug spray. It’s something I wish I would have thought about.

Sat Apr 21 2018

Mon Apr 16 2018

Pretty short trail.. finished it in 15 min. Watch out for rattle snakes.. we saw one hidden in the grass so I’d suggest just staying in the trail where they’re easy to spot. Then we saw one in the trail jumping in circles..watch out had to warn a couple folks taking the trail. I wouldn’t bring my pets or small children. But overall it’s ok.

Mon Apr 09 2018

Easy and well marked trail. Good for animals and children.

Mon Feb 05 2018

Great lil Sunday stroll.

Wed Jun 14 2017

Nice easy trail for the kids.

Mon May 22 2017

The walk along the river lacked station markers but it was overall a great walk for myself and kids.

Sun May 14 2017

Nice short, shaded trail. It's maintained with rocked in trail edges. Good for an afternoon stroll.

Tue Jan 03 2017

nice trail but short. good place to spend some time at the water, fishing, birding, etc.

Wed Oct 19 2016

It's an easy trail for people with kids and beautiful once you get down by the water

Sun Oct 09 2016

it's good...maybe in the spring it would be better. I tried to record my hike but it didn't work...oh well, I'll try again another day.

Mon Aug 29 2016

Great little route. Ran it each direction.

Tue Apr 05 2016

Nice drive and Beautiful but super easy and short hike. Nice romantic little stroll then go have some lunch by Lake Hogan

bird watching
Fri Nov 06 2015

4 stars for scenery and variety. Short, mostly shaded walk with a slight climb, though the section along the river has lots of cobble. Lots of birds; without trying we saw mountain bluebird, savannah sparrow, wild turkey, scrub jay, red-tailed hawk, and black-headed vultures. And the drive to the trailhead, if you take Hogan Dam Road, has great views. Good walk for children and/or winter keeping in shape.

Sun Jan 19 2014

Took a short hike with my family and this is a very easy hike for all levels. It starts with a small climb and finishes along the banks of the Calaveras river just below the New Hogan dam. Note: this trail in located in Valley Springs off of Silver Rapids not in Farmington like the app states.

Sun Mar 03 2013

This was my first official hike that I've done a review for. Recently I've been looking for trails to explore because I am an amateur photographer with interests in wildlife settings, flora, and fauna. Driving around New Hogan Lake I accidentally came upon this trail and decided to check it out. Unfortunately, it was cloudy and knew little to no information on the trail due to the empty brochure box. While it was a short and enjoyable walk, clean open trails and absent of any other hikers, I came upon a recently dead deer carcass that was most likely eaten by a local mountain lion. The water was cold and low, but heard quite a bit of frogs and lots of birds all around. I will plan on visiting this trail on another day, perhaps later in the year when flowers are blooming and the water is much higher.

Fri Jan 11 2019

Sat Oct 20 2018

Wed Aug 29 2018

Sun Jun 17 2018

Sat Mar 24 2018

Sun Mar 18 2018

Mon Feb 26 2018

Sun Feb 04 2018

Sat Sep 30 2017

Thu Aug 25 2016

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