Stevens Trail East is a 6.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Colfax, 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.

Length6.3 miElevation gain1,765 ftRoute typeOut & back
HikingNature tripsWalkingBird watchingRunningDog friendlyForestRiverViewsWildflowersWildlife
Description
Waypoints (0)
Getting There

The road to get to this trail winds through a canyon with sharp turns. Great trail, excellent views in some parts, and many different environments to walk through - mixed conifer, oaks, manzanitas. Near the end is a washed-out portion. If you don't mind scrambling over trees and taking care of where you step then you'll be rewarded with a sweet little mossy waterfall and unique views of the river (not til 2nd half of hike).

The trailhead is to the right/behind the Iowa Hill Store, the store is cash only.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (173)
Photos (175)
Activities (116)
Completed (305)
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Suneet Narwan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 7, 2021
HikingGreat!

This hike exceeded all my expectations! It has everything you could want in a hike. Stunning views, a cool cave, waterfall, beautiful poppy’s and other flowers all around! The hike back was challenging for my friend and I cause of the slight incline but it was sooo worth it. Highly highly recommend this hike!

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kiu Chung
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 28, 2021
HikingGreat!

The waterfall was great and nice view at the end. The drive was crazy getting up there narrow road. We actually made it to the water and have lunch. Alot of branches falling down not much to see. I would prefer the other side of steven trail. if you havent done this it is an adventure.

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David Case
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 15, 2021
HikingGreat!RockyWashed out

The trail is ranked as moderate, but the trail is narrow and parts have washed out such that at around mile 3 you have to scale over a mossy rock formation to pass through the washed out part. If you are older, not sturdy of foot, or have balance issues, you might want to skip this trail. It is 3.7 miles all the way down to the river, and 3.7 miles all the way back up to where you started. A good workout. Once you get to the river, there is no beach with the water level elevated so don't plan on a picnic.

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Daryll Corpuz
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 13, 2021
Hiking
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Ryan Enright
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 10, 2021
Hiking

Want to drive across a wild river, driving up a bare, skin—of-your-teeth likely former wagon road, to a place off the beaten track? Wanna go back in time to a place that makes you feel out of a book on the Gold Rush of the Sierras, down a well loved but slightly overgrown trail? If adventure is your middle name this is a great hike. Traveling to the Stevens Trail East is an adventure in its own right. Climbing hairpin roads out of a canyon please avoid having any hare-brained moments in your vehicle. There is no need to test the limits. The road from Colfax to Mineral Bar Campground/Iowa Hill Bridges is entertaining but stay sharp for the ride up to Iowa Hill town proper, dating back to the Rush. The historic (and I would say in a “state of arrested decay!” - kidding - Iowa Hill General Store, Café, Bar, Mailbox is an experience in itself. The locals are usually colorful and very friendly. You might see a miner, a farmer, a business owner, etc. The trail is lovely. Actually one of the steepest parts is right near the top getting past and between private property to a tailings field and beginning to descend into the green and well shaded canyon. You may have to navigate a falling tree at some point. There is a lovely bench and vista a short way down. Otherwise it is gets wilder as you get to the river. Use your best judgement if you swim and where you get in. For whatever reason, I haven’t swam here. Imagine this trail, surveyed by miner and tanner John Rutherford but constructed (by toll) by his mining partner, Truman A. Stevens, who maintained it from 1870-1895. The bridge connecting what are now the Stevens Trail West and Stevens Trail East was either washed out by flood or burned a long time ago.

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Amanda Castle
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 5, 2021
Hiking

Between the drive to get there and the state of the trail this is definitely not for the lilly livered. its a very raw, unbeaten trail in the middle of nowhere. only sorta maintained and with the recent storm we had a lot of blown down trees in the path. If you don't mind scrappling over trees and taking care of where you step then you'll be rewarded with a sweet little mossy waterfall and unique views of the river (not til 2nd half of hike). The beginning of the trail is a little tricky to follow, use your common sense and you'll be just fine. Bring a hiking partner on this one for sure!

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Benjamin Tryon
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 19, 2021
HikingWashed out

great trail, excellent views in some parts, and many different environments to walk through- mixed conifer, oaks, manzanitas. near the end is a washed out portion of the trail which I decided to not cross because it was wet, slippery and muddy this time of year. not for the faint of heart if you are alone, since a slip could easily cause great harm. your experience may vary. i think when dry would be much easier tho. regardless it's an excellent trail.

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Charmaine Tejada
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 10, 2021
Hiking

Muddy/Primitive trail but so beautiful.Ot looks like a rainforest.

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Lorraina Minnehan
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Hiking
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Brad Friederichs
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Hiking

It was beautiful. The description of the washed out part of the trail is accurate. Somewhat wet and muddy this time of the year. We had carbide tipped trail spikes and trekking poles and they helped with the slick parts of the trail.

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Michelle Sumner
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 24, 2020
Hiking

Don’t let the easy downhill decent fool you. What goes down must come up. Beautiful trail.

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Macy K
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Hiking
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Danielle Henderson
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HikingFeeGreat!Off trailOver grown

The trail was beautiful! The fall leaves were gorgeous and the views were cool! The trail ends at a gorgeous watering hole. The walk down is definitely worth it! The ascent back up is gradual so not too hard. Hardly a soul out there!There was shade for 90% of the trail. It starts at a residence and then you have to find the trail as it’s not well marked at first. You get enough service to use the app to find the trail if you need help! Some parts are not maintained so watch out for some narrow spots on the ridge line. During the summer, the water falls are dry but you can tell that some parts would be a little more dangerous to cross the waterfalls during the winter time.

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Alina Bertalan
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Hiking

Very nice pool at the end of the trail .

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Ian Q
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HikingBugsOver grown
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Bill T
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Hiking

Nice shaded hike down to the river. Be aware that there are two spots where the trail has eroded and alternate is steep and challenging. River was surprisingly warm.

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Lisa Rodriguez
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 25, 2020
HikingOver grownRocky

The trail and swim hole are beautiful, getting there is the challenging part. The road you drive on for approx 30 minutes is extremely windy, narrow and climbs up and down a mountain with no guard rails, NOT recommend if you’re uncomfortable with heights. The trail is not maintained making it challenging yet full of natural beauty. Going down is easy, coming back up is a climb of over 1000feet& pretty steep. Bring double the amount of water you think you need. Overall completely worth it!

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Renee Auradou
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 19, 2020
Hiking

Lots of overgrowth so a machete would’ve been nice. It would’ve helped with the poison oak as well. The swimming hole is 10 out of 10 stars AMAZING! But the hike back up was pretty rough. The trail dog, Penny walked all the the way down and back with us and enjoyed the water as much as we did. She even played some fetch with a stick she found. Super cool dog!!! She seemed protective of me the whole way, always on high alert. It was a blast. My only complaint is the poison oak and the overgrowth. And bring more water than you think you’ll need!

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Juliette Mcgough
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 18, 2020
HikingBugs

Good work out and a true moderate hike. The entrance is signed well and a trail of black berries leads you to the trail. There are bugs. There is shade along the trail as well as sun. But the water at the bottom is blue and beautiful. There was a bear scat all over the trail but we did not see any bears.

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Adam Grell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 28, 2020
HikingOver grown

Just want to make note that the poison oak warnings here are LEGIT. The trail is very narrow and overgrown, and the poison oak is so thick in some sections that your ankles with brush it with nearly every step. I'm bummed b/c I LOVE the idea of being able to reach the river's delightful swimming spots via a shady trail on a north-facing hillside (in contrast to Stephens Trail West, which is great but too hot for our German Shepherd in the summertime), but alas, the poison oak may be a deal breaker. Fingers crossed that my full-body Technu application will keep the itchy oils at bay!

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Kristina Michelle
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 21, 2020
Hiking

Great hike! Saw some little snakes at the water but overall beautiful day and fresh water.

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Mark Pope
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 21, 2020
Hiking

Probably the best trail between Sacramento and Emigrant Gap. One in our group wore shorts, I will update this if he contracted poison oak. I can't add more than other reviewers, other than bring a towel and enjoy swimming before hiking back up to the store. There were no other hikers on father's day weekend on this side of the river. The trail starts off on the ridgeline and continues through a manzanita grove before a nice shady walk down to the river. We didn't bring water or snacks and enjoyed cold brew, fresh popcorn, and great hot dogs with fries at the store. It's really an old bar that sells ice cold Coors, Coors lite, lemonade, water and munchies. CASH ONLY and tip well, the locals are very friendly. If you hike this trail in the summer you will enjoy cooling down in the store. The narrow road from 80 is paved and your car is safe at the store. We will hike this trail again this year.

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Brian Floyd
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 25, 2020
Hiking

Great hike with shade throughout and area with small waterfalls as you hike down to the North Fork of the American River. The uphill back is very gradual and the entire surface was soft below my hiking shoes due to the leaves that had fallen. I highly recommend this hike. One warning is the ride up Iowa Hill, very narrow road with plenty of blind curves, drive slowly and look out for cars coming towards you.

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