Stevens Trail is a 7.7 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Colfax, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and nature trips and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Length7.7 miElevation gain1584 ftRoute typeOut & back
dog friendlyHikingNature tripsCaveForestRiverViewsWaterfallWildflowersWildlifeRocky
Description
Waypoints (8)
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Getting There

Stevens Trail has little shade and can become dangerous during the summer months. Please do not attempt in extreme heat and be wary of the hot ground on your dog's paws. Be sure to bring lots of water for your hike. This trail is very scenic and rich in history - it is also on the National Register of Historic places. Built by Truman Allen Stevens it was used as a toll road for miners that needed to get from the mining town of Iowa Hill to the railroad town of Colfax. The trail was forgotten but then rediscovered in 1969 by a boyscout, Eric Kiel, and re-charted as part of his scouting project. Today it is maintained by the Bureau of Land Management.

U.S. Bureau of Land Management - Stevens Trail http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/folsom/stevenstrail.html

Don't miss the lady bugs at Secret Ravine if you hike this trail during the winter.

From Sacramento, take Interstate 80 east and exit at North Canyon Way (exit 135) at Colfax. Turn left on North Canyon Way, which parallels the freeway, and after a short distance you'll see the parking area sign on the left side saying Stevens Trail. On the opposite side of the parking area from the restroom, you'll see a sign marking the trail. It says 4.5 miles (9 miles round trip).

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Reviews (1814)
Photos (1642)
Recordings (1471)
Completed (3207)
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Nan Thang
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 18, 2021
Hiking

Beautiful scenic with access to the river . I won’t say it’s difficult, more like medium as the ascent is gradual and not a tough one . Thoroughly enjoyed

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Bridget Bugbee
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 18, 2021
Hiking

Dependent on time of week can be pretty busy. Fairly narrow trail but gradual descend and elevation gain so enjoyable 3 hour hike!

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Megan Greenwood
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 17, 2021
Hiking

Too many people with a very skinny trail and little cut outs to let people pass.

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Joe R
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 17, 2021
Hiking

Beautiful fat out (72 degrees, unseasonably warm). Hiked fast. Good number of people out on the trail too, even in the afternoon.

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Buck Langley
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Hiking

Great hike! A little n the crowded side but beautiful views and good workout.

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Hannah Bireschi
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 17, 2021
HikingGreat!

This trail was gorgeous! Really beautiful views the whole way there and ending up at the river was a perfect spot to stop and have lunch. Would definitely recommend getting there early, as by midday there are many people on the trail. Overall would definitely hike again!

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Gary Kenyon
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Hiking
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Lauren Fletcher
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Brian Storts
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Miya Hosaka
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Hiking
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Jaya Singh
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HikingRocky

The trail was fantastic!! My 9 and 13 year old kids loved it and the whole hike was so scenic throughout! There were a couple of difficult points but it was all worth it. The trail ends at a river and it’s a great point to rest and take a break. We would suggest going around 10 to 11 in the morning since you would be able to come back an hour or so before dark. Overall a great hike, we will definitely come back here!!

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Monica Ordaz
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HikingMuddyRocky

Get there before 8 am so you can get good parking!!! This trail is a GREAT leg/glute workout!!

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Trevor Rodgers
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Hiking

Lots of people early in the day. Incredible lady bug spawning ground near the river at the moment.

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Christen Helfrich
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Hiking
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Kyle Moorman
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Hiking

Hard, but pretty views and worth it

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Tố Lan Phin
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Hiking
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Aimee Pfaff
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It was a good workout and a nice hike with some cool rock features, Oak Grove, and ladybugs that made it interesting, but I wouldn't be interested in doing this hike again. We have others we like much better. Also, too many losers litter, if you think throwing your trash on or off the trail is okay, stay home!

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Amber Summers
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 14, 2021
HikingGreat!

Such a beautiful trail. We back packed with our 2 year old which made the hike a LOT harder but we completed the whole thing. We probably won’t do this again unless we have a babysitter lol. The hike back was a little difficult and I had to pace myself and stop for a lot of breaks. I don’t recommend bringing little ones. It can be dangerous at parts and you have to be really careful. The lady bug colony is at the end before the campsite. You can’t miss them (:

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Aimee Pfaff
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 11, 2021
HikingBridge out

Not sure which Stevens Trail we did, but it was the one in Iowa Hill behind a little house/general store that had an official Stevens Trail sign in their side/back yard near a tire swing. The best part of this hike was a dog named Penny who her owner Keith who lives next door and said she acts as a guide for hikers. Our dogs liked Penny too. Keith warned us the Trail was over grown and that the views and better hike was elsewhere, confirming we were at the wrong Steven's Trail, but we'd driven all the way up there and thought, what the heck, let's just do it. We only made it halfway down before finding the path had collapsed or washed out and climbing over a steep, slippery rock didn't look safe with 3 dogs on or off leash. We turned back and it's a mostly uphill going back so we got a welcomed workout with the occasional view of the river way down below. I'd never thought I'd recommend skipping a trail, but with all the much better, much safer trails out there, I have to say skip it on this one. We hope to have better luck finding the other rumored amazing Stevens Trail Hike in Colfax next week.

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Polly Wolf
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Hiking

This is a great hike with a continuous but gradual descent down to the river. Be sure to look for all lady bugs at the bottom.

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Rick Williams
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 10, 2021
Hiking

nice views of the North fork of the American river. we did it in January it would be a hot hike in the summer

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Justin Fields
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Hiking

Leg workout for sure!

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Gina Xu
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HikingMuddy

Beautiful trail! Beginning of the trail was little muddy. It is best time to hike since it is not too hot walk under the sun. It was mostly uphill on the way back. Good workout.

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Jasmine Esteves
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Nature tripsMuddyRocky

absolutely GORGEOUS. absolutely absolutely gorgeous. VERY busy though. also VERY exposed if you are afraid of heights this isn’t the trail for you. got there at 10:20 ish and the parking lot was full (as expected from previous comments) we had to use the over flow parking which was still cool! we finished at 2:50 but we are definitely beginners also missed the lady bugs :( we saw a few but nothing like we expected

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Heather Mitchell
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Hiking
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Jenny Chase
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HikingMuddy
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Will Murray
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HikingMuddyRocky

This was a very nice hike overall, but it did wear me out. I have mild asthma and poor depth perception due to eye surgery, so it was challenging for me. 7.7 miles with approximately 1600' of elevation change (mostly downhill going out and then back up again coming back) is a lot tougher than the flat 10 mile hikes I do around Sacramento. The rocky trail (in places) can be very tough with poor depth perception or other handicaps, but if you're in reasonably good shape, it's doable. Just don't go farther than you can hike back up again! Trail notes: Hiked it in January a few days after some rain. The trail was muddy and a bit slippery in places, though most of it was more exposed and dry. The moisture helped to keep dust down. The water crossings were not deep, nor were they particularly challenging. I did need to steady myself on some handy rock walls in places, but that was it. As to the reports of walking along sheer cliff faces, I feel they are a bit exaggerated, but if you are afraid of steep cliffs, it certainly might seem scary enough. I would call them steep hillsides (sometimes very steep), but not sheer cliffs. The trail at the beginning is wide enough for people to pass easily with some room to spare. Farther on, there are a few places so narrow that you might have to backtrack 50-100' to find a place to move to the side. Everyone was very nice, and most people had masks and nobody crowded past. Watch for dog poo. Some people don't pick up after their dogs, or, if they do, they leave their bags behind. A trash can at the parking area would be very helpful, but there isn't one. You just have to pack it out like the rest of your trash. The single sheltered concrete pit toilet was not pleasant when we arrived, but by the time I got back, it was disgusting. There was poop smeared all over the floor. There was plenty of TP available, but it's still probably a good idea to bring a roll in case they run out. There's really no good place to get off the trail and go along the way, so, disgusting though it may be, the pit toilet is still the best option. The views are wonderful! The trees, the river, the mountains, the other plants, the ladybugs, the streams, the sky... It was all stunning and beautiful. The natural beauty of this hike overrides all of the negatives and makes the trip totally worthwhile. Just make sure you have good grippy shoes with plenty of toe room for those downhill miles, and plenty of water, especially if you're going later during the warmer seasons. I recommend this hike. For the less experienced hikers, there are several places to turn around and still have a great time. For the more experienced, it's a nice trail with a mix of features. For the really adventurous, we saw at least 3 people trail running it. And it's dog, bike, and horse friendly.

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