West Ridge Trail to Satan's Cesspool

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Cronan Ranch Regional Trails Park

West Ridge Trail to Satan's Cesspool is a 17.2 kilometer heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Pilot Hill, California that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and walking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 17.2 km Elevation Gain: 563 m Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly

hiking

walking

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

no shade

Wow what a great hike. Wonderful views of the river. Make sure to bring water and sunscreen, lots of sun exposure. Would recommend this hike, take all the way to the river, about 5 miles to Devil’s Ceespool.

Great views

hiking
bugs
no shade
rocky
14 days ago

This trail is actully about twelve miles when i recorded. The views were EPIC so pretty! BUT and this is a big BUT the whole thing is essentially uphill because of the peaks. As soon as you get u one hill you look down at the other and think "I have to go back up this" Its also a little easy to venture off the path as there are lots of tempting deer trails that lead to the river- my ankles now hate me. Def bring lotssss of water and probably don't do this in the summer.

Didn’t get too far due to lack of time but will definitely be doing this trail again. Limited shade so be prepared if you visit on a sunny or hot day. Stunning views!

hiking
bugs
no shade
rocky
17 days ago

This trail certainly lived up to its name! I had the pleasure of trialing this for the first time today and really enjoyed it. The mileage made it a little more challenging for me, but definitely would enjoy this more during the fall/winter. The bikers are super polite. The scenic views are breathtaking. The shade was minimal, but still occasionally present. There are some picnic tables available. The dog was exhausted from the heat, so make sure to have plenty of water and stops for your fur babies. I would go again on a more shady and/or cool day.

Great hike. Lots of bikers and hikers. Beautiful views. Go early to avoid the heat and pack water for your dog if he accompanies you.

Great trail, especially in the Spring

1 month ago

Great Saturday afternoon hike. Ridge trail not crowded with hikers but lots of mtn. bikers who were universally polite and respectful. Got started a little late so did not quite make it to the river but a worthwhile day.

hiking
2 months ago

Love this trail. I didn’t park at Cronan Ranch but just past Skunk Hollow heading NE on Salmon Falls Rd is a gravel parking area on the right (fee $5). Quiet hike with my dog. Came across 2 mt bikers the entire hike. This is a much shorter route if you looking to go to Satan’s Cesspool only about 6 miles or so. Well worth the $5!

hiking
3 months ago

The views from the west ridge trail are stunning

hiking
4 months ago

Great hike. Died a little inside but it was still good haha. It was freezing at the start because of the wind. Lots of up and down hill. Good little workout. The number of miles is what got me. So I’m sore from that. Really pretty scenery. I’m gonna come back in spring. The end of the trail was nothing special but it was a great feeling getting there. Took us 4 hours and 20 min with breaks. Got back in the dark. Watch out for horse poop. Would not go when it rains because it will be slippery trail conditions. Still muddy right now

hiking
11 months ago

We took our dogs and that was a mistake. The first half was great! Moderate difficulty, beautiful views, and a nice swimming area with views of the river rapids in the near distance. But on the way back, our poor pups paws started blistering on the hot dirt trail, and they picked up lots of fox tails and various other spikes weeds, in addition to at least 25 ticks. My GPS calculated over 12 miles round trip. We only saw one couple hiking, many mountain bikers, and one pair of horseback riders. It was in the 80s but with the high sun and minimal shade, the dogs were also over heating. Luckily they are ok. We obviously need to be more careful next time.

hiking
11 months ago

Pretty trail without much shade so I'd begin hike early. The trail has many pretty views and is less enclosed and rocky than the Darrington portion of this trail system. Elevation gains are more significant on the way out, so save some gas for the return trip. The river is beautiful and a great place to cool off before the return trip - but, again, no shade. GPS was [pretty helpful as there are a lot of optional side trails (one called West Ravine) so you have to pay attention. The signs are parallel with the trails which is a little weird (i.e., if you are standing in front of one and put your arms out to your side that's the trail they designate). Once you get down to the AR trail, you'll stop seeing WR signs. There are also two places where it is very easy miss the route: 1. Just out of parking lot take the first right turn to head uphill - otherwise you'll end up at the river (as I believe the reviewer below this one did). 2. When you get to the "To River Access - Emergency Route" sign on your left - that's the trail down to Satan's Cesspool.

Couldn’t find the trail! I found the parking lot and the trail head and a different trail that goes alongside the river? I was completely off course of the trail map on here. Maybe I’m a dumbass who is directionally challenged?

Beautiful nature and a challenging but well worth it hike

hiking
Thu Apr 11 2019

It was a great hike. Perfect for an afternoon. Not to tough but if you throw a kettle bell in your backpack it’ll make it a good workout.

running
Sun Jan 27 2019

Did this trail with the expectations to hike it. But was actually able to run it. It was a awesome. Beautiful run. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Was able to do start to finish in 2 hours in 15 minutes. 65 out 70 back. Will definitely do again maybe in the warmer months. Highly recommend this one

hiking
Sun Dec 16 2018

Have done this hike quite a few times in every season. Easy hike with nice views of the hills.

hiking
Fri Dec 07 2018

Took me about 3 hours and 45 minutes to complete. The view from on top of the ridge was fantastic and there were even a few picnic tables if you wanted to hike up and have lunch. All the people I came across were very friendly, although I didn’t see a soul from mile two on. The trail to get down to the river is marked as emergency access so if you see that sign you’re going the right way! Don’t let the first incline scare you away, there are ups and downs the entire trail so you get breaks

hiking
Sun Jul 01 2018

hiking
Mon Apr 23 2018

This was a cool hike. Was kinda hot on the way out (started at 10:15am on April 21st), maybe because I only brought 1 bottle of water. We missed the trail to the ridge at the very beginning and bushwacked our way up the hill about a mile in. The view from the ridge was awesome! Totally worth the extra effort but I would recommend looking IMMEDIATELY to your right at the trail head entrance to get to the ridge. Was about 4 hours of hiking, very up and then down then up again. At the end I was jealous of the people I could see tubing down the American River. Mostly came across Mountain Bikers on the trail, like a dozen.

Mon Feb 19 2018

beautiful scenery, lots of ups and downs, views of the river and meadows are gorgeous

hiking
Sun Feb 11 2018

Great hike, lots of up and down along the ridge part, though you can bypass a lot of it if you go down Cronan ranch road, like half our group did on the way out. There were a lot of trail runners and mountain bikers.

hiking
Sun Nov 26 2017

It was fun a really long hike. It is bound to be a all day trip I think this trail is better for mountain biking. I got to the river in about 2 hours. Best for summer

Mon May 01 2017

Really a great trail. Stay vigilant, we crossed four snakes, three of witch are confirmed rattle snakes.

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