Explore the most popular wildlife trails near Arnold with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
6 days ago

Smoke shortened the hike and ruined the views, but was great otherwise. Be careful - very easy to get messed up with many unmarked trails crossing.

hiking
20 days ago

We actually went on this trail two days in a row, and parked at the Valley View drive parking lot both times. The first day we intended to reach Cougar Rock and Top of the World. However, we took a left on the ART instead of a right, so instead we got some beautiful forest. The next day, we took a right on the ART and got to those destinations.

Top of the world is not clearly marked but it should be evident once you get to the top of a hill after climbing switchbacks with little blocking foliage.

There were a fair number of insects—most harmless flies, but some mosquitoes as well. I highly recommend insect repellent

hiking
20 days ago

Fabulous hike, about 5 hours round trip. Easiest route up Leavitt on SE flank, just north of the snowfield (don't cross it).

Well marked trails and well maintained, lots of points of entry.

23 days ago

great hike, a few snow fields to cross but nothing serious. very beautiful alpine environment

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked this two weeks ago. Snow patches along the way which made it more difficult without poles! Long hike but the views more than made up for it. Lots of pct folks along the way too.

trail running
1 month ago

Went running here and it was great. Nice views and nice forests.

hiking
1 month ago

All day hike with amazing views the whole way up. At the summit it is filled with butterflies in late June. Can see all the way to Yosemite. 360 views over the whole mountain range.

hiking
2 months ago

We had a great time hiking to Cougar Rock on the ART today. The sometimes steep terrain was worth the view and the trail was well maintained and manageable even with my children, ages 7 and 11.

We accessed the trail at Valley View Road. The access off this road provides the shortest route to destinations like Cougar Rock and Top of the World according to their website. I downloaded the map on my iPhone on the Avenza app as suggested on their website. It was super helpful and followed our direction even though I had no cell service. The trail is well marked, but can be confusing in some places when the trail intersects with other routes. It also helped to keep us motivated to see how close we were to our destination.

The view from Cougar Rock was awesome, but a little overwhelming and frightening with kids. I kept them close to me, away from the edge, and never took my eyes off them.

My only advice is to use mosquito repellent! We couldn’t explore Coswell Creek (we had to pass through it to get to Cougar Rock) because the mosquitoes were thick and aggressive. We literally had to run through swatting at ourselves to get away.

Overall, an enjoyable day with beautiful scenery.

hiking
3 months ago

wonderful views went hiking today and it was cold out when we arrived it was about 10 miles. we had our dog with us and she did fine. didnt see any parking fees so assumed free parking.

This trail will lead you to the S.A. river. But if you continue on down stream another 100yd you come to the top of the waterfall, and for the sure footed you can squeeze around the rocks and make your way under the falls. The water was running so fast we could literally get under the shelf of the water fall for well deserved rest.

One of my favorite trails in Calaveras County! Gorgeous expansive views at Manuel Peak, Cougar Rock, Top of the World and San Antonio Falls. I have been to all of these scenic lookout points, and they never disappoint. The trail is not difficult, but can be challenging at times depending on the direction you're going. I will say that it can be easy to get turned around or lost on this trail due to all the different places you can start it from and all the various spur trails + forestry roads, so just a heads up. Bring a map of it or take a screen shot of the online ART map with your phone...(in case you run out of phone service). Enjoy the trail and please remember to pack out whatever you pack in -- as a local from the surrounding area, this place is special to me. Hoping to keep it that way and nurture the natural beauty! Cheers :)

hiking
4 months ago

We started at post #5 took a scenic route back to the Falls overlook. What a workout. My two kids 10&12 did great but we were all exhausted after the 9.70 miles. So many different views. It was an overcast day so one day I will have to return for a clear day. The top of the world is amazing but the falls is well worth the extra jaunt. Can’t wait to explore more of ART!

hiking
6 months ago

Awesome trail , cant wait to bring friends to see the falls

hiking
7 months ago

Started from the Meadowmont neighborhood access point (there’s a few parking spaces at the trailhead at the brown gate) and ended at Manuel Peak (Top of the World). The hike took about an hour RT and was almost 3 miles. Perfect sunset hike, ending on the ridge with a view of purple pink skies and hiking back looking at the moon (bring a light for the way back!).

Definitely know where you are going.
I am pretty sure we started at the beginning, a parking lot in Arnold at a park and museum around, at 6:30.
The goal was to get to the "top of the world" view, but at a fork, 3 miles in, we took the wrong trail and ended up down at a creek. Do not follow the AllTrails app, it will lead you to the creek. Make sure to take the ALTERNATE ROUTE maker if you want to get to the top and see the fall. The creek was pretty, but definitely a little bit of a downer.
I brought my 35lb pack for training and would consider this trail easy. For the most part, you are headed uphill on your way back.
We got to see a bear right at the beginning of the trail! There are some breathtaking parts. There are a couple parts where the trail is lined with small christmas trees (idk what they actually are) on both sides and it looks and smells wonderful!
You don't pass any water, at least this time of year, unless you head down to the creek, so make sure to pack enough water.

hiking
8 months ago

A wonderful trail with a breathtaking view! It was just me and my dog the whole time. Give yourself enough time to hang out and enjoy the view for a while! Enjoy!

hiking
8 months ago

Easy hike- part of the trail is paved then it gets beautifully rough and muddy.

hiking
9 months ago

Beautiful foggy, drizzly November day. Saw one other person in two hours of hiking.

we did this trail to "The top of world" on 9/29/17. Beautiful trail through the forest till the very end. We too a side trail for a bit and the "steep" portion of 0.7 miles that felt like much more. Take the alternate route if you want an easier hike ( at appx 2.7 miles in) clearly marked. at the top of the world you are rewarded with an almost 360 degree view for many many miles....worth the hike up.
I had read an earlier review that says " not for children or grandma". .I am 63 and have problems with my knees, hips and back....and I am just dumb enough to take that as a challenge..they may have been right, but I survived. sore but glad I went. Took us about 6 hours. we did a bit on a side trail and ended up doing 10 miles. mosquito netting for your face would be a very good idea!

backpacking
10 months ago

Stunning ridge line views. The best section of the PCT I've ever hiked. If you want to know the best day hike on the PCT, this is it!

hiking
Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Beautiful, alternate routes are a bit steep. Wound up doing about 12 miles. Bring lots of water and watch out for snakes.

backpacking
Monday, July 31, 2017

Late July 2017, parked at Mosquito Lake and backpacked to Heiser Lake with a group of nine people. The trail was hard to find at first, and is easy to lose at some points along the way. There were many felled trees blocking the trail, but on our hike back we saw rangers clearing them. We stayed a couple nights at Heiser Lake. Great for swimming, and plenty of interesting areas to explore around the lake.

hiking
Sunday, July 30, 2017

It's beautiful! Will go back again. Some dog owners are naive and let their dogs walk off leash knowing they're harmful.. my dog (miniature toy poodle) almost got attacked by a German shepherd.. if it wasn't for me hugging her against a tree she would've been dead. They have signs everywhere to keep dogs on leash. Signs are there for a reason.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Beautiful, shaded and Easy even for the average hiker.

hiking
Monday, May 29, 2017

Beautiful hike, definitely moderate and may be difficult for beginners. San Antonio Falls overlook is beautiful but the actual SAF are easily missed if you don't go beyond the initial rocks. The trail down to the creek can be easily missed, but ask others on the hike and from my experience, everyone was friendly and willing to give you directions. I did both the hike up the SAF (ART overlook) and down to the stream and ended up doing 11 miles. Worth it! Very important, buy insect repellent (mosquitoes are aggressive lol) and of course, sunblock.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Beautiful single track trails, with some amazing views and waterfall. Great for training or hiking.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Love this trail. There are many side trails and entrances which make it easy to get disoriented. Luckily there are always a lot of hikers, at least on the weekends.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Great trail! It ended up being almost 8.5 miles round trip if you go all the way to the creek.

Saturday, November 05, 2016

Very technical for trail running! Loved
It!

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