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


trail running

Colfax, California Map
1 day ago

One of my favorite day hikes. The trail offers outstanding views and is well maintained. The hike in is all downhill which means you are going to be hiking uphill on the way out but it's fairly gradual. Make sure you give yourself enough time to stop and enjoy the scenery and bring plenty of water and a camera.

on Stevens Trail

1 day ago

Beautiful but the trail gets hot and there isn't a lot of shade after the first couple of miles in so be mindful of the time of day your going because the way back is all up hill! Stunning views and the clear, cold water feels great! Lots of wild flowers along the trail, too.

Not for the faint of heart - we had to ford waste deep across the tributary, then navigate lots of downed branches, pass the sign that says "highly infested with ticks carrying Lyme disease" and dodge the poison oak. Otherwise a lovely hike.

2 days ago

3 days ago

Most scenic hike I've done anywhere in the world. Even more surprising is that the trail head is in Colfax, California. I've driven past it a couple of hundred times on my commutes between San Francisco and Tahoe. Never knew it was there until today. Thank you Alltrails!

There was about a dozen waterfalls in a span of 3.5 miles. The most dramatic one, the trail cuts through the middle and you can look down so far that it disappears, look up and you can see 50 feet or more of falls above you. One of the falls formed a natural infinity pool over-looking the canyon. The cliffs and trail were literally carpeted in different color wildflowers.

About half way through the hike, there's a bat cave. It's almost tall enough to stand up in. I followed it back about 50 feet before I ran out of light.

I saw countless colorful lizards that I've never seen before, a few snakes and tons of birds. The hike ends at the North Fork of the American River, where you could see about dozen large fish swimming a hundred yards away the water was so clear..

The trail follows the river canyon down for about half of the hike where in places the sheer cliff drops off hundreds of feet right at the trails edge.

If you're a hiker or nature person this has to be on your bucket list. Absolutely amazing. This one trail made the subscription worth it.

6 days ago

Nice quiet hike. I did this mid Mag. Most of it was shaded. I'd suggest bringing extra sunblock and visor or hat. Some areas the trails were narrow with a steep drop off. A few shallow water crossings. We ended up off getting off the trail to take a very nice break by the water - great place for a lunch break. Not a good area for swimming as the water was moving very swift. Enjoyed walking into the bat cave. Loved this hike.

7 days ago

What a great hike, it was perfect sunny weather on a Saturday in May. Took us 4 hrs total round trip including 45 min lunch break by the river. Beautiful flowers along the entire trail, which is shaded in some areas and exposed in others. Bring hat, sunblock, snacks, and water. No parking fees. Brought our small dogs with us both got tired on the wayback. Downside is horse poop and dog poop on some parts of the trail, if you bring your dog please be sure to take poop bags and clean up. Otherwise, definitely recommend this time of year!

Not necessarily easy, some rocky area with significant overgrowth. Hiking boots recommended. Not well maintained. Poison oak all along the trail. Not dog friendly. Dogs came home covered in dozens of tics. Pretty river.

10 days ago

Wow, was this trail beautiful. We went as a big group, about 6 adults plus 2 small dogs. There were many spots with absolutely fantastic views of the river. A couple different waterfalls of varying sizes, a few of which you cross over. You do cross over the main waterfall, with a pretty steep drop off to your side, but as long as you are paying attention, it's not scary, nor should you have any problems! There are a few points where the trail becomes narrow and a steep drop to the side. Just always watch where you are walking, as you should always be doing. :] There were also a few turn offs to get closer to the river as well as getting to the river at the end. I felt like it was pretty varied when it came to cover and direct sunlight so it felt like a good mix. If you do decide to bring dogs, make sure they are very brave and mountain goat like, lol! Unless they are good to be carried for certain portions. HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS HIKE. Moderate is definitely an accurate difficulty, the toughest part is probably the end, if you are more out of shape, because it is mainly all uphill. But not too steep.

Thanks for reading!

wildflowers are wild

15 days ago

21 days ago

What a beautiful trail; my favorite in NorCal so far. Some notes:

-About a mile or two in, you will reach a fork with the option to take the hiking trail to the left, or bike trail to the right. I recommend taking the hiking trail for beautiful views and to admire the waterfall. The waterfall crossing is precarious and slippery. It's not too difficult and it's doable, BUT the drop is very steep and rocky. If you want an easy crossing, double back and go back down the bike trail. It meets back up with the main hiking trail very soon after the waterfall. It's not much of a detour and we felt much safer since we had our small dog with us.
-Get there early. I got the last spot in the parking lot at 8:30 AM on a Sunday. You also don't want to hike later in the day since the trail is very exposed and all uphill on the way back.
-This is on the more difficult side of moderate, however you do not need much skill to do it, other than maybe the waterfall crossing. A more inexperienced hiker would likely just need to take more breaks.
-There is no shade when you get down to the river. Make sure you bring sunscreen to reapply.
-BRING PLENTY OF WATER!!!! I always see people just carrying a little Arrowhead bottle of water and nothing else. That will NOT be enough if you do the full hike in the spring/summer. I would say bring at least a litre per person at the current temps to be safe.

It was great in the sense that it was lightly traveled, lots of shade, and a TERRIFIC workout coming back up to the top. I can say 'terrific' now that Ive finished it.

Fun trail - make sure you are comfortable with a tight cliff ride to / from the bridge. A large downed tree put my Ram tire just slightly off the road coming back towards Forrest Hill.