Reviews (77)
Photos (92)
Recordings (42)
Sajan Singh
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Jul 12 2020
Hiking

In terms of difficulty, this gets 5 stars, in terms of views, maybe 2 stars until you hit the river. This hike is not for the faint of heart if you do the whole thing. Bring a water filter and 6 liters minimum. Also carry and enormous amount of food.

Vincent Dahl
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Jul 12 2020
HikingBugsOff trailOver grown

This trail is very very very easy to lose, especially on the return. It slips in and out of existence like my belief in god. Quite steep as well, making time management crucial if you don't want to spend the night out there. Do not attempt to hike this after dark, I almost walked right off a ledge when I drifted to the west, and that was in daylight. It seems someone cleared the fallen trees for the first half mile or so with a chainsaw, but after a that there is a lot of climbing over logs. I wanna stress again just how easy it is to lose this trail. I did on the way back and it forced me to climb the 45 degree + slope while pushing through the undergrowth. Almost didn't make it back before dark. Also the route shown on the site isn't right. there isn't a trace of the trail by the time you reach the little potato-shaped pond (you can see this pond on google maps, it's also at roughly the 1.2 mile mark, just after the turn). The "real" "trail" turns west at roughly the 1.1 to 1.2 mile mark and goes down to the meadow/marsh. Perhaps with a bit of searching one might find the trail to the mine (is there really a mine down there somewhere?), but I doubt it. However the views from the ridge are spectacular, and the meadow is like something from a dream. If you can survive the brutal climb back out and not lose the trail, I highly recommend.

Jessica Cosio
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Jul 11 2020
HikingBugs

The trail was pleasant. The way out is mostly downhill making the way back a little more strenuous. We stopped at el dorado canyon, about 2 miles from the start at Michigan bluff town. Just before the bridge you can find a primitive campsite, but you will definitely have mosquitos, so be prepared. Smoke helped, but should be wary of the fire hazards- there was no wind but some dry brush. We also found a tick, so be wary. Beware of the old man and his chihuahua dog in Michigan bluff who assume you are up to no good, and do not want you to use the designated parking area at the trailhead. We had someone wait with our stuff at the trailhead while I moved my car and parked down the street.

Brian L Morris
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri Jun 26 2020
HikingWashed out

Sees

View Brian L's Recording
Jordon Vice
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMon Jun 22 2020
HikingBugsOver grownRocky

Super disappointed. There were a few waterfalls, but none like are in the photos listed for this trail. Went all the way to the end of the extremely overgrown trail, and there was no view or water - just some picnic tables in brush that look like they haven’t been touched in years. Trail was extremely hard to follow, and not worth the few views along the way. Lots of bugs, and saw a snake as well.

Annelysa Sorensen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jun 21 2020
Hiking

Nice place

Kyle Weinberger
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon May 25 2020
Hiking

Brush and Fallen trees are cleaned up. Trail is challenging but rewarding. Took about 10hrs to complete

Gloria Lee
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun May 24 2020
HikingBugsOver grown

We only did an out-and-back to the first bridge, which is about 2.5 miles out. Having a dog on leash the whole time was challenging because it’s all downhill to the bridge and there isn’t enough space to be side-by-side; I wouldn’t bring them again. It’s much easier to run down to the bridge. The hike up was a good challenge, and you’ll have shade for almost all of the way back to the trailhead. We took a break at the bridge by the water. Beautiful creek. We were also awarded with some views of the canyon, but the trail is mostly shady and blocked the views from us. Cons: Millions of mosquitos. We tried to not take breaks because they’d immediately attack us. I also got my first tick bite from this trail, so be sure to check yourself afterward. There’s a ton of overgrowth, including of poison oak.

Kevin Patrick
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarWed May 13 2020
Hiking

Challenging trail but as of early May 2020 lots of down trees and debris. Easily to follow as the trail is well marked. Steep down and ups. Love the interpretive panels telling history. Lots of water running through. Took us all day

Gregory Obranovich
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarTue Apr 21 2020
Hiking

Currently the trail is hopelessly overcome by fallen trees and manzanita. Frequently crawling on hands and knees, picked up 4 ticks. Turned around after about 1 mile.

Maggie Young
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon Aug 19 2019
Camping

The drive takes some courage but totally worth it. Lovely trip around the campsite with only about a third of the sites occupied. Lots of flora and fauna. Even had a deer stroll through camp. Bears must be common, there were posted signs all over camp. Made for a fabulous weekend.

Gmorgan Adventures
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMon Aug 05 2019
Hiking

Ready to test your mental stability? Super gnarly hike to a miners abode. Snakes, unmaintained brush and down trees will hinder your progress start to finish. Be ready to cry on the way out once you run out of water. Snakes were falling from the trees into our camp. Bugs, spiders, and beetles were crawling all over the ground into our food gear. Once your abandon your weaker friends getting out becomes easier.

Dee Kay
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarWed May 29 2019
Hiking

A beautiful trail. We hiked only first portion of the trail ~10 miles in total. The trail is mostly shaded and few spots where you can view the scenery and it's amazing. There was fog settling in the hills and those views were incredible. Only downside was that the trail is also used by dirt bikes/ATV's. Dirt bikes passed us a couple of times adding smoke and dust to our hike. It takes 5-10 minutes before you stop smelling smoke in air but we were able to re-align to beautiful and serene nature quickly. Would recommend this hike.

Andrey Rybikov
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Apr 13 2019
Hiking

No issue with parking. I parked on the corner of Michigan bluff and school street. I hiked 6 miles in and decided to turn back. 12 miles totals in 6 hours. A lot of downhill and the river was very nice. The views are not the greatest but I did it just for the challenge. If you are looking for greats views, there are better hikes.

Mike Bou
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarTue Dec 11 2018

ok probably won't do again might do tge main trail an see where it gos

Jane Wertz
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMon Aug 06 2018
Hiking

The trail is in the worst shape it’s been in for 36 years with trees down and overgrowth, we had to “rock hop” along the river for some of it. It also had more fresh bear poop that I’ve seen and one of our group saw a mountain lion. It’s worth getting down there but be prepared to hurt.

Melissa Johnstone
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon Jul 30 2018
Hiking

Did about 10 miles of this trail this past weekend. Nice trail, lots of shade. Got a good workout from the long descent (about 2.5 miles) which bottoms out at the river (bridge) then did another 2.5 miles ascending away from the river before we turned back as it started getting warm. Only downside was the mosquitoes which were out in full force especially in the shade. We used a lot of deet and picaridin, but it wasn’t enough to keep them away. Would advise anyone to cover well and maybe use those weird hats with veil/netting I see some hikers wear if you don’t want mosquitoes constantly in your face and eyes and biting. Overall nice trail, would do it again.

A. M.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun May 13 2018
Backpacking

Tough trail in parts with steeper climbs and downed trees, but worth it for beautiful views of the American River.

Greg Ford
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarFri Apr 13 2018
Backpacking

Went on an overnight out and back backpacking trip, camping about 7 miles in, near a creek crossing on Deadwood Ridge. The trail was definitely challenging but had no other redeeming qualities, other than a nice creek to rest at early on the trail. The trail is well shaded, but because of that there are few opportunities for good views. The trail was well graded and appreciated at first, but I found it to be monotonous after crossing El Dorado Creek, relentlessly marching up the side of the mountain. In addition, the trail going up towards the ridge was very narrow. There were few places to take a break. On the ridge, there were few good places to camp. I would not recommend the place I camped (creek crossing along ridge), I was running out of daylight. If I had more time I would have backed up a half mile and camped at the water pump. If you want to camp closer to the trailhead, there is at least one good spot (probably more) along El Dorado Creek. I did not encounter any bears on my trip. That was a good thing because I forgot to put all my food in the bear canister. The food was not touched. Some folks have mentioned parking issues but I had no problems parking at the end of the pavement, about 0.2 mile before the trailhead. This trail is best for trail runners. Lots of elevation change and consistent grades. If I was trail running I would rate it 4 stars. I would not recommend for backpacking except as an early season shake-out.

Hillary Miller
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarTue Apr 10 2018
Backpacking

This listing is pretty mislabeled. This is a part of the Western States Trail and this portion should be labeled Michigan Bluff to Last Chance. Since you are going in and out of 2 canyons I would also label as Hard. Especially if you're backpacking and have a pretty heavy pack. Here are some things we learned: There is no parking next to the trail head. We parked next to the old cemetery and the Michigan Bluff monument. We left our car for 3 days and it seemed fine. We talked to some locals when we got back to our car. They thought we were just going out and let us know about several locals recently losing dogs to mountain lions. BRING BEAR SPRAY. It is also a good idea to have a bear bell and make plenty of noise on the trial. We saw a lot of trail runners out so the trail is well traveled. You will also do a lot of stream crossing depending on how much it has rained recently and how much snow is still melting. Trail breakdown: 2.5 miles in is entirely downhill and takes you to the first bridge and river. Almost 6 miles from the trail head and just before Deadwood Cemetery you will find a decent place to camp. For an even better place to camp and a little more walking, head on to an established spot between Deadwood and Devil's Thumb. There is a great area with a picnic bench and water pump with potable water (if we had gotten an earlier start on day one we would have camped here). Ditch your pack at the water pump to lighten your load and make your way to Devil's Thumb. A closer look shows that it is not one big rock but many rocks. Head down the canyon from Devil's Thumb to get to the swinging bridge. Lots of switchbacks but the pay off is worth it. What we did: Day one: hiked in and camped right before Deadwood. Day two: packed up and ditched packs at Deadwood. Made way to water pump and filled up. Hiked all the way down to the swinging bridge and had lunch. Made our way out of the canyon back to our belongings. We then hiked down to Eldorado Canyon (aka 2.5 miles from trail head) and made our camp near river in an established spot. Day three: hiked out. Things I wish I had known: -how steep the trail was -the amount of mountain lion and bear activity in the area -how bad the ticks are -the different points of entry for the trail and the relative location of established camping spots ----------------------- I know this review is long, but I'm hoping it helps someone who is looking at this trail.

Paul Gilbert
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSat Mar 31 2018
Hiking

This is from my March 2018 visit: Parking in Michigan Bluff (a short jog past Foresthill, CA), I read the historical markers then bound down the trail, and down and down. I was thinking after a while this could be a pretty good slog of an ascent back to the trailhead on the following day. Two water crossings this March (2018). Poor Man’s Canyon, a trickle, should run year round. The second, pretty El Dorado Creek, is bridged. It’s just across this bridge that the Bake Oven route leaves, to the south, the well maintained Western States Trail (which continues on northerly towards Deadwood and is quite popular with trail runners). Immediately after crossing the bridge, turning right at the signed junction, the Bake Oven Trail heads up and away from El Dorado Creek, traveling a mile south and 750’ up to a ridge marked 2,538’ on maps, where it turns east and back downhill again for 950' and 1.5 miles to the Bake Oven Site which sits on a flat right on the river. From the footbridge to the destination, the trail is not nearly as maintained. It’s very narrow, there’s some poison oak, some deadfall that currently (March 2018) needs to be overcome (none of it very difficult) and a lot of leaf litter, making the trail slippery on some steep slopes. Footwear should have traction - don’t do it in sneakers. Bake Oven is now apparently only a 13' round configuration of rocks. However, a mining town was once located here. I investigated the old stone shelter (a 4’ high circular wall with a stove - also constructed of rocks - opposite the door) after I made camp and suppose I forgot to take any pictures of it because I had a fishing rod in my hand and the river was looking so beautiful. There's several photos of it on All Trails, if your curious. The hike back to the ridge had some misleading spots. Game trails threw me twice. Rule of thumb: take the higher road every time. I ended up on the ridge well below the trail, and had to climb some 100’ feet straight up through manzanita and loose rock to regain the path. That slog back to the TH? I found it to be a decent grade once I hit my stride. However, it was also overcast and threatening rain. It would be far more trying in summertime afternoon heat. When I go again, I’ll budget my time to leave either much earlier in the morning or wait a few more hours into the evening. There’s plenty of time to kill fishing. Heads up: 
Be a hero: bring loppers and trim the poison oak here and there
 No ticks apparent
 Bear prints seen on trail 
Portions unkempt can be difficult to navigate 
Exposed portions can get pretty hot in afternoon
 Approx. 10 mile round trip

Dan Wagner
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarFri Mar 16 2018

graffiti covered rocks everywhere ruined the whole experience

David Dix
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarWed Dec 13 2017
Camping

Hard! 8 miles 1 way. plan on camping at upper hell hole when going here. be prepared for a lot of up and down stretches. we called them stairways to hell. when you reach the campground it becomes heaven. spent a week here. lake was way low but plenty of fun with the river. recommend boating to upper hell hole not hiking

Roger Burruss
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSun Dec 03 2017

The directions take you to someone’s drive way lol . They was not very happy to see me . Run this trail in reverse and do not try to park at Michigan Bluff .

ila uronen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarTue Nov 07 2017
Hiking

I only went in about 3.5 and then headed back up the mountain cause I didn't want to be out there in the dark but still a great hike! Beautiful views, will have to go and do the entire thing!

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