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

Love going up the trail

I was very disappointed in this trail. It is not a moderate hike at all. I was unable to get my heart rate into fat burning range at all. This trail consisted I’ve touring every parking lot and boat ramp along the granite bay side of the lake. Not worth the $12 to park.

Very nice groomed trail, river is nice and able to swim in

Nice river access but a lot of the hike was long stretches of no shade. Cool old shack towards the half way point of the trail that was used in a movie.

2 months ago

Probably better for biking. There’s zero shade for a lot of it so make sure you go earlier. Still really liked this hike.

Went in late May. Much of the surrounding land was just dead weeds, very little shade, and you could drive a truck down most of the trail. In fact, many parts of the trail were really just a road. Sometimes poorly marked, needed to pull the map up at times to figure out where to go. Nice access to the river though. All in all, there's nicer places to go hiking!

This is a pretty easy trail, easy to follow, some brief incline/declines. We went in the mid afternoon, and was pretty hot, wear sunscreen. We saw a bunch of hawks, two deer, runner, a biker, some horses...and a long snake that was half way taking up the trail! Not sure what kind it was. I wish it was a little more challenging, for my ability, but did enjoy myself.

Nice cool day on this hike. Fairly easy with well maintained trails and signs. Lots of blue oaks. Was not super crowded and the sheep were fun to see. Would definitely do a longer trail on return.

3 months ago

Very beautiful. Many wildflowers and lots of greenery and lovely oak groves. The path starts out wide and then narrows. Be cautious for ticks and poison oak - the grasses are tall and it'd be hard to keep a dog away from them. There is some easy creek crossing over rocks and lots of shade up until you get to the south side (after the gate).

After the gate the trail changes dramatically. At the gate I went right towards skunk hollow which had a couple of nice views. Next time I go early I'll try going left towards Cronan Ranch (it was too hot by noon to be out in the full sun).

Not sure why this was rated as a hard trail, pretty level and easy hike and great swimming spot if you venture down to the river , however did not get 5 starts because two reasons. First it was very dusty my shoes were super dirty at the end mostly due to all the construction they have been doing on the road across and on the older buildings. I’ll definitely be back when they Finish the construction

3 months ago

Pretty and very well marked trail. Lots of flowers and green in the spring. There are also connecting trails so you can add more distance. I think it's a little more on the "easy" side.

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.

4 months ago

Absolutely beautiful this time of year!

You need to pay 12$ per parking. Regular trail. Nothing special.

Great hike among open meadows. Perfect for sunny days in winter and early spring. Some incline, beautiful views of the hills, close to the American river. I highly recommend it.

This is an outstanding hike that is very un-trafficked. As the title of the hike lends, there is lots of opportunity for elevation gain and loss. But if you are looking for a Bluebird Day hike that offers views, solitude and even more views, this should be the first consideration. I’m so pumped to come back and take the river level trail.

Fantastic little trail. Big open spaces, rolling hills, river access, great spots for a picnic with a view. Definitely an easy trail for two adults who are relatively fit. Did it in about 1.5 hours with stopping and short picnic. Did this at the end of December, no mud, no blazing sun.

So pretty lots of bikers and horses but still good trail to hike

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

Nice trail. The camp ground is Closed for the season right now. Several connector trails which is nice. You can customize the distance easily.

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.

6 months ago

Fairly wide trail with a half-way point of the river. Lots of dogs and horses. There's one narrow downhill section leading to the river which would make it hard to pass other animals, but no one was on that part of the trail. There's a ton of trails that branch off, so at times it helped to use this map to stay on the right trail.

Very open beautiful trail. A bit muddy in parts but drying out.

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

mountain biking
8 months ago

Awesome trails and beautiful views

not sure why this is rated as 'hard'...it was actually more like 'easy'. Wide well kept dirt roads for trails, could tread with running shoes. Only saw one other person (I went Wednesday late afternoon in November) who also had their dog. Lots of horse poop, but there are nice bathrooms (sans water) at the trailhead and where the trail meets the river.

Easy hike for Sunday walk. Started from Cronan Ranch Trailhead to West Ridge Trail, headed to American River picnic area. Continued the hike via West Ravine Trail, with total of 6.8 miles. Nice view of hills and beware of shits on the trail. Overall, the trails have sign boards and map that easily to follow. It's open trail, need hat or umbrella on the hot day.

trail running
9 months ago

So pretty in the mornings. So much more trail to explore!

Very calm walk with a choice of uphill challenges.

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