Why we love it: We’ve done several hikes in Auburn State Recreation Area, and this is probably our favorite! While it’s not the type of hike that has a big finale before you head back, we came across two waterfalls and gorgeous views both up and down the 4.2 mile trail.
For the Young Ones (0-10): You can turn around at any point along the hike (as can often happen with the youngest of kids). Our six year-old enjoyed pointing out the moss growing on different trees and rocks, and the “ant waterfalls” (tiny streams) along the trail. (Keep in mind this was just after one of the huge storms this winter, so I was nervous to hike at all, but this trail was hardly muddy at all!)
For the Big Kids (10+): Exposed rock, grand views more impressive the higher you get, and a solid hike 1/2 way up and 1/2 down provide a great hike for any family. Teach them about the American River confluence and the Foresthill Bridge.
Keep in Mind:
Make sure you bring money to pay the day use fee.
While the trail is plenty wide all the way up, there are some sharp drop-offs. Make sure to keep an eye on all children and watch out for mountain bikers.
The day we hiked the trail, there was a mountain lion spotted. It’s always a good idea to stay as a “pack,” and keep little ones from running too far ahead or dropping behind.
Remember to share the trail. Lots of mountain bikers use the trail, but all were courteous and helpful while we were there. Keep in mind that they’re not just looking out for you and the drop off, but the actual terrain itself. Best to keep far to the side.
Around the Area: We hit up the same burrito join as last hike out here – see Lake Clementine Trail post.
Difficulty Level: Moderate.