Salmon Falls Trail   

 

Sacramento's Most Traveled MTB Trail!
  If you're in Sacramento and ask anyone "where is the closest MTB ride?",  99% of the time you'll get directed to
Salmon Falls.

Salmon Falls also known as the Darrington Trail, is part of the Auburn State Recreation Area, 530.885.4527 and is maintained by FATRAC.   This trail is suited for all levels as long as the beginners ride very carefully and walk some of the more technical sections, the most technical being the first mile!   Your first obstacle will be a short, steep, loose climb and into a twisty, steep, loose decent.   At the end of the decent you'll be on a tight, twisty, cliff side single track that over looks the South Fork of the American River, carefull... it's about 50 feet down!
  Enough of the scary stuff.   The rest of the ride meanders along the river with a few trips inland to cross a stream or two and is rideable by most.   There are a couple hills that may challenge the Beginner-Intermediate but nothing major.

    Trail Facts
    Location: East of Sacramento near El Dorado Hills at Salmon Falls Bridge and the South Fork of the American River
    Distance: 16-20 miles
    Difficulty: Moderately strenuous, mildly technical
    Skill Level: Intermediate/Advanced
    Elevation: 500' gain/loss
    Ride Type: Out & back
    Trail Type: Single track & Fire Roads

How To Get There
From Sacramento, head east on US-50 to El Dorado Hills Exit.   Go North on El Dorado Hills Blvd. for 4 miles until you reach Green Valley Rd.   Continue across which will be Salmon Falls Rd.   Continue for about 6 miles.   You will cross the Salmon Falls Bridge and the trail head is out of the parking lot on the left.   If you park in any of the paved lots pay the $2.00 fee, expect an expensive ticket if you don't!

The Ride
Trail head is on the left end of the upper parking lot.   After a right turn you will see the first hill, climb and descend this to get to ledge trail above the river.   Follow this trail which will wind into the woods a couple times before the first water crossing.   The first crossing is straight down and straight back up the other side and into a clearing, stay to the left.   Your next crossing is a popular spot to turn around and/or have a sport bar before heading on.   Alright, pull up your bike shorts and get back on your bike!   You have two choices, 1. turn left for more of the same which will adventually turn into fire roads and onto the Peninsula Camp Ground for water and/or another break before the ride back or, 2. right turn will climb you up to Flagstaff Mt. for a great veiw of Folsom Lake and on a clear day, the Sierras.   Continue up ignore the left turns, thru the old green gate, keep climbing.   When you think you're at the top turn to your left and keep climbing!   When you reach the top look for the buckshot car carcass.   If you stand on the front bumper and look to the northwest, a vague trail will be apparent thru the manzanita.   Portage your bike for 25 feet and you will be on the Mickey Mouse Trail which I hear was named after a doll that was stuck in the manzanita for a while.   From here it's a technical knuckle dragger down to the main trail, NOT recommended for beginners!   When you come out on the fire road, go right for about 1/2 mile and look to the left for more downhill single track.   This will take you down to the main trail.

Another way up to Flagstaff Mt. is by riding out of Peninsula Camp Ground on the paved road, past the pay station and on up the road.   A ways up the road on the right will be a white gate to access the top of the Mt. or stay to the left and hit the trail down, back to the original stream crossing and on back to the start.

Click here to pop-up a general map of the area.


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