East Ridge – Long Valley Trail Loop

Auburn, California

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Winding ranch roads sweep through meadows thick with wildflowers in spring and then drop to beaches along a rumbling stretch of the South Fork American River. On cool autumn afternoons, with the sun low in the sky, the foothills of Cronan Ranch Regional Trails Park take on smoky hues, darker where the forests grow thick on north slopes and lighter where the sun catches the golden annual grasses. The scene is arresting. A wonderful network of trails laces through Cronan Ranch, spreading equestrians, mountain bikers, and hikers along ridges and tucking them into long valleys. All roads lead eventually to the South Fork American River, which constitutes portions of the property’s southern and eastern boundaries. The river, even when the flow is low, rumbles swiftly over its bed, more inviting to rafters and anglers than to swimmers and waders. Still, spread a picnic on a blanket on the rocky shore, with the relentless music of the water rushing by, and you’ll enjoy a restful and invigorating break.

East Ridge – Long Valley Trail Loop Professional Review and Guide

"Winding ranch roads sweep through meadows thick with wildflowers in spring and then drop to beaches along a rumbling stretch of the South Fork American River. On cool autumn afternoons, with the sun low in the sky, the foothills of Cronan Ranch Regional Trails Park take on smoky hues, darker where the forests grow thick on north slopes and lighter where the sun catches the golden annual grasses. The scene is arresting. A wonderful network of trails laces through Cronan Ranch, spreading equestrians, mountain bikers, and hikers along ridges and tucking them into long valleys. All roads lead eventually to the South Fork American River, which constitutes portions of the property’s southern and eastern boundaries. The river, even when the flow is low, rumbles swiftly over its bed, more inviting to rafters and anglers than to swimmers and waders. Still, spread a picnic on a blanket on the rocky shore, with the relentless music of the water rushing by, and you’ll enjoy a restful and invigorating break."

Activity Type: Hiking, Horseback Riding, Mountain Biking, Trail Running
Nearby City: Auburn
Distance: 4.4
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Difficult
Duration: 2.5 hours
Season: Spring for wildflowers; fall for cool weather.
Local Contacts: Gold Discovery Site State park
Local Maps: USGS Coloma
Driving Directions: Directions to East Ridge – Long Valley Trail Loop

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May 2018