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Cronan Ranch Regional Trails Park 4-5 miles INT

To be honest, I've not done this trail, or hiked this park for that matter, but have been wanting to do so for quite some time.  Everyone I asked told me it was too hot to do in the summer, so I figured now was the perfect time.  Plus, I found a great write up about it in the SacTown Magazine:

http://www.sactownmag.com/October-November-2011/Walk-These-Ways/index.php?cparticle=5

We'll hike West Ridge and Long Valley Trails - the article puts the total distance at 4.2 miles r/t with an elevation gain of 350ft.  Please note, this trail is listed at moderate/intermediate and probably not suitable for kids under 5 unless in a backpack!

Here's the description:

After a brief jog on the main road, head up the immediate incline of the West Ridge Trail, where you’ll hear the pleasant clank of cowbells coming from the green-canopied ravine on your right. The path slims into a star-thistle-lined single track as you first witness the brilliant blue slash of the American River ribboning through the hills on your left. When you descend (stay alert for overzealous mountain bikers, horseback riders and trail runners), hang a right at the “American River Trail” sign. You’ll see a similar sign about 10 minutes later, and when you do, take the switchback down the hill and you’ll find yourself at a secluded sandy beach on a luxuriantly slow section of the river, complete with a single wooden table that’s ideal for a private picnic. When you’re done snacking and soaking your feet, head back up and take the trail in the opposite direction. You will eventually see a series of weathered structures, including a dilapidated two-room ranch house—the remains of a movie set, used in 2005’s Memoirs of a Geisha. The entrance for the Long Valley Trail is right there; it will take you past verdant patches of flowering reeds—signposts for an underground stream—before depositing you back on the main road to your car.

Directions: Take Hwy 50 to Placerville. Turn left onto Hwy 49.
After passing through Coloma, turn left on Pedro Hill Rd., and take a slight left into the gravel parking lot

What to bring: Lunch, kids, layers of clothing, camera, sense of humor and a copy of the trail map which I'll post the link to just below:

http://www.blm.gov/pgdata/etc/medialib/blm/ca/pdf/folsom/gis_pdf_maps.Par.57269.File.dat/CronanRanchTrailsParkGuide.pdf

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  • Carla

    Beautiful...lunch on our own private sandy beach...doesn't get much better than this.

    November 26, 2012

  • Joel

    We're excited too! Dawn probably won't make it due to report cards.

    November 10, 2012

    • Carla

      Joel, Why don't we go with 9.15am? I think it's about 30 mins from Auburn according to map quest. Have Julianna bring a Barbie in case of boredom though.

      November 10, 2012

    • Joel

      We'll be there at 0915.

      November 10, 2012

  • Carla

    Hi Everyone,
    Well, it will be good cool hiking weather tomorrow. Probably won't need to pack the sunscreen, but do bring plenty of layers - it'll be chilly to begin with, but will warm up later, if the weather forecast is to be believed.
    See you all tomorrow. I'm excited about doing this trail...should be beautiful. Carla

    November 10, 2012

  • Leah S.

    This sounds awesome. Question though... My son is 4.. and our usual hiking place is a 6 mi round trip with 1500' elevation gain--so this trail sounds do-able. If we show up, despite the warning, is it violating the "rules of the group" or anything? As always, if it gets too difficult, we can just head back--but we'd like to give it a shot. Just don't want to cause issues with others....

    October 22, 2012

    • Carla

      Hi Leah, Of course you can join in. Every child has different fitness levels - we've had some very gnarly 3 and 4 year olds on difficult hikes before and they've done fine. It sounds like your son should find this easy. I just try to ward discourage anyone who is not used to hiking, or needs a baby jogger as this trail doesn't sound suitable for that. Hope to see you on the trail.

      October 22, 2012

    • Leah S.

      Thank you!!

      October 22, 2012

  • Ellen W.

    It's particularly hot out there. I recommend hats and lots of water.

    October 15, 2012

    • Carla

      Thanks Ellen. I guess we'll see how the weather is by Nov...I'm assuming it will have cooled down some by then, but never hurts to bring a sunhat that's for sure.

      October 16, 2012

  • Suzan K.

    This is a BIG maybe for us. It sounds like a great hike.

    October 15, 2012

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