Steven's Trail South

This is a wonderful hike to the Wild and Scenic North Fork of the American River. When T. A. Stevens built this trail in the 1860s, his plan was to move people and livestock easily between Colfax and Iowa Hill. Now you can mosey down and up with the same ease on this historic thoroughfare. This is the forgotten side of the Stevens Trail. In the 1860s, travelers descending from Colfax would have crossed the suspension bridge that Stevens built at Secret Ravine and then would have continued to the gold fields at Iowa Hill, which was a town of more than 10, 000 people. The suspension bridge has long since carried its last toll-paying horse and rider. However, at the end of this hike, you can still see the cables that attached the bridge to the bedrock.

City Iowa Hill

Length 7.24 mi

Skill Level Moderate

Duration 5–6 hours

Trailhead Elevation 2,850 ft

Top Elevation 2,850 ft

Beware  of poison oak

I-80 east Turn right onto Auburn Ravine Rd
Continue onto Foresthill Rd
Turn left onto Sugar Pine Rd
Turn right to stay on Sugar Pine Rd
Turn left at Big Reservoir Rd
Continue straight onto Sugar Pine Rd
Continue onto Iowa Hill Rd
Turn left to stay on Iowa Hill Rd
Turn left to stay on Iowa Hill Rd

Destination will be on the left we can park in the store parking lot.

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  • Mary

    Don't know how to add the "good to see you". Thank you Robyn. Hope your knee feels better. Great day!

    November 10, 2013

    • Robyn S.

      Thank you Mary. It isn't doing so well at the moment. When you get this comment in your email, click on the Steven's Trail title and look at the red buttons to the right next to our pictures.

      November 10, 2013

    • tom w.

      What "red buttons"? I have never been able to figure out how you do this either!!! Thanks.

      November 10, 2013

  • Robyn S.

    Great hike on a beautiful day in California Gold Country. Thank you Tom for starting ahead and lopping the nasty poison oak. I look forward to attending your hike. Kathleen, it was a pleasure enjoying yummy Mexican food with you and great conversation. Thank you all for hiking with me today. I had a great time.

    November 10, 2013

  • Tom W.

    Well, I did it! Trail top was 2802' and the river was 994', so that was an elevation gain of 1808'. Hike was 8.5 miles. Thanks, Robyn, for setting this up. Was an awesome day in the canyon!

    November 10, 2013

  • Stephen P

    Terrific hike... the closest thing to a back country experience close in that I've yet experienced and practically untravelled, unlike Stevens Trail out of Colfax. Thanks, Robyn!

    November 10, 2013

  • diane

    I will join you all at 11th and P.

    November 10, 2013

  • Robyn S.

    We can meet at the downtown Park and ride at 9:30 then stop at sunspots to sort the final carpool out

    November 10, 2013

  • Mary

    Are we carpooling from Sunspash at 10? Is anyone coming from midtown? Thanks

    November 9, 2013

    • Robyn S.

      let's meet at the 11th and P park n ride

      November 9, 2013

    • Robyn S.

      yes. leave at 9:30

      November 9, 2013

  • Brian G

    One thing the mosquitoes were bad. After it warmed up on the way back

    November 9, 2013

    • Robyn S.

      I didn't have mosquito problems last Sunday

      November 9, 2013

  • Robyn S.

    I'm coming from Midtown. Yes leaving Sunsplash at 10

    November 9, 2013

  • Tom W.

    Robyn. My guest and I will start ahead of you tomorrow (Sunday). You will catch up with us at the bottom. You will probably beat us out though as I will have to go slow.

    November 9, 2013

  • Brian G

    Robyn. Was down there today. It was amazing!

    November 9, 2013

  • Tom W.

    Robyn. My guest and I will go from Auburn straight to Iowa Hill via Colfax. If you are leaving from Sunsplash shortly after 10am, that will put you in Iowa Hill around 11:50am won't it? Pretty late start.

    November 9, 2013

  • Doug

    I hiked that trail a couple of months ago and there was a lot of poisen oak. Sometimes we had to weave our way between branches or move them with sticks.

    November 9, 2013

    • Robyn S.

      I did it last Sunday and will bring loppers

      November 9, 2013

  • debra

    how many miles is the hike? Thanks

    November 9, 2013

  • Rosemary T.

    What type of hike is this -- beginner, intermediate, etc?....and how many miles?

    November 9, 2013

    • Tom W.

      I have only read the sign at the top, but it is 3.7 miles down to the river, so about 7.4 miles round trip. I do not know the elevation gain, so Robyn can answer that. I'm going to try the hike, but 7.4 miles with the elevation gain is a long hike for me.

      November 9, 2013

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