Summary: This is an excellent, easy hike close to Folsom. Start by walking down the paved road to the Old Salmon Falls assembly area. You could park here as well, but there is a $2 fee. Pick up the Brown's Ravine trail at the end of the parking lot. The trail follows the South Fork American River with plenty of great views. Along the way, you will pass through a new pine forest, planted in 1972. At the 1.4 mile mark, you will reach a trail junction, and the site of an extinct waterfall, Salmon Falls, which was destroyed when the Folsom Dam was built in the 1950's. This is a great spot to stop and picnic. Follow the signs to the Monte Vista Trailhead to return to your car. The last 0.8 miles climbs up to a tremendous vista where there are some picnic tables and drinkable water.
After the hike, take the time to explore the old Salmon Falls town site (at the lower parking lot). This was an old Mormon gold mining town, which is now underwater because of the Folsom Dam.
Trailhead: From JCT of East Natoma St. and Green Valley / Blue Ravine Rd. in Folsom, drive east on Green Valley Rd. for 2.9 miles to Salmon Falls Rd. Turn left (north), and drive 2.9 miles to turnout on left (marked as Falcon Crest). Park in the large parking area (this is the Monte Vista trailhead). (Lat:38.74816 Lon:-121.05956)
Trail Guides for Old Salmon Falls Loop:
Best Seasons: Year-Round
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs, Horses,
Ranger Contact: Folsom Lake State Recreation Area, (916) 988-0205
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Leon Turnbull, who has posted 17 other hikes on this site. To visit this reporters web site, click here.
Trail Reviews Page 1 of 4 Submit your own review
Reviewed by BLH on 5/29/2012
That large tree that was down put us in a very large patch of poison oak that was impossible to entirely avoid. Still hoping I don't develop a reaction. Never found our way back to our car and unfortunately had to return same way we came -something I personally avoid at all costs!! All in all, it was a good time with my teenage daughter and she was delighted that she could still hear rap tunes from the nearby boats! But it was good for a couple hour walk that was pretty close to home. Would not repeat.
Reviewed by AL on 4/23/2012
Just went on 4/22/12. Amazing weather, a few hiccups. Ignore the closed for season signs-its not. Poison oak everywhere in full bloom-hard to avoid early on where trail is a ft wide in tall grass. Big BIG rattlesnakes using trail for sunning-had to make detours. right inside pine glade lrg tree is down entirely blocking trail-have to blaze down and hard to get around. still a lovely hike though with amazing lake views!
Reviewed by JWF on 3/8/2012
This was my first hike in a long time. Went on s Sunday afternoon in early March. It was a beautiful day. Parked in the lot off of Salmon Falls Rd. Parking lot had 3 other vehicles in it. Only ran into a handful of other people along the trail. Got into a weird argument with girlfriend enroute, we ended up walking trail seperately. We met up at the lake, made up, made out, and walked back hand-in-hand. Took a wrong turn somewhere coming back but made it to the parking lot with no worries. Will be doing this hike again, probably when the weather cranks up a bit.
Reviewed by mw on 2/20/2012
Great winter hike. No poison oak or snakes as others have said in the summer. Took the dog and our 6 and 8 year olds. Hints: Take the right fork at the beginning then 10 minutes later go down the hill along the white fence/house. When coming back from the water then take the right fork to take the different way back past the picnic tables/potable water.
Reviewed by Viewer on 7/5/2011
I'm a Marine Vet and this was a great hike for me, however it wasn't for my girlfriend or puppy....lots of poison oak, burrs, and small snakes. Good exercise, nice views, great little pond area to cool off in afterwards, and nice little hills to get ur heart pumping. Not for the out of shape person who decides to take a stroll in 105 degree heat on July 4th weekend.
Reviewed by JM on 7/4/2011
This is a nice hike in the spring but I would not recommend doing it in the summer. It is not along the river. It is by Folsom lake. Not really a good place to swim if you get hot but I imagine this would be really pretty in March. Tons of poison oaks and burrs. Wear pants.
Reviewed by LW on 10/11/2010
Nice hike for first hike in a long time. The hardest part was walking up the paved road back to my car. In other words an easy/pleasant hike.
Reviewed by ALM on 7/12/2010
It wasn't what we were expecting. The begining of the hike has a very very narrow trail. Long pants (recomend blue jeans) are a must. There is poison oak and lots of prickly plants. The prickles don't latch onto jeans as much as they do to sweat pants. The trail is easy to follow except for there are areas where there are no signs and a couple choises of which way to go. i think we took a wrong turn. We ended up hiking about 4 miles, not 2.2 round trip. Just give yourself time to get a little lost if you plan this trail. It was our first hike, and we will definately do more hikes. Probably not this one again. There is a nice swimming area by the parking lot. We let our dogs go swimming afterwards. That was perfect.
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