How to Enjoy the Best Hikes Near Placerville at Cronan Ranch

Stunning river views, rolling oak hills, and fascinating wildlife can all be found at the Cronan Ranch Regional Trails Park. If you haven’t had the opportunity to explore it yet, now’s your chance! It’s home to twelve miles of hiking trails near Placerville, CA, with options for every skill level. Whether you prefer a leisurely stroll in the shade or would like to conquer more challenging routes, Cronan Ranch has a trail for you. Read on and embark on some of the most beautiful hikes near Placerville.

Cronan Ranch Hiking Trails Near Placerville, CA

Cronan Ranch Regional Trails Park is open year-round from sunrise to sunset, and dogs, bikes, and equestrians are welcome! No matter what season you visit, the rolling oak hills provide a remarkable backdrop for your hike. And, it gets even more beautiful in springtime when purple lupines and orange California poppies are in bloom! Here are some of our favorite paths to take. (Keep in mind that Cronan Ranch has two staging areas, and this blog is about the one at Pedro Hill Road in Pilot Hill, California.)

  • Center Trail: A riverside picnic is a fantastic date idea, and the center trail can help make it happen. This path leads you to the Long Valley Trail or Cronan Ranch Road for a gentle meander down to the South Fork of the American River. Each of these is just under two miles long, and worth every step. There is a restroom facility as well as picnic tables at the bottom. Come back the same way, or make a loop along the Hidden Valley Cutoff (another two miles). As a bonus, you’ll see the old movie set used in the filming of Love Comes Softly.
  • Right Trail: Would you like to add breathtaking views of the river canyon to your hike? Take the right trail choice and make your way along the West Ridge Trail. Go out and back, or circle around on the West Ravine Trail for an elevated loop. You can also head down to the river to cool off.

View Wildlife Along the Way!

Cronan Ranch isn’t just a spectacular destination for hikers. It’s also home to a variety of wildlife in diverse habitats! If you like bird watching, you’ll love it here. Bring binoculars, and you might be able to spot red-tailed and Cooper’s hawks, California quail, western meadowlarks, kingfishers, and bald eagles! There’s also a chance you’ll see some playful otters along the river bank!

Helpful Tips

  • Bring sun protection and plenty of water.
  • Dogs are allowed off their leash, but make sure to control them around horses and bikes.
  • Seasonal hunting is allowed in parts of Cronan Ranch. Eden Vale Inn guests can check with us for details.
  • There’s plenty of wildlife here, but it’s not all friendly! Watch your and your dog’s step for rattlesnakes in warmer months.
  • Stay on the trails to avoid poison oak.
  • And, of course, bring your camera to capture nature’s magnificence!

Directions from Eden Vale Inn

Cronan Ranch Regional Trails Park (Pedro Hill Staging area) is just 15 minutes from Eden Vale Inn. Here’s the best way to get there:

  • Turn right out of the inn onto Lotus Road (a half-mile).
  • Turn left, uphill, toward the towns of Coloma and Lotus (five miles).
  • At the “T” intersection with Highway 49, turn left, or north.
  • Travel about five miles and turn left onto Pedro Hill Road.
  • The trailhead is about 400 feet ahead on the right.

Treat Yourself to Some Well-Deserved Relaxation

There are so many great options for hikes near Placerville, and Eden Vale Inn is the best place to relax after exploring them. Step inside, rest your feet, and enjoy some of the most luxurious accommodations in the area. We offer expert spa services that are perfect for post-hike rejuvenation and cook fresh breakfasts each morning to fuel another day of adventure! After a fun-filled afternoon at Cronan Ranch, there’s nothing better than a relaxing evening in. Our soaking tubs and fireplaces will help you feel at home. Plus, our inn is dog-friendly in case you want to bring your furry friend along on your trip! We look forward to seeing you at Eden Vale Inn soon.

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