Stevens Trail (from Iowa Hill)

(North Fork of the American River {N.Fk.Am.R})    

Hike # 17

Directions to trailhead: Follow I80 to Colfax and take the Grass Valley Hwy 174 exit. If coming from the west take a sharp right onto Canyon Way. (If coming from the east, take a right at the stop sign (Auburn St.), then right at the next stop sign and cross over I80 and turn right onto Canyon Way). In about 1/4 mile turn left onto Iowa Hill Rd. Drive 9 miles to Iowa Hill. Park across the road from the Iowa Hill store. The signed trailhead is behind the store.

Trailhead UTM: 10 S 06 85 110 43 30 661

Topographic Map: Foresthill 7.5’

Elevation: 2820’ to 1186’ (3198’ total elevation gain)

Distance: 7.3 miles round trip

Difficulty: Moderately strenuous

Jurisdiction: BLM

Trail description: This trail has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places, because of its historical interest and its scenic values. It is a wonderful hike for the warm months, as it faces north, away from the sun, and it is well shaded. The trail leads down to the designated Wild and Scenic N.Fk.Am.R. on a route originally cut to compete with Rice’s road that you followed on the drive to Iowa Hill. Along the way to the river you hike through a hydraulic mining area and on careful inspection you could probably locate several of the tunnels that were dug to remove water and gravel from the mining site. A wire bridge, the cables of which are still visible, once allowed travelers to cross the river and get to Colfax (you can ford the river in late summer and continue to the Colfax trailhead). Other highlights include the nearby Iowa Hill cemetery, which is well documented, and the historical Iowa Hill restaurant/bar/post office/video rental.

Campsites: There are no campsites near the river.

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