Windy Point


TRAIL ALERT: The Windy Point trailhead is now subject to a $10 daily parking fee.


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

Hike # 18

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 down, down to bridge over N.Fk.Am.R. Drive carefully; this is a narrow winding road! Then drive up, up for 0.5 miles to the trailhead on the right, just as road veers away from canyon. The trailhead is not signed, but is marked by large boulders. Park a few yards downhill, well off of road.

Trailhead UTM: 10 S 06 79 893 43 28 747

Topographic Map: Colfax 7.5’

Elevation: 1733’ to 1013’ (1275’ total elevation gain)

Distance: 2.7 miles round trip to the creek

Difficulty: Moderately strenuous

Jurisdiction: Auburn State Recreation Area

NOTE: Before starting this hike you might want to visit Dinner Tree (UTM: 10 S 06 79 962 43 28 838). Dinner Tree is a canyon live oak (“Oak of oaks”…J. Muir), and was a mid-way stage stop between Colfax and Iowa Hill.

Trail description: This trail is a wildflower wonderland in the spring! Please don’t loot the flowers! CAUTION, the hike should end at the creek if high water makes crossing hazardous.

Campsites: There are very few campsites mostly near the road before entering the canyon.

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