Down & Up Trail

Location: Pilot Hill, CA; Cronan Ranch Regional Trails Park

Distance: 2.8 miles

Type: Day-hike; Loop

Rating: Easy to Moderate

Permits & Fees: No parking fees or permits!

Driving Directions: Google Maps directions can be found HERE. Parking is located at the Cronan Ranch Regional Trail Park parking lot:

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Preparation: Arrive early to ensure a parking spot; the lot is fairly large so parking is usually available. Bring water!

Dog Friendly? Yes! On a leash.

The Hike:

AllTrails Map – CLICK HERE

After parking in the lot, walk to the very far end of the lot to locate the following signs:

A few starting notes about the trail:

  • This is a great trail for people of all ages!
  • This hike a great alternative to the more popular hikes in the area that are usually very crowded (Lake Clementine Trail and Stagecoach Trail are only a few miles away).
  • Most of the trail is exposed, so bring lots of water and sunscreen.
  • Bring a suit if you want to take a dip in the South Fork American River (there are a few access points toward the second half of the trail).

Continue walking on the path until the sign that reads “Down & Up Trail” is reached. We took the path to the left, but this trail is a loop and can be completed in either direction:

About a mile into the trail, this bench is reached (take a quick break here and enjoy the views!):

The trail has a couple of forks after this point, but all are marked by signs that read “Down and Up Trail” or “South Fork American River Trail”:

The trail eventually leads to a couple of access points to the South Fork American River. The river was low enough to safely go in:

After taking a break at the river or just enjoying the views, continue on the trail until the trailhead is reached once again (note that most of this part of the trail is exposed). From here it is a short walk back to the parking lot.