Hiking guide for Sacramento, CA

Check out these hiking trails catered to all skill levels in and around Sacramento, CA for outdoor adventures.

Oak trees stand atop a rolling green hill.

The Lake Natoma Loop Trail provides stunning views.

Photo by @Opus91

Table of Contents

From quick and easy loops around town to drives that take you to fantastic lakes and mountains, our city has so many options to hit the trail. So lace up your hiking boots, because we’ve compiled a hiking guide for the Sacramento area with nine routes and trails to help you plan your next adventure and experience breathtaking views.

Note: While parks and trails may be listed as open, we recommend checking park websites before visiting for further info, current trail conditions, and safest practices for the area.

Key: Easy = 🥾| Moderate = 🥾🥾 | Hard = 🥾🥾🥾

Sacramento

Sacramento Waterfront Trail, Broadway + Marina View Dr

  • Difficulty: 🥾
  • Length: ~8.6 miles
  • Pet friendly: Yes, on leash
  • Wheelchair accessible: No
  • Parking fee: None

Enjoy this river promenade with views of Downtown, Old Sacramento, and the occasional sea lion. We personally love this trail for its great sunsets + the fact you can wander over the Tower Bridge.

Jedidiah Smith Memorial Trail, multiple access points

  • Difficulty: 🥾
  • Length: ~32 miles
  • Pet friendly: Yes, on leash
  • Wheelchair accessible: Portions
  • Parking fee: $6-$24

Whether you start in Discovery Park or in Folsom, this is one of the more breathtaking (and breathtakingly easy) trails to access in the region. There’s also no need to walk the whole thing — jump on and off the paved path whenever you’d like (we personally recommend the stretch near the American River Parkway).

Folsom

Lake Natoma Loop Trail, multiple access points

  • Difficulty: 🥾
  • Length: ~11.5 miles
  • Pet friendly: Yes, on leash
  • Wheelchair accessible: Yes
  • Parking fee: $10

Oak woodlands, relics of Gold Rush history, and wildlife-rich marshes are a-plenty at this paved trail located in the Folsom Lake State Recreation Area. Pro tip: be sure to watch the water as you walk — you might just see a family of river otters.

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We could sit in front of this waterfall all day long.

Photo by @mrtrowbridge

Carmichael

Effie Yeaw Nature Loop Trail, 2850 San Lorenzo Way

  • Difficulty: 🥾
  • Length: ~1.5 miles
  • Pet friendly: No
  • Wheelchair accessible: Yes
  • Parking fee: $5

This brief path — which runs along the American River — is one of the very best places to observe Sacramento’s wildlife, like turkeys, woodpeckers, and deer. Keep an eye out for interpretive signs about the river’s ecosystem + the life of the indigenous Nisenan people who once called the area home.

Auburn

Hidden Falls Trail, 7587 Mears PLace

  • Difficulty: 🥾
  • Length: ~3.3 miles
  • Pet friendly: Yes, on leash
  • Wheelchair accessible: No
  • Parking fee: varies

You can go chasing waterfalls at this popular + straightforward hike in Placer County. With its tranquil sights and sounds, the trail is generally considered perfect for families — just know that reservations are currently required for entry on weekends.

Quarry Road Trail, 150 Highway 193

  • Difficulty: 🥾🥾
  • Length: ~11.2
  • Pet friendly: Yes, on leash
  • Wheelchair accessible: No
  • Parking fee: $10

This wide dirt path chases the majestic Middle Fork of the American River and features sheer limestone rock faces, and passes a cave known for its paleontological excavations. The path is perfect for trail runners or those wanting a moderate hike in the Sierra foothills.

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The Quarry Road Trail stuns with its vistas of the American River.

Photo by @jmb9zw on Instagram

Sloughhouse

Deer Creek Hills Preserve Trails, Scott Rd. + Stonehouse Rd.

  • Difficulty: 🥾
  • Length: Varies by tour
  • Pet friendly: No
  • Wheelchair accessible: No
  • Parking fee: None

Seasonal creeks + wildflowers are true sights to behold at this rolling nature preserve in Sloughhouse, California. Here, you can enjoy self-guided hikes and docent-led tours, like the mushroom meander. Note: No more than 50 people a day are currently permitted at the preserve, so be sure to plan your trip accordingly and fill out the mandatory pre-registration.

Winters

Stebbins Cold Canyon — UC Davis Natural Reserves, 24875 Highway 128

  • Difficulty: 🥾🥾🥾
  • Length: Varies
  • Pet friendly: No
  • Wheelchair accessible: No
  • Parking fee: None

Choose between four beautiful hikes in an inland canyon of the Northern Inner California Coast Ranges. If the nearly 1,200-ft elevation and rocky scramble on the mountain’s ridge sounds like too much, hikers have the option to do a two-mile loop to the Old Homestead site instead Pro tip: if you do make it to the top, be sure to look out and over at the serene Lake Berryessa.

Pilot Hill

Magnolia Ranch Trail, Coloma Rd.

  • Difficulty: 🥾🥾
  • Length: ~2.5 miles
  • Pet friendly: Yes, on leash
  • Wheelchair accessible: No
  • Parking fee: None

Along Highway 49 with access to the American River, this easy-to-moderate looping trail provides scenic views of oak woodlands + rolling hills. Other great treks, like the Cronan Ranch Trailhead, are easy to access from this hike if you decide you want to take in the vistas for just a bit longer.

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