(because of distance and a couple of trouble spots)
Distance:7.5 mi. (one way), 15 mi. (round trip)
Elevation Range: 1400 ft
Time Pedaling: 1 hr 54 minutes
Total Time (with breaks): 3 hrs
Favorite Bar: The Purple Place
Cross the bridge and enter the parking lot on your left. The trailhead is well-marked. After about ¼ mi. the trail splits to upper and lower. They both meet up again quickly and other than the most talented riders, you will have to walk your bike up a small section. After that, you will be winding in and out of the hills next to the lake for the next 7 mi. Depending on the time of year and lake level, there will be some small creek crossings.
After about 7.5 mi. the single-track will shoot you out onto a fire road. We would suggest turning around at this point. Otherwise there is a very steep fire road climb to a 4-way fire road intersection. We did take a left at this point and took the fire road about a half mile down to the lake. It was a dead-end and it did not connect to any further single track. We did not take any of the other fire roads but they seemed to go on for a bit and only took you further away from the lake. If anyone knows if there is more single-track, please advise.
Once you turn back, follow the same trail back to your car. There is one alternate section for advance riders with downhill skills. After .5 mi. after a large up/down the trail will split. This is the one time to go away from the lake. It is short, steep and rocky, so only attempt if you are an advanced rider. Check out the GPS map to see the one map divergence. It's about 2 mi. from end of ride.
Nutshell: Get started early, bring extra gear, and bad cell phone
reception. This is a fairly popular ride so the parking lot can get
full quite quickly in the morning so it can be difficult to find a
parking spot. Taking this trail a number of times it seems like someone
always has a popped tire, broken derailleur hanger, or something else
unexpected. Therefore, make sure you have a pump, patch kit, extra
tube, spare derailleur hanger, and a host of tools. Most riders are
great about helping out and there are usually several that will pass you
on the way but you could be waiting a bit. Remember to take you bike
out of the middle of the trail even though that can be a nice level
place to work on it. Lastly, the parking lot and the general area has
really bad cell phone coverage so send make your phone calls or send
your text messages before you leave town. Chances are they won't go
Highway 50 - Take the El Dorado Hills Blvd. exit and head north. When it crosses Green Valley Rd., it turns into Salmon Falls Rd. From the Roseville area, take Auburn Folsom Blvd. towards Folsom. Turn left on Folsom Lake Crossing. Turn left on Green Valley Rd and then turn left on Salmon Falls Rd. You will take this road approx. 6 mi. until you reach the Salmon Falls Bridge. There is parking on the left right before you cross over the bridge. Google map link is offered at the top of the page.
This is a nice out and back for all skill levels. Other than a difficult 100 yd hike-a-bike section at the beginning, it is all single-track with minor obstacles. There are no major climbs, some rocky sections and creek crossings that most riders will be able to clean and only a few trail diversions. You will need to pay attention or you can crash. Check out our video section to see some good examples
As a rule, if the trail splits, take the one that keeps you next to the lake. This trail gets HOT and a bit crowded during the summer, so it's best to get there early. Please remember, this is an out & back, so you will encounter riders and hikers heading the opposite direction.
After the ride
The place to go for a beer and burger when you are done is The Purple Place. Take Salmon Falls Rd. back to Green Valley Rd. and turn right. It's about 1 mi. down, on the right….you can't miss it, it's a giant purple building. Lots of food choices and plenty to drink.