This is the perfect time of year to hike this trail. April and May provide the best time to view the many different types of wildflowers. I don't know all their names but they are definitely plentiful.
The trail was built by Truman Allen Stevens shortly after he arrived in California in 1859. He operated a ranch in Iowa Hill and a livery stable in Colfax so he built the trail and a self-propelled cable car to transport miners and animals across the North Fork of the American River, and charged a toll. (Info courtesy of American River Canyon Hikes by Ferris, Lynch, and Toner, which is a wonderful book for people looking for a thorough guide to the trails in the Auburn State Recreation Area.)
The trail is almost 4 miles down to the river and doesn't have a single switchback in it. It follows the contour lines on a moderate grade and always travels upstream. I don't know of another single trail that does that.
After enjoying a leisurely lunch beside the river (and watching the antics of a heron on the opposite bank), we started back up the trail. This is a popular trail so I wasn't surprised to see some folks as we started back. Our pace down was quite leisurely but Pat set a stronger pace on the return and we both felt like we got a decent workout.
This was a stop we made at a cute waterfall that I'm sure will be dry by mid-summer. This trail is south-facing and I'm sure very hot in the summer.
So Mom, whaddya think?