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Placer County, California

Placer County, California is a top destination for outdoor adventures. The best trails and outdoor activities are plentiful here. One must-visit is the Stevens Trail, a scenic 9-mile round trip hike that offers stunning views of the American River Canyon. The trail is moderately difficult with steep inclines and rocky terrain, but the sight of the river, waterfalls, and wildflowers make it worth the effort. For those interested in rock formations, the Donner Summit Canyon trail is a great choice. It features intriguing granite formations and views of Donner Lake. If you're up for a challenge, the 6.9-mile round trip hike to Shirley Canyon is a must. You'll pass by rushing streams, waterfalls, and have a panoramic view of Squaw Valley. Remember to pack a picnic to enjoy by the lake! These are just a few of the best outdoor activities in Placer County, California.

Top Spots in and near Placer County

  • Auburn, California

    Hike the Quarry Trail in the Auburn SRA

    4.0
    11 mi
    Parking in the Auburn State Recreation Area parking lot has a cost of $10.00.  Free parking is allowed on the right side of the road located on the right after driving over the bridge.  From here the Quarry Trail parking lot and Trail head are a short walking distance ahead on the left side of th...
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  • Nevada City, California

    Take a Family Ride

    4.5
    Well if you start at Banner Lava Cap and Gracie Roads then you will see the canal at the top of Gracie Rd. Hop onto the berm of the canal and head north {upstream}. The trail is dirt and about 4 ft wide in the beginning and widens to 6 to 8 ft for most the way . Continue upstream on the canal and...
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  • Auburn, California

    Hike Training Hill

    4.5
    4.5 mi / 1126 ft gain
    Training Hill is a 4.5 mile loop trail that features beautiful meadows and wildflowers, with limited views to Folsom Lake and the Auburn canyon.  The trail to Training Hill branches off from the Calcutta Falls trail right before the first cement bridge over the American River.  Training Hill is r...
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  • South Lake Tahoe, California

    Catch a Sunset at Keys Beach

    Owned by the State of California, Keys Beach sits at the end of a peninsula bordered by the Tahoe Keys marina inlet to the west and the Upper Truckee River to the east. This relative isolation along with its only access being by water or a single trail keeps the beach remarkably quiet relative to...
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  • Echo Lake, California

    Hike Flagpole Peak from the bottom of Echo Summit

    3.5 mi / 1900 ft gain
    For this hike there are two places you can start from. One is at the Echo Lakes parking lot and the other is at the bottom of Echo Summit (where we started at). Parking at the gun tower at the bottom of Echo Summit you'll be looking right at the face of Flagpole. After parking just off the side o...
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  • Echo Lake, California

    Backpack to the "Waterfall Camp" in Desolation Wilderness

    4.7
    10.5 mi / 1522 ft gain
    Although this hike can be done as a day hike, it is an awesome place to camp. There is a lot to explore and you will want to spend as much there time as you can. The easiest way to start this hike is to start at the Echo Lakes. There is ample parking above the marina and you even have the option ...
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  • Echo Lake, California

    Hike to Jabu Lake in Desolation Wilderness

    3.7
    Although this hike can be done as a day hike, there are incredible camping spots near the lake. The easiest way to start this hike is to start at the Echo Lakes. There is ample parking above the marina and you even have the option of taking a water taxi across the echo lakes to cut off around 2.5...
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  • Echo Lake, California

    Ski Ralston Peak

    5.0
    Ralston Peak is a classic south Lake Tahoe backcountry skiing and snowboarding area, and is excellent for hiking in the summer, too. Please note, however, that backcountry skiing and snowboarding is dangerous – make sure you know the conditions and have avalanche equipment.There are two main appr...
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  • Echo Lake, California

    Cross-Country Ski or Snowshoe to Ralston Peak

    5.0
    This loop is best accomplished in 2 days, spending a night at either Ralston, Tamarack, or Cagwin Lake. Although this route is similar to hiking Ralston Peak in the summer, the trails are completely covered by snow so solid navigation skills are necessary. A map is required to find the best possi...
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  • Echo Lake, California

    Lake Aloha

    4.0
    12.34 mi / 1552 ft gain
    You'll start the hike at the Echo Lakes trailhead, just off of Highway 50 in Lake Tahoe. The trail meanders past Lower and Upper Echo Lakes, slowly gaining altitude as you pass a smattering of summer cabins. The climb is enough to make you feel it, but before you know it, it's over. Once cresti...
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  • Echo Lake, California

    Explore the Alpine Lakes of Desolation Wilderness

    5.0
    This incredible hike offers you the opportunity to visit the heart of desolation without climbing more than about 600 feet of elevation. Begin at the boat taxi at Lower Echo Lake. The taxi costs $12/person each way and is $5 each-way for your furry friend. The taxi leaves the dock at frequent int...
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  • Echo Lake, California

    Hike the Echo Lake Trail

    4.0
    5 mi / 688 ft gain
    The Echo Lakes Trail goes through California's Desolation Wilderness and features incredible views. This trail is rated as moderate, and is best for excited beginners or intermediate hikers. This hike takes roughly 3.5-4 hours. Dogs are allowed on trail if kept on leash. The trail is best used fr...
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  • Kings Beach, California

    SUP from Kings Beach

    5.0
    This is a super fun way to enjoy the day, get some exercise and see some really cool parts of the lake that are usually hidden. You can rent boards/ paddles at a few different places either for the day or by the hour. Bring some water, sun block and a camera...if you dare! Once the day is done ...
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  • South Lake Tahoe, California

    Stand Up Paddle Board Yoga at Lakeview Commons

    Stand up paddle board yoga is some of the most difficult and rewarding yoga there is and you would be hard-pressed to find a more beautiful place to do so than on the south shore of Lake Tahoe.  Lakeview Commons is a city park that provide direct lake access for the public, including boats, along...
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  • South Lake Tahoe, California

    Bike around Lake Tahoe

    5.0
    72.2 mi / 4308 ft gain
    You'll want to wake up early for this adventure. Be sure to have breakfast and hydrate before you start.  I suggest going clockwise around the lake. The elevation hit me. I also went with a group of friends, and what's nice about going in a group though is that you can stop every so often to make...
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  • Nevada City, California

    Hike the Diggins Loop Trail

    5.0
    2.7 mi
    Check in and pay for your parking or present California State Parks Pass at the museum building in North Bloomfield.  After paying for parking there are several different options to get onto the Diggins Loop trail.  Access to the Diggins Loop trail can be found by the Park Headcounters by jumping...
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