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Placerville, California

Placerville, California is a top destination for outdoor adventures. One of the best trails and outdoor activities in the area is the El Dorado Trail. This multi-purpose trail stretches for 35 miles, offering scenic views of rolling hills, and passing through historic mining towns. The trail is a mix of paved and dirt paths, making it suitable for a variety of fitness levels. For a unique outdoor attraction, visit the Gold Bug Park and Mine. Here, you can explore a real gold mine and learn about the area's rich history. For water activities, the South Fork American River offers rafting and kayaking opportunities. These are must-visit outdoor activities when in Placerville.

Top Spots in and near Placerville

  • Markleeville, California

    Snowmobile at Hope Valley Sno-Park

    Book a snowmobile trip through a local adventure center (we love Lake Tahoe Adventures) or bring your own gear. Don't forget to grab permits ahead of time if you come on your own (more info here.) Drive (from anywhere) to Highway 88 and the snow park entrance is on the south side of the highway. ...
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  • Nevada City, California

    Backpack to Lower Rock Lake

    3 mi / 713 ft gain
    This adventure begins at the Lindsey Lake Campground parking lot (6,200 feet) where you leave your vehicle, takes you three miles up a trail rife with amazing photo opportunities and seasonal wildlife, and ends on the shore of Lower Rock Lake. Here you will find a dispersed camping site owned by ...
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  • Tahoe City, California

    Purple Trail and Burton Creek Loop

    3.76 mi / 492 ft gain
    Burton Creek State Park is a moderate hike. It is a secluded peaceful hike that offers amazing views of the lake. This is a popular spot for mountain bikers, but is also ideal for hiking.  Much of the trail is through the forest and there are many maps and signs pointing out the trails. The hike ...
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  • Truckee, California

    Hike the Truckee Tunnels

    5.0
    To get here, drive along Donner Pass Rd. There is a turnoff about 100 yards away from the Donner Summit Bridge where you can park. The hike begins at a plaque for the China Wall- a large retaining wall built by Chinese railroad workers. Hike up the trail towards the tunnels. Some spots may requi...
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  • Tahoe City, California

    Photograph the Lupine at Lake Forest Beach

    A quick walk through Lake Forest Beach in Tahoe City, California provides unparalleled opportunities to photograph expansive fields of lupine. These brilliant purple wildflowers cover the lowland shore of this public beach each summer, typically starting in mid-July through mid-August. In drought...
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  • South Lake Tahoe, California

    Ski or Snowboard Heavenly

    5.0
    One of the more beautiful resorts in Lake Tahoe to go snowboarding and skiing.  Heavenly is situated in South Lake Tahoe on the border of California and Nevada.  This ski resort has an amazing view of the lake while going down, as well as one of the largest total areas to ski in Lake Tahoe. This ...
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  • South Lake Tahoe, California

    Bike the Van Sickle Bi-State Park Trail

    4.5
    Starting at the top of Stagecoach Lift on Heavenly Resort this trail wraps around the north slope down to the bottom of town at the casinos. It has amazing view all the way down as you make your way down the woods up top and then cruise through the burn area near the gondola fire down to the bott...
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  • Soda Springs, California

    Hike to the Top of Andesite Peak

    5 mi / 1000 ft gain
    From the trail map sign, follow the dirt path straight, following signs for the cross-country skiing route, not snowmobiling. Continue until you see a trail marker. You'll veer left to head over to the Hole in the Ground trail. Once you see another identical trail map board, you'll head left. Thi...
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  • Soda Springs, California

    Summit Castle Peak

    4.0
    6 mi / 1800 ft gain
    The trailhead is very easy to access as it is just off Highway 80 at the Boreal Mountain exit. When taking the exit, take a turn to the North, rather than to Boreal on the South side of the Highway. On busy summer weekends this trailhead can get quite crowded so you may have to park at the bottom...
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  • Soda Springs, California

    Snowshoe to the Peter Grubb Hut

    5.0
    8 mi
    The Peter Grubb Hut is located below Castle Peak in Round Valley, 3 miles north of the Castle Peak trailhead near I-80. Overnight parking is available at the California Sno-Park at the Boreal-Castle Peak exit on I-80. Park on the frontage road east of the Boreal Inn and walk back under the freewa...
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  • Arnold, California

    Hike To Bull Run Lake

    4.3
    The hike to Bull Run Lake is about 7.8 miles, roundtrip, and begins at the Stanislaus Meadows Trailhead, located about 10 miles West of Ebbetts Pass. There is plenty of parking near the trailhead, off of the South side of CA 4. The trailhead GPS coordinates are: N38 30.376' / W119 56/617'Once you...
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  • Soda Springs, California

    Hike to the Peter Benson Hut

    5.0
    11.6 mi / 1800 ft gain
    Drive to the top of Donner Summit via the Old Hwy 40 and park at the Donner Summit PCT trailhead, just past the Sugar Bowl Academy Building. Begin hiking up-hill through a somewhat forested area for about 2 miles. Shortly after you pass the trail sign for the Mt. Judah Loop, you will come to a sm...
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  • Stateline, Nevada

    Hike the Lam Watah Trail

    5.0
    2.2 mi / 85 ft gain
    Lam Watah Trail is a 2.2 mile out and back hike, that will take you through Lam Watah meadows and ends at Nevada Beach. I did the hike in December and although the best time to do it is May through October, I think it had more charm during the winter time.  The trail head begins from the parking ...
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  • Stateline, Nevada

    Stroll through Rabe Meadows

    1.5 mi
    Rabe Meadows is a tranquil and peaceful stroll next to Burke Creek as it flows to Lake Tahoe and Nevada Beach State Park. Very easy 1.5 mile paved trail. Perfect when there isn't any snow and a short easy hike is in need. Take in the scenery and peacefulness and be happy to be outside. 
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  • Truckee, California

    Donner Lake Public Docks

    4.5
    In the northwest corner of Donner Lake, there are public docks run by the Truckee Donner Recreation & Parks district. It's free to lay out your towels and hang out, but there is a fee for launching boats on the ramp. Come over in the late afternoon, enjoy the sunset, and go for a swim as the ...
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  • Glenbrook, Nevada

    Kayak Zephyr Cove

    Zephyr Cove on the eastern shore of Lake Tahoe is a fantastic starting point for a host of water sports and activities and given the protected nature of the cove, a great place for kayaking for both beginners are more advance kayakers. Depending on the time of year and the water level on the nort...
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