Length: 2.2 miles round trip
High Point: 2100 feet
Elevation Gain: 100 feet
When to Hike: year-round; occasional winter snow
Controlling Agency: Castle Crags State Park, P.O. Box 80, Castella, CA 96017; (530) 235-2684; www.parks.ca.gov
Special Features: tumbling waters of the Sacramento River; summer swimming; autumn colors
Directions to the Trailhead: Drive I-5 to the Castella/Castle Crags State Park exit. Go to the east side of the freeway and turn left on Frontage Road. Continue .5 mile and park on the right near the “River Trail” sign.
Description and Comments: Take steps down and under the railroad tracks. You’ll quickly reach a footbridge across the Sacramento River, a peaceful spot to stop and watch the water flow.
The path then runs a mile upstream above and occasionally alongside the east bank. A few steep side trails allow access to various points along the river, and strong swimmers will find places to submerge themselves.
Maps: USGS 7.5′ Dunsmuir, USFS Castle Crags Wilderness. Park Brochure With Map.