August 1, 2012
This is a very easy beginners trail. The entire trail is paved 2 lane. The trail (and campgrounds) were built by SMUD (Sacramento Municipal Utilities District). The total mileage out and back is about 11 miles. Use caution on downgrades as a build up of pine needles on the path can make quick stopping 'interesting' and as of 8-1-12 there were no downed trees across the path this is ALWAYS subject to change. Portions of the trail may be closed during Bald Eagle Nesting times.
Make this a day trip, bring a cooler with lunch, bathing suits and towels and enjoy spending the entire day in this area! OR.... pack your equipment in and enjoy the Azalea campground: 10 sites and no waiting! BUT be prepared for primitive (backpack) camping! If you camp in the Azalea camp ground you'll need a bear vault OR hang your food from a tree and plenty of water, water purification or pack it in from an adjacent camp ground. Many camp grounds along the trail have bear vaults but some do not. USFS station on 8 mile Rd (EB hwy 50 exit has trail maps for this area as well as many others!
There are some grades on this trail but nothing that can't be handled by a beginner. There are so very many other rides in this area. While you are at the USFS station on 8 mile road pick up a map of the Crystal Basin and enjoy an endless number of rides from singletrack to road in this area!* Review edited 8/1/2012