Hidden Falls Regional Park in Auburn, CA is definitely a park worth hiding. With More than 30 miles of trails for hikers, bikers, and equestrians tucked away in a canyon between large parcels for ranch land, this park is definitely a hidden gem in Auburn!
Our life has been a bit hectic lately closing on a home and packing so our hikes have been shorter but not necessarily closer! We had a trip to Ikea in West Sacramento planned for the weekend and figured we would get in a short hike before! An email from the Weekend Sherpa came out and Hidden Falls Regional Park in Auburn was one of the hikes on their list of places to check out. So we did! It was perfect, an easy 4-mile hike with lots of water flowing and very little elevation gain/loss. Just enough to prepare us mentally for the 3 hours we spent at Ikea.
Hidden Falls Regional Park
Hidden Falls is so popular you need parking reservations ahead of time! It might have been because it was off-season but we were able to score the parking reservations the day before our hike. Check out the Placer County website for parking reservations. The day we went was sunny and a bit chilly. Perfect hiking weather! The parking lot was only half full at about 10 am which gave us hope we would be able to check out the park without too many fellow hikers.
The trails are very well marked and the path we started out on was a fire road, Hidden Gateway, and cruised along for a bit on the gravel road as we wound down to the canyon below. The sun was shining and the only noises we heard were the crush of the gravel as we walked along. Crossing the short Whiskey Diggins Bridge over the creek, we turned left onto Hidden Falls Access Trail.
Hidden Falls Access Trail was narrow and lined with trees stretching over us. As we got closer to Hidden Falls, Coon Creek started rushing faster and louder. We could hear the falls before we could see them! Up over a small ridge, we popped out and saw the observation deck. Getting a little more excited we picked up our pace to our first destination of the hike. Normally we have to work harder and longer for our reward but at about 1.5 miles in you are greeted with a 30-foot tall waterfall! No wonder this park is popular!
There were a handful of people enjoying the falls on the observation deck. It was so nice of everyone to take turns snapping pics from just the right spot! We took our turn, enjoyed the view, and the sound…oh the sound of rushing water falling over boulders! Love it! Then headed toward the canyon view observation deck. So nice of Placer County to build these for people to fully enjoy these gems!
Canyon View and Canyon Falls were just down the way from Hidden Falls. We sort of think these views were more spectacular than Hidden Falls with the water rushing through the canyon and the lovely bridge crossing from one side of the canyon to the other! We took our time here since we had the observation deck all to ourselves and then climbed down to explore more of this park.
Seven Pools Loop
After Canyon View, we hopped on the path for Seven Pools Loop. The trail was narrow again and lined with trees as it followed Coon Creek through the canyon. We came to a point where we could cut the hike a little shorter and since we had gotten off to a later start that morning than we planned we opted to take Quail Run back up to the main trail and cut the hike short. The switchbacks climbing up out of the canyon on Quail Run were great! We didn’t feel any of the elevation gain and even got a stairstep waterfall all to ourselves!
When we come back to this park we definitely want to finish the bigger loops you can take! It was a nice and diverse park to hike in!
Back on the main trail/fire road, North Legacy Way, we started to see more and more people venturing out on the trails. It was a nice wide fire road all the way back to the Whiskey Diggins Bridge to cross over Deadmans Creek. From here we took Poppy Trail to add a little change in scenery and met back up with Hidden Falls Access Trail.
We would love to see this park in the spring when the wildflowers are in bloom! Already trying to figure out our schedule to go back.
Do you try and work in short hikes when you have to go out of town? It’s such a great way to get out and explore a new area!
4.1 miles, 535 ft elevation gain/loss, easy trails, mostly sun with some shady areas, great for summer jumping in the water! Parking reservations online are $8. Portable potties in the parking lot (they are working on getting flushing ones again) and dispersed throughout the park. Dogs on leash. The nearest town is Auburn with lots of food options!
Things We Love:
We LOVE LOVE LOVE our Hydro Flask water bottles! When we are doing shorter hikes like Hidden Falls, this is what we use instead of our water bladders. We also use them in everyday life. The Hydro Flask 32 oz wide mouth with a straw is carried around everywhere with the bosslady. She doesn’t leave home without it. While it is difficult to fit in the car cup holders she makes due and the handle on the lid makes it easy to carry around. It does fit in the water bottle slot in her backpack! The water remains the same temperature ALL DAY! Even in the heat of the sun! Both of us also have the Hydro Flask 22 oz traveler tumbler for our coffee/tea. Early morning hikes would not happen without these! Any remaining coffee/tea is still warm even when we are done with our hikes! If you haven’t given these a try yet, click on the link below and pick out your favorite size and color and get to hydrating more!
As you can see from the screenshot below we barely touched on the trails that are available at this park! Seriously cannot wait to go back!