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Salmon Falls

Salmon Falls is a trail that runs along the edge of Folsom Lake near Sacramento. The trail starts where the South Fork of the American River empties into the lake and the trail roughly follows the shore line, going over some hills. The trail is appropriate for upper beginner/low intermediate level riders.

Park: Salmon Falls
Date: Multiple
Distance: 21.6 miles
Ride Time: 2:23 hours
Total Ascent: 1,996 feet
Map: Detailed trail map
Overall Rating: 8


Salmon Falls is mostly single track. As noted in the profile (and as you might guess since it parallels the lake shore), there is no substantial climbing involved on this trail. However, there are some obstacles and twists in the trail that create some interest. The first third of a mile of the trail is on an exposed, steep hillside. If you get off the trail here, you would slide quite a ways down. There is a fork in the trail near the start that later joins back together. The upper leg is the easier ride in terms of danger, but it is quite a climb. The lower section has one sketchy part over some cambered stone with some loose rock on top that looks down into the river. It is easy to walk this very short section (about 40 feet) and the rest of this branch was quite nice.

The rest of the trail was actually pretty fun. It is an out and back trail, so you can ride as far as you want and then turn around. There were a variety of obstacles that have fairly easy solutions for infrequent riders and allow stronger riders to take a more challenging line at a higher speed. There are rocks and roots in the trail, some ups and downs, and a few gullys and curves to traverse. At some times of year, there may be shallow streams to be crossed. All of this adds to the adventure and fun of this trail. I have only been here twice (so far) and followed the main trail, but this is quite a bit of fun as either a novice or a more experienced rider.

There was a little something here for everyone, making this a good place for a group ride. I think this area gets pretty hot in the summer, so fall, winter and spring rides can be more fun.

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