Back to index Cronan Ranch via Acorn Creek (Salmon Falls) Trail
Trip Date:  02/07/2020

: 8.5 Miles

Vertical Gain: 1000'

Group Size: 2

Hike Rating:  Easy   Moderate    Hard    Strenuous
Acorn Creek to Cronan Ranch Route
Download GPXGPX for this trip
Acorn Creek Profile
Start Coordinates:   N 38 46.895  W 121 01.420     End Coordinates:   N 38 49.582  W 120 59.287
Car Shuttle Req'd:   Yes Parking Directions:   Starting Location::  Take Salmon Falls road north of the Salmon Falls bridge 3/4 miles to find the Acorn Creek parking area off to the right.  There is a $5 American River Concervancy charge to park in this lot.  
Ending Location: Take Highway 49 West of the town of Coloma or east of Salmon Falls Rd until you reach the Pedro Hill Rd parking lot area on the south side of the highway.
Hazards of Note:   Rattlesnakes, ticks, poison oak, mountain lions. Crowd Factor:   Moderate to High.  There are many trails in this area popular with dog-walkers, bicyclists, equestrians, joggers and other hikers.  Especially in the non-summer months you will expect to meet up with a number of other people out on the many trails in the area.
General Notes:
From the Acorn Creek parking area follow the new trail 9/10 of a mile until it intersects with the main trail from Salmon Falls which heads north toward Cronan Ranch.  This trail then heads up along the South Fork of the American River for a few miles until it hits a switchback which turns back south for a short duration until it heads north again and enters the Cronan Ranch area.
Once you reach Cronan Ranch you have the options to either head north along the West Ridge Trail, the West Valley Trail, or a third option taking the main trail back to the parking lot at Pedro Hill Rd.

The new trailhead at the Acorn Creek parking area. Acorn Creek trailhead
The sign found at the new trailhead with information on the recent addition of the Acorn Creek trail. Trail information
Heading up the new trail with my hiking partner Mark and my trail pup. New Trail
The view north as the main trail along the South Fork of the American River heads downhill for a little section. Heading down
Spotting the 'infamous' Lollipop Tree to the northeast which is the start of the Gorge section of the South Fork of the American River when rafting down the river.
Lollipop Tree
Along the trail there are some nice views of the river looking to the south.  Also interesting to see the extremely secluded homestead on the east side of the river. Looking south
My hiking pup enjoying a rest along the way where we stopped for lunch.  There was a nice spot just inside of Cronan Ranch where a couple of picnic benches were located.
Lunch rest
Nice, expansive view to the east of Cronan Ranch proper, as well as some of the massive poison oak plants bordering the trail which reach upward of 6 foot high.
View from West Ridge
Heading toward the Pedro Hill parking area at the end of the 7 1/2 mile journey from Salmon Falls.
Pedro Hill parking area
GPS Track of the full hike. GPS Track of Hike