Back to index El Dorado Trail - Camino to Placerville Hike
Trip Date:  04/21/2015

: 7.9 Miles

Vertical Gain: 1000'

Group Size: 1
Hike Rating:  Easy   Moderate   Hard   Strenuous
El Dorado Trail Camino Hike
Download GPX GPX for this trip
El Dorado Trail Camino Elevation Profile
Start Coordinates:   N 38 43.805, W 120 42.284     End Coordinates:   N 38 43.986, W 120 47.372
Car Shuttle Req'd:   Yes Parking Directions:   For the parking area in Placerville, take Highway 50 to the Broadway exit if heading east.  You will get off and turn right, then right at the stop sign and then you will turn left after crossing back under the freeway.  The parking area will be on the left.  If travelling west on 50, exit Mosquito Road, turn right at the first turn and the parking area will be on your left.  
For the Camino Parking area, take the Camino Heights exit and then head south.  Turn left on Vista Tierra drive, then right on Camino Hills Drive.  Follow this around to Halcon Rd, and turn right.  The trailhead is on both sides of this road about a 1/4 mile down, and you can park just a little further at the point where Halcon and Paloma Roads meet.
Hazards of Note:   Rattlesnakes, mountain lions, ticks, poison oak. Crowd Factor:   Moderate to Heavy.  The Camino section is fairly unused, but the area as you get toward Placerville is highly popular and has an abundance of runners, bikers, hikers, and even equestrian traffic along the way.
General Notes:
From the trailhead in Camino, head east to cover the last 8/10 of a mile of the actual trail until the point that it ends just on the south side of Highway 50.  There are some nice sections along this trail, and the old railroad bed which has been removed makes for a very pleasant and very level trail for this entire way.  At the end of the trail, turn around and head back, crossing over Halcon Dr when you return to the starting point to cover the six miles into Placerville.  The way is just dirt for about another mile, and then the paved multi-use bike trail part begins, which will be the trail for the rest of this part of the trip.

This hike is rated as Moderate only due to the distance of it.  The elevation change and the flat, wide surface would otherwise rate it as Easy.

This is the sign on the east side of Halcon Rd that indicates the start of the hike along the last 8/10 section to Camino. Trailhead sign
The trail on the way toward the very end at Camino.
Camino Trail 
At the very far eastern spot on the trail, it literally runs out against the fence.  At some point the plan is to connect it up to the Pony Express trail up near Pollock Pines, but for now, this is it! End of the Trail
Back at Halcon Dr, heading west along the El Dorado trail is marked with this helpful granite stone indicating the distance to Placerville from this point. Heading west
Along the way, somewhere below the Apple Cafe and Apple Hill golf course is this great open area with a wonderful view of the mountains far off in the distance.
Amazing trail views
This is the point where the paved part of the trail, which will head all the way into Placerville (and beyond) starts out.  There are lots of signs here that almost overwhelm with instructions.  Not included in this picture are the no parking signs on both sides as well. Pavement starts
Along the way there are interesting things to see on both sides of the trail, including this old windmill which is not even 100 feet from Highway 50 behind the trees. Windmill
One of the nice, newer features of this trail is that it diverts the pathway over Highway 50, so that the game of human frogger can be avoided. Over the road Over crossing
The section just to the west of the 50 overcrossing is in really good shape, and I had nearly all to myself on this particular day. Into Placerville
As the trail wanders toward the parking area at Jacquier Road, the sight of a large winery with grapes growing all over the hill above dominates the immediate vista. Placerville vinyard
Right at the entrance to the Jacquier parking area is a sign for the trail that leaves no doubt as to what is here. Sign
Easy to miss, but very interesting are a series of about 10 memorial plaques cemented into the ground which start on the trail just above the Hangtown Grange building and head west until you reach the tunnel very close to the end of this particular section of hike.  If you were on your bike you would probably never see them. Memorials
Finally, the end of the section of trail is marked at the Placerville Depot for busses and Amtrack shuttle service.  A nice place to finish up either this direction or coming east from the town of El Dorado. Placerville depot
GPS Track of the full hike. GPS Track of Hike