Back to index Old Salmon Falls (Magic) Bridge Hike
Trip Date:  01/02/2015

Distance
: 10.7 Miles

Vertical Gain: 1100'

Group Size: 1
Hike Rating:  Easy   Moderate   Hard   Strenuous
Magic Bridge Hike
Download GPX GPX for this trip
Old Salmon Falls (Magic) Bridge Elevation Profile
Start Coordinates:   N 38 45.068, W 121 02.922     End Coordinates:   Same as Start Coordinates  
Car Shuttle Req'd:   No Parking Directions:   Take Salmon Falls Road from El Dorado Hills north for about 6 miles.  At a wide sweeping turn between Hidden Bridge Rd and Old Salmon Falls Bridge Rd there is a parking area on the north side at the coordinates provided.
Hazards of Note:   Rattlesnakes, ticks, poison oak, mountain lions. Crowd Factor:   Moderate.  The first mile or so of the hike to the bridge and across (with low water) is very popular with dog walkers.  The trails on the peninsula on the opposite side are sparsely used, but mountain bikers can use these trails.  
General Notes:
This hike starts off with a very easy mile walk from the parking area to the bridge.  As long as the bridge is visible, you can cross over to the peninsula, often known as the "Magic Kingdom."  There are many trails here, either going to the right or the left.  This track headed to the right for a mile or so, and then turned around and headed back to the junction and then on the left hand track for about 5 miles around the edge of the peninsula.  On the backside of Flagstaff Hill, I made a cross-country trek up to the top of the peak just to the south of Flagstaff, discovering an abandoned (but open) mine in the process.  At the top of this hill, there is a bike trail that heads down to the SouthEast, which is the only reasonable way through the thick manzanita and scrub brush.  This is the section of the hike which rates the entire trip as hard.  If you eliminate the cross country and the trek down this particular trail it would be rated as moderate for the mileage alone.

It was so cold this early morning on the trail to the bridge that it was completely frozen and iced over. Early morning on the trail
First sign of the still accessible old Salmon Falls Bridge.
First sign of the bridge
Just about to cross over the bridge with the sunrise hitting off Flagstaff Peak. About to cross
Looking back at the bridge with the morning sun still not yet up. Looking back at the bridge
You know it's wintertime around Folsom Lake when everything is not brown and dry.
Definitely wintertime
There is another, smaller bridge that makes its appearance every year around this time which can save about 3/4 of a mile off the peninsula trail. Another bridge
Looking back at the peninsula trail from around one of the inlets. Lake reflection
Behind Flagstaff Hill I stumbled across this old, abandoned mine.  It still had large bits of metal from old machinery strewn about the area. Abandoned Mine
Looking past the last bit of peninsula at the main part of Folsom Lake in the distance. More of the peninsula
The Lake Hills area of El Dorado Hills, which the New York Creek trail winds around the base of.Lake Hills area to the south
No idea what this dilapidated structure at the top of the peninsula was, but it was big!Old structure
GPS Track of the full hike. GPS Track of Hike