Back to index Cool Southern Area Hike
Trip Date:  12/09/2014

: 9.0 Miles

Vertical Gain: 1100'

Group Size: 1
Hike Rating:  Easy   Moderate   Hard   Strenuous
Cool Knickerbocker Creek Hike
Download GPX GPX for this trip
Cool Knickerbocker Elevation Profile
Start Coordinates:   N 38 53.346, W 121 01.029     End Coordinates:   Same as Start Coordinates  
Car Shuttle Req'd:   No Parking Directions:   Take Highway 49 to the town of Cool.  Just north of the stoplight is the fire station on the west side of the highway.  Turn east on the road here and park in the Auburn State Recreation Area parking ($10 fee as of 2014.)
Hazards of Note:   Rattlesnakes, ticks, mountain lions. Crowd Factor:   Moderate at the trailhead, with less people as you get further toward the river.  There are many equestrian riders here, as well as a few trail runners.
General Notes:
The hike is mostly along relatively flat sections of the rolling hills just outside of the town of Cool.  As you get closer to the river, there is a pretty steep drop down to near the level of the water.  Much of the trail is criss-crossed by seasonal streams, which can be refreshing or just plain boggy or muddy after a recent rain.  This is prime rattlesnake territory, so always be careful of where to walk or place your hands.  Avoid walking through tall grasses due to ticks in the foothills as well.

Just off the trail near the start is an area with at least 35 indian grinding rock holes in the bedrock. Indian Grinding Rocks
Scattered throughout the area are remains of some old homesteads.
Old homestead
Looking to the east are numerous views of the Sierras, including the snow-topped peaks of the Crystal Range during this month. View toward the Sierras
As a hiker I had to carefully step my way across the creek on rocks, but the horse which followed later on had not such concerns. Knickerbocker creek crossing
It's a good idea to familiarize yourself with the various trails, as they are all over the place intersecting with one another.
Lots of shade trees for much of the way, and the trail is never hard to follow. Pleasant area
From this side of the river the scarring from the Auburn Quarry is readily apparent. Auburn Quarry
Fortunately the damaged is limited to a small area, and the rest of the canyon remains mostly undisturbed. Further South
GPS Track of the full hike. GPS Track of Hike