Back to index Union Valley Trail Hike
Trip Date:  05/05/2015

: 10.0 Miles

Vertical Gain: 150'

Group Size: 2
Hike Rating:  Easy   Moderate   Hard   Strenuous
Union Valley Hike
Download GPX GPX for this trip
Union Valley Elevation Profile
Start Coordinates:   N 38 52.008, W 120 23.592     End Coordinates:   Same as Start Coordinates  
Car Shuttle Req'd:   No, but could be with three drive-in campsites available for pickup along the way north. Parking Directions:   Take Highway 50 to Ice House Road.  You will get to Union Valley Reservoir and turn into a road toward the Fashoda Campground and boat ramp about 14 miles up on Ice House Road.
Hazards of Note:   Be on the lookout for bike riders sharing the trail. Crowd Factor:   Very busy on weekends.  
General Notes:
Park in the day use parking lot, requiring a use fee of $8 (as of 2015.)  Pick up the trailhead right at the stop sign into the boat ramp area, and head north on the trail.  The trail is a very easy, mostly flat elevation gain hike of less than 150' of difference anywhere along the trail.  For most of the way you are surrounded by towering trees, but there are views to the lake and some toward the Crystal Range that pop into view every so often along the way.

Information sign about the trail found almost at the very north end of the journey. Trail sign
The trailhead marker to look for at the very start of the hike.
One of many information signs found all along the route. Info Sign
All along the trail towering trees rise on either side, keeping much of the way in the shade and the bike trail covered with pine duff. Trees!
A very typical view of the trail for much of the way.
The trail
A look toward the SMUD hydroelectric plant located near the north end of the hike.
Power Plant
A spot along the trail with a nice view off into the Crystal Range to the east.
An easy way across Silver Creek thanks to the trail builders.
Water crossing
A look across the lake near the northeast end.
Northeast lake
Looking south to Big Hill (on the left) from almost at the very end of the trail.
Looking to Big Hill
Checking out the Crystal Range from the top of Big Hill viewpoint.
Crystal Range
Most of the trail area from the peninsula to the right and up toward the SMUD hydroelectric plant at the top.
Trail Area
View southeast to Round Top mountain from Big Hill.
Round Top Mountain
GPS Track of the full hike.   GPS Track of Hike